Whistleblower Protection Policy
Lexus Australia is committed to encouraging and supporting ethical conduct and fostering a positive and open environment. The purpose of this Policy is to:
- encourage the reporting of actual or suspected wrongdoing;
- help deter wrongdoing and promote integrity;
- outline the protections available to individuals who disclose actual or suspected wrongdoing; and
- provide information on how Lexus Australia handles and investigates reports of actual or suspected wrongdoing.
This Policy applies to all former and current Lexus Australia employees, as well as the additional people included in the definition of Reporting Persons.
It is important for Reporting Persons to understand that, in addition to the protections outlined in this Policy, statutory protections are available for protected reports under the Corporations Act and the Taxation Administration Act (together, Protections). The Protections will only be available if a report complies with the terms outlined in this Policy. For information on the Protections, please refer to the Policy Principles below.
While Lexus Australia encourages individuals to report any concerns they may have, not all types of concerns are intended to be covered by this Policy. The types of concerns that are generally not covered by this Policy are Guest Complaints and Personal Work-Related Grievances.
If you are a guest and have a product or customer service concern, please contact Lexus Customer Assistance Centre on 1800 023 009.
Personal Work-Related Grievances
If you are an employee or contractor of Lexus Australia and wish to report a grievance that directly affects you personally in the context of your employment or wish to report any Personal Work-Related Grievance, you should contact a Manager or your Human Resources Business Partner.
While reports that are exclusively about Personal Work-Related Grievances will not qualify for the Protections, these reports may be protected under other legislation, such as the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).
Individuals who report Personal Work-Related Grievances can still qualify for the Protections in some circumstances, including if:
- a report of a Personal Work-Related Grievance includes information about misconduct or unethical conduct; or
- the individual who reports a Personal Work-Related Grievance suffers from, or is threatened with, Detriment for making the report.
If you are unsure whether a report relating to a Personal Work-Related Grievance qualifies for the Protections, or if you have questions regarding your rights and protections under employment or contract law, we recommend you seek independent legal advice.
AFP means the Australian Federal Police.
APRA means the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.
ASIC means the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
Corporations Act means the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), as amended from time to time.
Detriment or Detrimental Conduct includes:
- disciplinary action;
- harm or injury to a person, including psychological harm;
- damage to a person’s property;
- damage to a person’s reputation;
- damage to a person’s business or financial position; or
- or other unfavourable treatment,
but does not include:
- administrative action that is reasonable to protect an individual who makes a report under this Policy;
- conduct that involves managing the unsatisfactory work performance individual who makes a report under this Policy, if the action is consistent with Lexus Australia’s internal policies and standards.
Personal Work-Related Grievances are those that relate to an individual’s current or former employment and have, or tend to have, implications for the individual personally, but do not have any other significant implications for Lexus Australia or relate to any conduct, or alleged conduct, about Reportable Conduct, and may include:
- a personal conflict between the discloser and another employee;
- a decision relating to the engagement, transfer or promotion of the discloser;
- a decision that does not involve a breach of workplace laws; and / or
- a decision by Lexus Australia to suspend or terminate the engagement of the discloser, or otherwise discipline the discloser;
Policy means this Whistleblower Protection Policy, as amended from time to time in accordance with its terms.
Reportable Conduct includes information:
- concerning misconduct in relation to Lexus Australia or its Related Bodies Corporate, such as corruption, bribery, fraud, money laundering, terrorist financing or other serious misconduct;
- concerning an improper state of affairs relating to Lexus Australia or its Related Bodies Corporate;
- concerning an improper state of affairs relating to Lexus Australia’s tax affairs;
- that indicates Lexus Australia, its officers, employees, Related Bodies Corporate or their officers or employees have engaged in conduct that constitutes an offence against, or a contravention of, a provision of any of the following:
- the Corporations Act;
- the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001;
- the Banking Act 1959;
- the Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001;
- the Insurance Act 1973;
- the Life Insurance Act 1995;
- the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009;
- the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993;
- that indicates Lexus Australia, its officers, employees, Related Bodies Corporate or their officers or employees have committed an offence against any Commonwealth law punishable by twelve (12) months imprisonment;
- that indicates Lexus Australia, its officers, employees, Related Bodies Corporate or their officers or employees represent a danger to the public or financial system;
- concerns engaging in or threatening to engage in Detrimental Conduct against a person who has made a report under this Policy or is believed or suspected to have made, or be planning to make, a report under this Policy;
- that indicates a significant risk to public safety or the stability of, or confidence in, the financial system, even if the relevant conduct does not involve a breach of a particular law;
- concerns an unsafe work-practice; and / or
- concerns unethical conduct (including breach of Lexus Australia’s Code of Ethics or generally) or breach of Lexus Australia’s policies or procedures.
Related Body Corporate has the meaning given to it by the Corporations Act.
Taxation Administration Act means the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth), as amended from time to time.
Lexus Australia or Lexus means Lexus Australia, a division of Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Limited (ABN 009 686 097) of 155 Bertie Street Port Melbourne VIC 3207
1. Reporting under this Policy
To qualify for the Protections, you must be:
- a current or former employee (whether permanent, part time, fixed term, temporary, an intern or secondee) or contractor of Lexus Australia;
- a person who is providing, or has supplied goods or services to Lexus Australia, whether paid or unpaid;
- a current or former employee of a person identified in Item 1(b);
- an officer or an associate of Lexus Australia, for example, a director or company secretary of Lexus Australia or of a Related Body Corporate of Lexus Australia; or
- relatives, spouses or dependents of current and former employees, contractors, consultants, service providers, suppliers and business partners of Lexus Australia.
For the purposes of this Policy, individuals who can make a report under this Policy are referred to collectively as Reporting Persons.
2. What you can report
To qualify for the Protections, you must have reasonable grounds to suspect that the information you are reporting is related to misconduct or an improper state of affairs or circumstances concerning Lexus Australia, or a Director, Officer or employee of Lexus Australia.
What information may constitute misconduct or an improper state of affairs?
Examples of conduct that may constitute misconduct or an improper state of affairs include:
- issues of honesty or integrity, including fraud, theft, bribery, corruption, money laundering or misappropriation of funds;
- conduct or practices that are illegal or breach any law, regulation or code of conduct, including drug sale/use, violence or threatened violence and criminal damage;
- conflicts of interest, including bribery, kickbacks or improper payments and unfair tendering or procurement practices;
- breaches of privacy or confidentiality;
- actual or potential breaches of human rights standards;
- practices or behaviours that have significant implications for Lexus Australia or the Lexus brand, including in relation to people or operations located outside of Australia;
- practices or behaviours that present a risk to public health, safety, the environment or the stability of, or confidence in, the financial system; or
- unethical behaviour, including breaches of Lexus Australia’s policies and codes of conduct. It also includes the kinds of misconduct or unethical behaviour listed in the definition of Reportable Conduct, above.
Reasonable grounds mean that a person with the same information as you would also suspect the information indicates misconduct or an improper state of affairs. You will not be penalised if the information turns out to be incorrect.
3. To whom reports can be made
To qualify for the Protections, you must make your report directly to one of the following individuals or organisations:
- an officer of Lexus Australia, for example, a director or the company secretary of Lexus Australia;
- a Vice-President, M1 (General Manager) or M2 (Senior Manager) of Lexus Australia;
- an auditor, or an individual who is a member of the audit team, of Lexus Australia or of a Related Body Corporate;
- an actuary of Lexus Australia or of a Related Body Corporate;
- TELToyota, a free, independent third party service provider, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by calling 1300 30 45 50, emailing Toyota@stopline.com.au or by mail to Tel Toyota c/o STOPline, Locked Bag 8, Hawthorn, 3122;
- ASIC or APRA; or
- your lawyer for the purposes of obtaining legal advice or legal representation about the operation of the whistleblower protections in the Corporations Act.
Individuals who are not employees or contractors of Lexus Australia and wish to make a report directly to Lexus Australia can send their report by post to 155 Bertie Street Port Melbourne VIC 3207 (marked to the attention of the Company Secretary) or contact TEL Toyota, as detailed above.
Reports to a journalist or parliamentarian
Additionally, the Protections will also apply to you if you make a report to a journalist or a member of the Commonwealth Parliament or a State or Territory Parliament that complies with the conditions outlined below.
Please note the Protections will not apply to you if you report your concerns to the public in a way that does not comply with the conditions outlined below.
If you have any questions about the criteria for making a making a public interest or emergency report that qualifies for the Protections, we recommend you seek independent legal advice. Additionally, it may be worthwhile to seek independent legal advice before making a public interest report or an emergency report.
Public interest report
A ‘public interest report’ is the disclosure of information to a journalist or a parliamentarian, where:
- you have previously reported information to ASIC or APRA that relates to one or more of the matters listed in section 2 of this Policy;
- at least 90 days have passed since you reported your concerns to ASIC or APRA, and you do not have reasonable grounds to believe that action to address your concerns is being, or has been, taken;
- you have reasonable grounds to believe that reporting your concerns to a journalist or parliamentarian would be in the public interest;
- after 90 days from when you reported to ASIC or APRA, you give ASIC or APRA a written notice that includes sufficient information to identify your earlier report and states your intention to make a public interest report. This could be by contacting the ASIC officer who considered your concerns and quoting the reference number of your case; and
- you report your concerns to a journalist or a parliamentarian. The extent of the information disclosed must be no greater than is necessary to inform the journalist or a parliamentarian about your concerns.
If a public interest report complies with the conditions outlined above, you will qualify for the Protections.
An ‘emergency report’ is the disclosure of information to a journalist or a parliamentarian, where:
- you have previously made a report to ASIC or APRA that that relates to one or more of the matters listed in section 2 of this Policy;
- you have reasonable grounds to believe that the information in your report concerns substantial and imminent danger to the health or safety of one or more people or to the natural environment;
- you give ASIC or APRA a written notice that includes sufficient information to identify your earlier report and states your intention to make an emergency report. This could be by contacting the ASIC officer who considered your concerns and quoting the reference number of your case; and
- you report your concerns about the substantial or imminent danger to a journalist or parliamentarian. The extent of the information disclosed must be no greater than is necessary to inform the journalist or a parliamentarian about the substantial and imminent danger.
If an emergency report complies with the conditions outlined above, you will qualify for the Protections.
4. Investigation of Reportable Conduct
Within 10 working days of receiving a report under this Policy, Lexus Australia’s General Counsel, Corporate Services administrators (Risk & Compliance) and Human Resources (as required) will assess the report to determine whether a formal investigation is required and whether the individual who has made the report qualifies for the Protections (Assessment).
If it is determined that the individual is entitled to the Protections and a formal investigation is required, then:
- a formal investigation will be commenced within 7 working days of the Assessment being made and concluded as soon as reasonably practicable;
- the individual will promptly be assigned a Whistleblower Protection Officer (WPO), whose responsibilities will include maintaining regular contact with the individual and updating the individual on the progress of Lexus Australia’s investigation into their report. For more information on the role of WPOs, please refer to section 6;
- promptly after the conclusion of the investigation, a written report of the findings from the investigation will be made to the General Manager of Corporate Services and the General Manager of People & Business Development who will determine required actions and outcomes. Those actions and outcomes will be carried out and completed as soon as reasonably practicable; and
- Lexus Australia will advise the individual of the outcome of any investigation within 7 working days of its conclusion, so far as it pertains to them.
An illustration of the investigation process is provided below:
Diagram 4.1 Process to investigate Reportable Conduct