Effective compliance with new whistleblower protections will require a cultural shift in many organisations, an employment lawyer says.

The changes introduced in July by the new laws are significant, and employers will have to carefully consider how they prepare for them, Ashurst partner Vince Rogers and lawyer Amanda Wu tell an HR Daily Premium webcast.

"One theme in relation to the whistleblower protections is the need for organisations to change their culture in respect to the reporting of wrongdoing," Rogers says.

"On one level, it's easy to implement a policy compliant with the requirements of the new regime. For many, the greater challenge will be how a company's culture may have to change to embrace an environment where employees are encouraged to speak up about concerns that they may have, and not feel that they can be prejudiced in any way for doing so."

This cultural shift will require employers to carefully consider how they:

  • lead by example;
  • ensure processes are transparent and consistent;
  • encourage employees to speak up about wrongdoing;
  • challenge decisions and call out "bad" behaviour;
  • reward employees for "good" behaviuor;
  • encourage open sharing of views and concerns; and
  • ensure employees know legitimate concerns will be acted on.

"But these are just the starting point. With the new laws, some may learn the hard way through trial and error," Rogers says.

The excerpt below discusses practical steps employers can take to ensure compliance with the laws. The full webcast details who and what is covered by protected disclosures; whistleblower policy essentials; victimisation claims; and more – upgrade here to watch if you're not yet a premium member.