Whistleblower Policy

What is this topic about:

Bunnings is committed to the highest standards of conduct and ethical behaviour in all of our business activities and to promoting and supporting a culture of honest and ethical behaviour, corporate compliance and good corporate governance.

Bunnings encourages the reporting of any instances of suspected unethical, illegal, fraudulent or undesirable conduct involving Bunnings. Bunnings provides protections and measures so that those persons who make a report may do so confidentially and without fear of intimidation, disadvantage or reprisal.

This policy is available on the Bunnings intranet and internet pages. 

 

Who is covered by this policy?

This policy applies to protected disclosures made by:

  • officer, employee, former employee or contractor of Bunnings;
  • an individual who supplies goods or services to Bunnings;
  • an employee of a person or entity who supplies goods or services to Bunnings (whether paid or unpaid);
  • an individual who is an associate of Bunnings (meaning a director or secretary of Bunnings or of its related bodies corporate, or a person acting in concert with Bunnings); and
  • a relative or dependant of any of the persons listed above.
 

What is "Reportable Conduct"?

You may make a report under this policy if you objectively have reasonable grounds to suspect that a Bunnings director, officer, team member, contractor, supplier, tenderer or other person who has business dealings with Bunnings has engaged in conduct ("Reportable Conduct") which:

  • is dishonest, fraudulent or corrupt, including bribery or other activity in breach of the Wesfarmers Anti-bribery Policy;
  • is illegal activity (such as theft, violence, harassment or intimidation, criminal damage to property or other breaches of state or federal law);
  • is unethical or in breach of Bunnings’ policies (such as dishonestly altering company records or data, adopting questionable accounting practices or wilfully breaching Wesfarmers’ Code of Conduct or Bunnings’ other policies or procedures);
  • is potentially damaging to Bunnings, a Bunnings team member or a third party, such as unsafe work practices, environmental damage, health risks or abuse of Bunnings' property or resources;
  • amounts to an abuse of authority or gross negligence or mismanagement by public officials;
  • may cause financial loss to Bunnings or damage its reputation or be otherwise detrimental to Bunnings’ interests; 
  • involves serious wrongdoing in Bunnings or by Bunnings, including any criminal offences or any act or omission or course of conduct that constitutes a serious risk to public health or safety or the environment;
  • involves threats (expressly or impliedly) to take any retaliatory action against another person, where such action is taken against that person because they have made or may make a disclosure that qualifies for protection under this Policy or because they provide voluntary supporting information. Retaliatory action includes any victimisation, bullying, discrimination or harassment, whether against a Bunnings employee or another person; or 
  • involves any other kind of misconduct or an improper state of affairs or circumstances.

 

What is NOT Reportable Conduct?

This policy is not intended to apply to disclosures relating to conduct concerning a person’s individual employment or former employment (other than as set out in Reportable Conduct), such as:

  • an interpersonal conflict at work;
  • a decision relating to engagement, transfer or promotion;
  • a decision relating to terms and conditions of engagement; or
  • a decision to suspend or terminate the engagement or to discipline the person.

These matters will not be deemed to be Reportable Conduct, do not fall within the scope of this policy, and will typically be investigated or addressed separately under Bunnings’ Respectful Workplaces Policy.

 

Who can I make a report to?

Bunnings has several channels for making a report if you become aware of any issue or behaviour which you consider to be Reportable Conduct:

To Speak Up (Independent third-party) 

A report may be made via the Bunnings Speak Up Service: a free external hotline and reporting service independently monitored by Deloitte.

Speak Up reporting options are:

by phone: 0800 176 386

by email: SpeakUp@deloitte.com.au

web-based access: www.SpeakUp.deloitte.com.au

by post: Speak Up
              Freepost 256853
              PO Box 90553
              Victoria Street

              Auckland 1142
              New Zealand

Reports may be made anonymously but if you provide your contact details to Speak Up, those contact details will only be provided to Bunnings if you consent. (Bunnings’ previous platform, BHonest, will continue for a period of transition in conjunction with Speak Up).
              

To a Protected Disclosure Officer

In order to ensure appropriate escalation if a disclosure is made internally, and timely investigation, we request that reports are made to any one of our Protected Disclosure Officers, listed below:

Michael Schneider               Phone: +61 3 8831 9670

Managing Director

 

Jacqui Coombes                  Phone: +64 9 978 2242
Director HR & NZ

 

Justin Williams                   Phone: +61 8 9365 1706
Chief Financial Officer

 

By post

Reports may also be posted to c/- Locked Bag 3004, Hawthorn, Victoria, 3122 (marked Private & Confidential and to the attention of one of the Protected Disclosure Officers).

In order to qualify for protection, the disclosure must be made to one of the recipients outlined above, or any other recipient prescribed by law, such as an “officer” or “senior manager” of the company (includes a director, or a senior manager in the company who makes, or participates in making, decisions that affect the whole, or a substantial part, of the business of the company, or who has the capacity to affect significantly the company’s financial standing), the relevant regulator or Bunning's auditor. 

 

Reportable Conduct will not be protected if the disclosing party:

  • knows the allegations to be false or acts in bad faith; or
  • discloses information protected by legal professional privilege.

 

Bunnings' investigation of Reportable Conduct

 

Bunnings will investigate all Reportable Conduct reported under this policy as soon as practicable after the matter has been reported. Speak Up, or a Protected Disclosure Officer may, with your consent, appoint a person to assist in the investigation of a report. Where appropriate, Bunnings will provide feedback to you regarding the investigation’s progress and/or outcome (subject to considerations of the privacy of those against whom allegations are made). 

The investigation will be conducted in an objective and fair manner, and otherwise as is reasonable and appropriate having regard to the nature of the Reportable Conduct and the circumstances.

While the particular investigation process and enquiries adopted will be determined by the nature and substance of the report, in general, as soon as practicable upon receipt of the report, if the report is not anonymous, a Protected Disclosure Officer or delegate will contact you to discuss the investigation process, including who may be contacted and such other matters as are relevant to the investigation.

Where a report is submitted anonymously, Bunnings will conduct the investigation and its enquiries based on the information provided to it.

 

 

Protection of Whistleblowers

 

Bunnings is committed to ensuring confidentiality in respect of all matters raised under this policy, and that those who make a report are treated fairly and do not suffer retaliatory action.

 

(a) Protection against retaliatory conduct

Retaliatory action includes dismissal, demotion, harassment, discrimination, disciplinary action, bias, threats or other unfavourable treatment connected with making a report.

If you are subjected to detrimental treatment as a result of making a report under this policy you should:

  • inform a Protected Disclosure Officer, officer or senior manager of Bunnings immediately; or
  • make a separate report about the threatened or actual retaliatory action in accordance with this policy.

Bunnings will not tolerate whistleblowers suffering threats of any retaliatory action or actual retaliatory action as a result of making a disclosure or report or because they may make a disclosure or report under this Policy and any such actions taken may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

(b) Protection of your identity and confidentiality

Subject to compliance with legal requirements, upon receiving a report under this policy, Bunnings will only share your identity as a whistleblower or information likely to reveal your identity if:

  • you consent in writing;
  • the person who has acquired knowledge of the protected report reasonably believes that the disclosure of identifying information is essential to the effective investigation of the allegations in the report or to prevent serious risk to public health or safety or the environment or is essential having regards to the principles of natural justice; or
  • the concern is raised with a lawyer for the purpose of obtaining legal advice or representation.

If Bunnings needs to investigate a report, it may disclose information that could lead to your identification, but it will take reasonable steps to reduce this risk.

Any disclosures of your identity or information likely to reveal your identity will only be made to an employee, advisor or contractor of Bunnings Group Limited, Bunnings Limited, or Wesfarmers Limited, who reasonably has a need to investigate, report on, or respond to, the matters raised in your disclosure. 

(c) Protection of files and records

All files and records created from an investigation will be retained securely.

Unauthorised release of information to someone not involved in the investigation (other than senior managers or directors who need to know to take appropriate action, or for corporate governance purposes) without your consent as a whistleblower will be a breach of this policy.

Whistleblowers are assured that a release of information in breach of this policy will be regarded as a serious matter and will be dealt with under Bunnings’ disciplinary procedures.

 

Employees considering making, or who have made disclosures can also seek further advice from Ombudsmen for advice. The contact details are as follows:

The Ombudsman

PO Box 10152

Wellington 6143

Phone: 0800 802 602

Email: info@ombudsman.parliament.nz

Web: www.ombudsman.parliament.nz

 

Duties of team members in relation to Reportable Conduct

It is expected that Bunnings’ team members who become aware of actual or suspect on reasonable grounds, potential cases of Reportable Conduct, will make a report under this policy or under other applicable policies.

 

Reporting procedures

Protected Disclosure Officers will report to the Bunnings and Wesfarmers boards on the number and type of whistleblower incident reports annually, to enable Wesfarmers to address any issues at a divisional/business unit and/or Group level.  These reports will be made on a ‘no names’ basis, maintaining the confidentiality of matters raised under this policy.

 

The Wesfarmers Audit and Risk Committee will receive copies of all Bunnings whistleblower reports, and whistleblower reports from Protected Disclosure Officers (as appropriate). In addition, serious and/or material Reportable Conduct will be considered by the Protected Disclosure Officers for immediate referral to the Chairman of the Wesfarmers Audit and Risk Committee.

 

Operation and Amendment of this policy

This policy:

  • operates in addition to the Wesfarmers Whistleblower Policy and, in the event of any inconsistency with the Wesfarmers Whistleblower policy, the Wesfarmers Whistleblower policy will prevail to the extent of the inconsistency;
  • cannot be amended without approval of the Bunnings Board. It will be reviewed from time to time to ensure that it remains effective and meets best practice standards and the needs of Bunnings.

LAST AMENDED 4 October 2019

 

Where to find this topic:
AdminDirect – Department Policies and Procedures – Compliance

 

AdminDirect – Department Policies and Procedures – Human Resources – Bunnings Group HR Policies and Procedures

This topic applies to:

All Bunnings Team Members

And is actioned

When required

These topics are relevant to this process:

Ethical behaviour and conflicts of interest Topic ID: 2849 Date Updated: 04-Jul-2019

Respectful Workplace Policy Topic ID: 1356 Date Updated: 03-Jun-2019

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