[Image explanation: If you think something is wrong and you want to speak up. If it involves oppressive, grossly negligent conduct, is illegal, an offence or a contravention of a law, or is dishonest, fraudulent or corrupt, you should talk to a Speak Up Protection Officer. You will be protected and your disclosure will be dealt with appropriately and as quickly as possible.]
If it doesn't involve those, and it's a personal work related grievance, like workplace conflict, this policy doesn't apply. Please refer to our 'Complaints Principles' policy.
At Hireup, we are committed to conducting business with fairness, integrity and respect for the law, and in accordance with the code of conduct for support workers and our values. This policy is designed to ensure that you know how to disclose any ‘Disclosable Matters’ involving our business, community or employees, and if you make a disclosure, that:
- you know that you can do so safely, securely and with confidence that you will be protected and supported; and
- you feel comfortable that the disclosure will be dealt with appropriately and as quickly as possible.
This policy is our way of ensuring that our people are protected by the laws which apply to whistleblowers. In that regard, any reference to “speaking up” takes on the same meaning as a whistleblower under applicable legislation.
Who does this policy apply to?
This policy applies to a range of people including:
- home care and support workers employed by Hireup (Support Worker);
- any former Support Workers;
- current and former officers and directors of Hireup;
- suppliers, contractors and consultants (paid or unpaid) of Hireup;
- associates, relatives, dependants, spouses, or dependants of a spouse of the above people
If you become aware of any misconduct or improper state of affairs relating to Hireup, we encourage you to make a disclosure to Hireup directly in the first instance.
What can I speak up about under this policy?
You can speak up about any misconduct or improper state of affairs relating to Hireup (called Disclosable Matters) including (but not limited to):
- dishonesty or corruption;
- illegal conduct, such as theft; dealing in, or the use of illicit drugs; violence or threatened violence; and criminal damage against property;
- fraud, money laundering or misappropriation of funds;
- offering or accepting bribes;
- financial irregularities; and
- failure to comply with, or breach of, legal or regulatory requirements.
Examples of Disclosable Matters include:
- a person fraudulently claiming travel allowances when they’re not travelling, or submitting shifts/ hours that are never worked; or
- a person giving a bribe or paying money to use someone else’s identity to access the Hireup platform.
The above are just examples of matters which may be Disclosable Matters. However, It is important to recognise the seriousness of speaking up and that false claims can affect the integrity of true claims. Please keep this in mind and only speak up about issues you believe to be true.
What is not included in this policy?
A Disclosable Matter does not include personal work-related grievances. For example:
- an interpersonal conflict between you and the person you support, or an account manager;
- Interpersonal conflict between you and another Support Worker;
- a decision relating to your engagement as a Support Worker, including cancellation of shifts; or
- a decision to suspend, terminate or otherwise to discipline you.
These grievances should be reported in accordance with our complaint principles. If you report any of the above work-related grievances, you will not be treated in the way set out in this policy.
How to speak up
If you become aware of any Disclosable Matters, we encourage you to make a disclosure under this policy.
Who can I speak up to at Hireup?
There are several ways that you can speak up and share information relating to any Disclosable Matters. In the first instance we encourage you to disclose to the Primary Speak Up Protection Officers listed below:
- Head of Community Support - Danny Meyer (email@example.com)
- Head of Trust & Safety - Jonathan Ireland (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Head of Service - Jess Timmins (email@example.com)
If you are unable, or not comfortable speaking with any of the Primary Speak Up Protection Officers, you can speak up to any of the following Alternative Speak Up Protection Officers:
- Any Hireup officer or director;
- Any legal practitioner working in our legal team; or
- Auditors or members of an audit team conducting an audit of Hireup.
Making a disclosure to any of these Speak Up Protection Officers will ensure that your disclosure qualifies for protection under this policy and the law. The Protection Officers will protect your interests and will ensure the rules and requirements in this policy are followed in relation to your disclosure.
Can I speak up anonymously?
You can speak up anonymously at any time by either:
- submitting an anonymous complaints form to Hireup and identifying on the form that you’re making a disclosure under this policy; or
- making a disclosure to any of the Speak Up Protection Officers listed above and advising them that you wish to remain anonymous.
If you choose to speak up anonymously, the Speak Up Protection Officer you speak to cannot, by law, identify you, or disclose information that is likely to lead to your identification (except in certain limited circumstances). If you are concerned that your identity has been shared, please speak to another Speak Up Protection Officer.
Of course, it may be more difficult for us to properly investigate the matters you disclose if a report is submitted anonymously and so we encourage you to share your identity when making a disclosure where possible.
Can I speak up to someone externally?
If you do not feel comfortable making a report to a Speak Up Protection Officer, through our anonymous complaints form, or if you are not happy with the response to your report, you may make a disclosure to:
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) or the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). You will be covered by similar protections outlined in this policy.
- An external legal practitioner. You will be covered by the same protections outlined in this policy.
What happens once I speak up?
What steps will be taken once I speak up?
Once you speak up, the relevant Speak Up Protection Officer will:
- confirm whether your disclosure falls under this policy; and then
- investigate the information you provided about suspected Disclosable Matters as soon as practicable. Where necessary, the Officer might appoint an external investigator to assist in conducting the investigation.
You have the right to be anonymous should you wish to speak up.
All investigations will be conducted in a fair, independent and timely manner and all reasonable efforts will be made to preserve your confidentiality during the investigation.
If your report was not anonymous, the Speak Up Protection Officer will contact you to discuss the investigation process. Where you have chosen to remain anonymous, your identity will not be disclosed and Hireup will undertake the investigation based on the information provided to it.
Where possible, the Speak Up Protection Officer will provide you with feedback on the progress, expected timeframes and findings of the investigation.
What protection will I receive if I speak up?
Hireup is committed to ensuring that any person who speaks up is treated fairly and does not suffer any detriment as a result of speaking up. All information that you provide when you speak up will be treated confidentially and sensitively. There are limited circumstances where Hireup is entitled to share information you’ve spoken up about.
Firstly, if you speak up under this policy you will not be subject to any civil, criminal or administrative legal action for making that disclosure under this policy or for participating in any investigation about that disclosure.
Secondly, Hireup is committed to ensuring that you will not experience any detrimental conduct if you speak up under this policy and will take necessary action if such conduct is identified. Detrimental conduct includes actual or threatened conduct such as:
- termination of your employment;
- demotion, disciplinary action or alteration of your position or duties;
- any discrimination, harassment, bullying, intimidation or victimisation;
- harm or injury including psychological harm or damage to your property; and
- damage to your reputation.
If you are subjected to detrimental conduct as a result of speaking up under this policy or participating in an investigation, you should inform a Speak Up Protection Officer immediately. In certain circumstances, you may also seek alternate remedies if you believe you have not been afforded adequate protection.
What support is available?
If you speak up under this policy or if you are involved in a disclosure made under this policy, you may access Hireup’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which is a free and confidential counselling service to access this service please see details below:
- Phone: 1300 364 273
- Text: 0401 33 77 11 (within Australia)
- Web: acaciaconnection.com
Further, if appropriate, we may appoint an independent support person from the Service team to support you. You may also access third party support providers such as Lifeline (13 11 14) and Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636) for support.
Any breach of this policy will be taken seriously and may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of your employment.
Hireup may vary, remove or replace this policy at any time.
Support Workers are encouraged to read this policy in conjunction with other relevant Hireup policies, including the complaints procedures and code of conduct for support workers.