Whistle Blower Policy

Purpose

Enrich Living Services (Enrich Living) is committed to the highest standards of professional conduct and ethical behaviour in all our activities and to promote and support a culture of honest and ethical behaviour.

Enrich encourages the reporting of any instances of suspected unethical, illegal, fraudulent or undesirable conduct and will ensure that people who make a report, will be able to without fear of reprisal.

Scope of policy

This policy relates to all Enrich Living services, current and former employees, clients, carers, family, visitors, agency staff and members of the public.

Definitions

Any defined terms below are specific to this document:

Allegations

Information that suggests improper, corrupt, unsafe or unethical conduct by Enrich Living as a company or by employees of Enrich Living.

Improper conduct

Improper conduct means conduct that is:

  • Illegal
  • A substantial mismanagement of company resources
  • Conduct involving a substantial risk to clients, public health and safety and the environment
  • Conduct by an employee, former employee of Enrich that amounts to the misuse of information or material acquired in the course of the performance of their official functions, or deliberate concealment of the above.

Examples of improper conduct are:

  • An employee using confidential client information, Enrich Living intellectual property or resources to market or further their own business
  • An employee misappropriating Enrich Living or client monies.

Corrupt conduct

Corrupt conduct means:

  • Conduct of any person (whether or not an employee) that adversely affects the honest performance of an employee’s role or responsibilities or the functions of Enrich Living
  • The performance of an employee’s functions dishonestly or with inappropriate partiality or conflict of interest
  • A conspiracy or attempt to engage in the above conduct.

Examples of corrupt conduct are:

  • An employee destroying or amending Enrich Living records for self-protection
  • A senior manager threatening or pressuring other staff to conceal or destroy incriminating information or evidence.

The conduct must be serious enough to constitute, if proved, a criminal offence or reasonable grounds for dismissal.

Unsafe conduct

Unsafe conduct is where the conduct of the person is likely to cause harm to Enrich Living clients.

Unethical conduct

Unethical conduct is where the conduct of the person is acting or behaving in a way that is not illegal but is still:

  • Wrong, unfair, biased
  • In breach of the Enrich Living employee code of conduct
  • Is detrimental to the Enrich Living image and/or reputation
  • Diminishes the well being or dignity of an Enrich Living client.

Whistle Blower

A person who makes an allegation of improper conduct or corrupt conduct under the Whistle Blower Policy to a Whistle Blower Protection Officer.

Whistle Blower Protection Officer

Whistle Blower Protection Officer is a senior Enrich Living manager with designated responsibility for receipt and acknowledgement of allegations made under this Whistle Blower Policy.

Responsibilities

Employees

It is expected that employees of Enrich Living who become aware of known, suspected or potential cases of improper, unethical corrupt or unsafe conduct will make a report under this policy or under other applicable policies of the company.

Whistle Blower Protection Officer

Whistle Blower Protection Officer is a senior Enrich Living manager with designated responsibility for receipt and acknowledgement of allegations made under this Whistle Blower Policy. They are responsible for ongoing communication with and feedback to the Whistle Blower, if the Whistle Blower wishes for this.

They are also responsible for ensuring the ongoing health and well being and provision of support and protection to Whistle Blowers.

In relation to the allegations reported to them, they are responsible for ensuring documentation, appropriate investigation, action on investigation outcomes, identification of systemic issues contributing to opportunity for wrongdoing and implementation of action plans to redress, and reporting via the Board.

Executive General Manager People and Culture

The executive general manager, people and culture is responsible for developing and implementing the policy and education and training of staff in the application of the policy through induction and other education.

Chief Operating Officer

The chief operating officer is responsible for promoting the Whistle Blower Policy to clients of Enrich Living as part of the suite of Enrich Living complaints and incident reporting mechanisms, and ensuring clients, their families and carers are aware of opportunities to report wrongdoing.

Senior Leadership Team

The Enrich Living senior leadership team are responsible for promoting the Whistle Blower Policy to employees and clients of Enrich Living as part of the suite of Enrich Living complaints and incident reporting mechanisms, and ensuring employees, contractors, clients, their families and carers are aware of opportunities to report wrongdoing.

Investigator

An Investigator will be responsible for carrying out an internal investigation into allegations reported to Enrich Living. An Investigator may be a person from within Enrich or an external consultant engaged for that purpose.

Whistle Blower procedure

To outline the processes for people (clients, carers, family, staff, contractors, general public) to report alleged improper or corrupt conduct in relation to any aspect of Enrich Living’s services, without fear of reprisal.

Creating an organisational culture of openness and transparency

Compliance with the Enrich Living code of conduct is a requirement of all employment contracts. Employees are provided with information at induction that includes the Enrich Living values and code of conduct, duty of care and professional workplace behaviours consistent with the values.

Education and training in Enrich Living policies and procedures relating to safeguarding health and well being, client human rights, information on professional boundaries at work, incident reporting and complaints management processes is provided to all client services employees. Completion of mandatory training is monitored for compliance.

Staff disciplinary processes and investigation processes provide for natural justice for employees in the investigation process prior to determination of employment outcomes.

Reporting alleged improper, corrupt, unethical or unsafe conduct

Any person can report allegations of improper, corrupt, unethical or unsafe conduct, or other concern of wrongdoing by Enrich Living employees or by other people at Enrich Living premises or in the provision of Enrich Living’s services to clients. Reports of allegations can be made via:

Internal Enrich Living reporting processes

Employees and contractors may raise a concern or allegation:
  • With their immediate supervisor or manager or any senior manager in the company. A supervisor or manager in receipt of a report must take the matter to a member of the executive leadership team who will confirm details of the matter and make contact with the whistle blower protection officer.
  • Via the Alayacare platform. Employees and contractors may enter a report at any time and any day via Alayacare reportable events. This can be used to lodge an allegation of improper, corrupt or unethical conduct, an unsafe conduct observed or report an allegation or complaint on behalf of a client.
  • By emailing the governance team by completing our feedback form

Employees and contractors raising a concern or allegation may do so anonymously if they prefer by recording the word “Anonymous” where a name is requested in the form or report. However this may limit the investigation officer’s progress in the investigation if further information is required.

Clients, carers, client family members, former employees and members of the public may raise a concern or allegation
  • Via the Enrich Living Services website feedback form
  • In writing on forms and replied paid envelopes provided to every client by Enrich Living
  • In writing to Governance Team, Enrich Living Services, PO Box 1216, West Leederville, WA 6901.

People contacting Enrich Living to raise a concern or allegation may do so anonymously if they prefer by recording the word “Anonymous” where a name is requested in the form or report. However this may limit the Investigation Officer’s progress in the investigation if further information is required.

Making a report to the Enrich Living Whistle Blower Protection Officer

If you wish to raise an allegation of improper or corrupt conduct or have concerns about the alternative internal Enrich Living reporting processes outlined above, your complaint can be raised by contacting the whistle blower protection officer.

Allegations of improper or corrupt conduct can be made anonymously. However this may limit the investigation officer’s progress in the investigation if further information is required.

Whistle Blower Protection Officer

Stuart Miller
Group Chief Financial Officer, Enrich Health Group
Mobile 0428 932 479
Email using our feedback form to the attention of Stuart Miller
Level 13, 201 Miller Street North Sydney NSW 2060

External avenues of complaint

If you wish to raise a complaint with an external body, alternative contacts are as follows:

  • Elder Abuse Helpline or call 1300 628 221
  • My Aged Care – 1800 200 422 or Aged Care Complaints Commissioner – 1800 550 552
  • Department Veterans Affairs (DVA) – 1800 555 254
  • WA Home and Community Care (HACC) External Appeal Process – 1800 200 422, or mail: Director, Aged and Continuing Care Directorate, Department of Health PO Box 8172 Perth WA 6849
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Health and Disability Services Complaints Office GPO Box B61 Perth WA 6838 -1800 813 583
  • Transition Care Services (TCS) (WA), Health and Disability Services Complaints Office GPO Box B61 Perth WA 6838 – 1800 813 583
  • Transition Aged Care Program (TACP) (NSW), NSW Health Care Complaints Commission Locked Mail Bag 18 Strawberry Hills NSW 2012 – 1800 043 159
  • Fairwork Ombudsman www.fairwork.gov.au

Enrich Living action following reported allegations of improper or corrupt conduct

Confidentiality and mandatory reporting

Enrich Living will maintain the confidentiality and security of files and reports within the law. This means that wherever possible, privacy and confidentiality of the Whistle Blower and the content of the reported allegations will be protected and contained to a minimum “needs to know” basis.

However, there are on occasion legislative or standard mandatory reporting obligations (e.g. elder abuse) which must take priority over confidentiality considerations.

Protection from adverse action, discrimination or other negative consequences of reporting

People who report allegations will be treated with respect and will not suffer any adverse action, reprisals, discrimination, harassment or victimisation as a consequence of their having made a report of alleged improper, corrupt or unethical conduct to Enrich Living Services.

Investigation procedures

All reported allegations will be reviewed by the group Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer (where relating to clients) and the Executive General Manager, People and Culture (where staff are involved) to determine appropriate investigation arrangements.

The responsible executive manager will be involved in this decision provided these managers are not parties to the allegation/s; will not be subject to participating in the investigation as a respondent or witness; and their involvement will not compromise the confidentiality of the complainant or the investigation process.

Investigations will be conducted in a fair and objective manner and consistent with Enrich Living’s workplace investigation procedure. Investigations may be conducted by an internal investigator where this is considered appropriately independent. Enrich Living may alternatively engage the services of an independent external investigator.

As a first step in the investigation process, the investigator (internal or external) will develop an investigation plan outlining the allegations, parties to be involved as respondents or witnesses to the investigation and anticipated timeframe for completion of the investigation process.

For reports considered to be potential criminal matters, immediate reporting to external authorities may be necessary e.g. the state police.

Feedback and support for whistle blowers

The whistle blower protection officer is responsible for providing feedback to the whistle blower on:

  • On the anticipated time frame for the investigation process
  • Maintaining contact during the course of the investigation, if the whistle blower desires
  • Monitoring the health and wellbeing of the Whistle Blower and supports available to them, including EAP services provided by Enrich Living
  • Notifying the Whistle Blower on completion of the investigation. (Note: due to privacy considerations, Whistle Blowers are not entitled to know the details of disciplinary action or consequences for people involved in the investigation. They may however be informed that the investigation is closed and provided general advice on what action has been taken by Enrich Living.)

Action on completion of investigations

The Whistle Blower Protection officer is responsible for receipt of the investigation report and determination of appropriate action/consequences. This will be discussed with the Group Chief Executive Officer where they are not implicated in the allegations. Responsibilities for action can include:

  • Executing appropriate consequences for individuals where allegations are substantiated in the investigation report (e.g. staff disciplinary action, termination of employment, termination of contracts etc)
  • Identifying and developing an action plan to redress any organisational systemic issues (e.g. gaps in policies, procedures and operational practices) that created opportunity for the wrongdoing to occur
  • Reporting the issue, investigation outcomes, immediate action taken and action planned to address systemic issues via the Board.