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Fair Work Amendment Bill 2012

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The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia







Fair Work Amendment Bill 2012



( 1 )     Schedule 5 , page 34 (after line 9) , at the end of the Schedule, add:

Part 3—Protection for whistleblowers

Fair Work Act 2009

4  Section 12


public interest disclosure : see subsection 351A(2).

5  After section 351


351A  Public interest disclosures

             (1)  A person (the first person ) must not take adverse action against, threaten or harass another person because the first person believes that the other person made, or was going to make, a public interest disclosure.

Note:          This section is a civil remedy provision (See Part 4-1).

             (2)  A public interest disclosure means a disclosure covered by subsection (3) if it is made in the circumstances covered by subsection (4), but does not include a disclosure of information by a person if the person knows that the information, or part of the information, is false or misleading.

             (3)  This subsection covers disclosures by a person about any of the following kinds of conduct that the person reasonably believes an employer, employee or an independent contractor has engaged in, or intends to engage in:

                     (a)  an act or omission that would constitute a crime against the laws of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory;

                     (b)  a misappropriation of money or property belonging to another;

                     (c)  a misuse or concealment of information that relates to, or has been obtained because of, a person’s employment, where the misuse or concealment is made for personal benefit or is detrimental to the public interest;

                     (d)  an act or omission that presents a significant risk to:

                              (i)  a person’s safety; or

                             (ii)  public health; or

                            (iii)  the environment;

                     (e)  an act or omission that has, or is likely to cause, an unjust or unacceptable impact on a person.

             (4)  A disclosure by a person is made in the circumstances covered by this subsection if:

                     (a)  either:

                              (i)  the person has made the disclosure to his or her employer and the employer has failed to properly respond in a reasonable time; or

                             (ii)  it is not appropriate for the person to make the disclosure to his or her employer; and

                     (b)  it is reasonably necessary for the person to make the disclosure to a person other than his or her employer.

             (5)  No action or proceeding, whether criminal or civil, lies against a person for or in relation to a public interest disclosure made by the person in accordance with this section.

6  Subsection 539(2) (column 1 of item 11 of the table)

After “351(1)”, insert “351A(1)”.

[protection for public interest disclosures]