Legal

Whistleblower Policy (Australia)

 

(1) Purpose of the policy

Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd (“Lonely Planet”) is committed to conducting its business with honesty
and integrity and recognises that its employees (and non-employees) have an important role to play in
maintaining its high standards.
The purpose of this policy is to provide a safe and secure mechanism for you to report legitimate concerns
about possible wrongdoing and to ensure that your disclosure is dealt with appropriately and in a timely
manner.
You will qualify for protection as a whistleblower under the Corporations Act if you make an eligible disclosure,
by meeting all of the following requirements:
a) you are an “eligible discloser” (see section 2 below);
b) you have made a disclosure of information relating to a “disclosable matter” (see section 3 below);
and
c) you have made a disclosure of information directly to an “eligible recipient”, or to ASIC, APRA or
another Commonwealth body prescribed by regulation (see section 4 below).

 

(2) Who is an “eligible discloser”?

An “eligible discloser” is anyone who is, or has been, any of the following to Lonely Planet:
 an officer or employee, including current and former employees;
 a supplier of goods or services (including their employees), such as contractors, brokers and auditors;
 an associate; or
 a relative, dependent or spouse of one of the above individuals.

 

(3) What is a “disclosable matter”?

If you have any information that you think reasonably demonstrates misconduct, or an improper state of
affairs/circumstances in connection with either Lonely Planet or its related entities, then it could be a
“disclosable matter”. Examples include:
 illegal conduct, such as theft, dealing in, or use of illicit drugs, violence or threatened violence, and
criminal damage against property;
 fraud, money laundering or misappropriation of funds;
 offering or accepting a bribe;
 financial irregularities;
 conduct that constitutes a contravention of a particular law;
 failure to comply with, or breach of, any other legal or regulatory requirements;
 conduct which represents a significant risk to public safety or the stability of the financial system;
 engaging in or threatening to engage in detrimental conduct against a person who has made a
disclosure or is believed or suspected to have made or be planning to make a disclosure;
 any other kind of serious impropriety;
 deliberate concealment of information that may show any of the matters listed above.
You may still qualify for protection even if your disclosure turns out to be incorrect or unsubstantiated.
Although, you should have a reasonable basis for believing that the information you are reporting is true as
you will not be protected under the Corporations Act if your claim is malicious or vexatious.

Please note, disclosures that are not about “disclosable matters”, including a personal work-related
grievance, do not qualify for protection under the Corporations Act. If you have a grievance about working for
Lonely Planet that relates to you personally, please speak to your manager or a member of the HR team. For
more information regarding what to do if you have a personal work-related grievance, see Lonely Planet’s
‘Dispute Settling & Grievance Handling Procedure’ on The Road.

 

(4) Who is an “eligible recipient”?

To be able to qualify for protection under the Corporations Act, you should make your disclosure to an “eligible
recipient” as described at Annexure 1. Eligible recipients include:
Name Contact details
Julian Nikadie (Lonely
Planet’s whistleblower
coordinator)

Email: julian.nikadie@lonelyplanet.com.au
Telephone: (+61) 03 8379 8000
Address: Lonely Planet, The Malt Store, Level 3, 551 Swanston Street, Carlton,
Victoria 3053, Australia.

 

(5) How to raise your concern

You can contact an eligible recipient by email, telephone or post.
You can choose to remain anonymous whilst making a disclosure, maintain your anonymity for the duration
of an investigation, and also remain anonymous after the investigation is finalised, if you wish. If you decide
to make a disclosure anonymously, you will still be protected under the Corporations Act.
You can maintain your anonymity by, for example, using an anonymous email address to contact us/blocking
your Caller ID and adopting a pseudonym for your disclosure/ongoing communications.
However due to the often complex nature of disclosures, making contact anonymously by post or telephone
may not be the best method of disclosure as we may need to maintain ongoing two-way communications
with you to ask follow-up questions or provide feedback. For this reason, please consider contacting us via a pseudonymised email address if you wish to make an anonymous disclosure.

 

(6) Your protection

(a) Protection of your identity
Lonely Planet is under a legal obligation to protect the confidentiality of your identity as a discloser and it
cannot identify you (or disclose information which is likely to lead to your identification) unless it is to:
 ASIC, APRA, or a member of the Australian Federal Police;
 a legal practitioner for the purposes of obtaining legal advice or legal representation about the
whistleblower provisions containing in the Corporations Act;
 any person or body prescribed by regulations; or
 anyone else, with your consent as the discloser.

(b) Protection from detrimental conduct
Lonely Planet will protect you from detrimental conduct made or threatened towards you as a consequence
of your disclosure, including:
 your dismissal;
 injury in your employment;
 alteration of your position or duties to your disadvantage;
 discrimination between you and other Lonely Planet employees;
 harassment or intimidation;
 harm or injury, including psychological harm;
 damage to your property;
 damage to your reputation;
 damage to your business or financial position; or
 any other damage.
We will do this by reducing the risk that you will be identified from the information contained in your disclosure,
such as by redacting any personal information and having in place secure record keeping/ information sharing
systems.
If you feel that you have suffered detriment as a result of making a disclosure, you can lodge a complaint to
the contact listed in Annexure 1 and your complaint will be investigated separately. You should also obtain
independent legal advice if you suffer loss, damage or injury because of a disclosure, as you may qualify for
compensation and other remedies.

(c) Protection from legal action
By making a disclosure, you will be protected (except for any misconduct you have engaged in) from any of
the following:
 civil liability, e.g. any legal action against the discloser for breach of an employment contract, duty of
confidentiality or other contractual obligation;
 criminal liability, e.g. attempted prosecution for discloser of unlawfully releasing information, or other
use of the disclosure against you in a prosecution (other than for making a false disclosure); and
 administrative liability e.g. disciplinary action for making the disclosure.

 

(7) How Lonely Planet will handle and investigate your concern

Lonely Planet will fully investigate all eligible disclosures and, whilst the process/ timeframes may vary
depending on the nature and complexity of the disclosure, Lonely Planet will attempt to adhere to the
following:

(a) Handling a disclosure:
Once you have reported your concern, Lonely Planet will assess what action should be taken. If your concern
is not about reporting information relating to a disclosable matter (see section 3 above) and it can be dealt
with under another Lonely Planet policy, then you will be given support and advice about the steps you can
take.
If your concern is in relation to a disclosable matter and can be dealt with under this policy, then Lonely Planet
will need to assess whether a formal, in depth investigation is required.

(b) Investigating a disclosure:
If Lonely Planet considers that it will need to investigate your disclosure, it will determine the following:
 the nature and scope of the investigation;
 the person(s) within and/or outside Lonely Planet that should lead the investigation;
 the nature of any technical, financial or legal advice that it may require to support the investigation;
and
 the timeframe for the investigation.
Lonely Planet will then prioritise and progress the investigation using appropriate methods depending on the
nature of the disclosure. It will also provide documentation and reporting to those responsible for the oversight
of this policy, whilst preserving confidentiality. At the end of the investigation, Lonely Planet will provide
information to you.
Lonely Planet is not obliged to reopen an investigation and it can conclude any reviews it does agree to
undertake if it finds that the investigation was conducted properly, or new information is either not available
or would not change the findings of the investigation.
Please note, Lonely Planet may not be able to undertake an investigation if insufficient information is provided
and it is not able to contact you (see section 5 above).

(c) Timeframes:
Lonely Planet will conduct all investigations carried out under this Whistleblower Policy in a timely manner. It
will ensure you, as the discloser, are provided with regular updates (as long as you can be contacted,
including through anonymous channels) during key stages whilst the investigation is in progress and after
the investigation has been finalised.
The disclosure handling and investigation process will be undertaken in confidence and appropriate records
and documents for each step in the process will be maintained.

 

(8) Ensuring fair treatment of individuals mentioned in a disclosure

We are committed to the fair treatment of our employees who are mentioned in an eligible disclosure,
including those who are the subject of the disclosure. To ensure fairness, all eligible disclosures will be
handled confidentially when it is practical and appropriate to do so in the circumstances. When an
investigation needs to be undertaken, the process will be objective, fair and independent.
If you are a Lonely Planet employee, you can access the employee assistance program (EAP) for a free and
confidential counselling service. For more information, contact the HR team.

 

(9) Where to locate a full copy of this policy

A current, up-to-date version of this policy is available:
 on the Lonely Planet website;
 on The Road;
 the policy will be communicated to all employees and officers by way of email on implementation;
 at staff briefing sessions and/or training sessions as applicable on an ongoing basis; and
 in staff induction information packs and when training new starters.

 

Annexure 1

“Eligible recipients”
The following staff at Lonely Planet are eligible recipients for the purpose of this policy:
 an officer of the company (including directors or member of the senior leadership team at Lonely
Planet);
 senior managers;
 Lonely Planet’s internal or external auditor, actuary or related entity;
 ASIC, APRA (or another Commonwealth body prescribed by regulation); and
 a legal practitioner for the purpose of obtaining legal advice/representation about the whistleblower
provisions in the Corporations Act.
Public interest & emergency disclosures
You will also qualify for protection under the Corporations Act in certain circumstances if you need to make
a public interest disclosure or an emergency disclosure. It is important that you fully understand the criteria
for making a public interest or emergency disclosure (before doing so) and you should first seek independent
legal advice.
Reporting detriment as a result of a disclosure
The following person can be contacted if you feel that you have suffered detriment as a result of your
disclosure (see section 6(b) of the Whistleblower Policy):
Contact: Megan Breen, HR Consultant
Contact details: megan.breen@lonelyplanet.com

 

Legal/HR – Australia, December 2019