The purpose of the Policy is to ensure a Discloser feels confident about raising concerns at TOTAL in relation to misconduct, unethical, illegal corrupt, fraudulent, other undesirable conduct and serious wrongdoing. The Policy is designed to create a safe environment for the Discloser and to encourage ethical whistleblowing and hold the company (employer) accountable for protecting the eligible whistleblowers.
This policy will explain the following:
- Who can make a report,
- What are considered to be disclosable matters under the Whistleblower Policy,
- To whom reports can be made,
- How TOTAL will manage and investigate reports,
- How TOTAL will ensure fair treatment of employees who are mentioned in reports, or to whom such reports relate, and
- How TOTAL will support whistleblowers and protect them from detriment.
1. Eligible Whistleblower
Whistleblower reports can be made by current or former:
- Employees or officers of TOTAL,
- Contractors, suppliers and their employees,
- Directors and associates of TOTAL or related entities, or
- Spouses or relatives of any of the categories listed.
2. Protected Disclosures
The Discloser will receive the Whistleblower Protection if they:
- are listed as a person who can make a report (in section 2), and
- report known or reasonably suspected business misconduct to an eligible recipient (in section 4).
3. Disclosable Matters
A Discloser can report any known or reasonably suspected business misconduct. Business misconduct refers to:
- Breaches of any Commonwealth legislation punishable by imprisonment of 12 months or more;
- Offences under corporate and financial sector laws; and/or
- Conduct which represents a danger to the public or financial system.
Examples of disclosable matters include:
- Fraud, money laundering or misappropriation of funds,
- Inaccurate reporting about performance or finance,
- Corrupt behaviour,
- Engaging in conflict of interest,
- Offering or accepting a bribe,
- Abuse/ mistreatment of clients, customers, or public,
- Failure to comply with the law,
- Engaging in detrimental conduct towards a person who is a whistleblower, or is suspected to be a whistleblower,
- Illegal conduct such as theft, drug offences, violence against the person, criminal damage to property, and
- Modern Slavery or Human Trafficking.
3.1 Disclosable matters does not include personal work related grievances
Most personal work- related grievances are excluded from the Whistleblower Protections. They should be reported to and dealt with the Human Resources department.
Examples of personal work-related grievances include:
- Interpersonal conflicts between employees,
- An interpersonal conflict between an employee and their manager,
- Issues that relate to employees’ terms and conditions, or their employment contract,
- Performance related issues, and
- Issues that relate to termination or other disciplinary matters.
4. Eligible Recipients
An eligible recipient is the person who whistleblower disclosures can be made to. An eligible recipient is any one of the following persons:
- Our third-party hotline which is managed by “Your Call”,
- A Director or CEO at TOTAL, or
- A company auditor or member of an audit team, under the Corporations Act.
4.1 How a disclosure can be made to TOTAL
You can make a disclosure by contacting any of the above listed recipients. You will need to let them know that you are calling/ writing to make a whistleblower disclosure. You will also need to let them know if you would like your identity to remain anonymous.
You can make a report through the third- party whistleblower hotline:
- You can call the hotline on 1300 790 228 (between 9am and 12am), or
- You can visit the website at https://www.yourcall.com.au/report (24 hours, 7 days a week).
Note that if you are making a report through the website you will need to enter TOTAL’s Unique Identifier Code (UIC), which is “TOTAL”.
4.2 Can a Discloser make a report to their Manager or Supervisor?
We understand that when a business misconduct issue arises you may feel most comfortable approaching your direct manager or supervisor in the first instance. However, please be mindful that:
- Disclosures made to managers and supervisors will not attract the Whistleblower Protections unless the Discloser’s manager or supervisor is one of the contacts listed as an eligible recipient (in section 4), and
- Although our managers and supervisors can point the Discloser in the right direction, they may not be trained or experienced in receiving or handling whistleblower disclosures.
4.3 ASIC and APRA
Other eligible recipients include ASIC (Australian Securities and Investment Commission), APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) and other prescribed Commonwealth authorities.
5. Public Interest or Emergency Disclosures
In limited circumstances, a “public interest” or “emergency” report can be made to a Member of Parliament or a journalist and Whistleblower Protections apply. There are strict rules:
- The person making the disclosure must have reasonable grounds to believe the information disclosed concerns a substantial and imminent danger to the health and safety to one or more person or the natural environment,
- You must have previously made a disclosure to ASIC, APRA or another prescribed body before you can make a “public interest” or “emergency” disclosure, and
- In the case of a public disclosure, at least 90 days has passed since any such previous disclosure was made.
It is recommended that you obtain any legal advice prior to preceding to make a “public interest” or “emergency” disclosure.
6. Investigation of Disclosures
The disclosure will be presented to TOTAL’s Disclosure Management Panel (DMP), who’s responsibility it is to review disclosures to ensure that they meet the requirements of this policy. The investigation process is outlined below (in section 6.2).
6.1 TOTAL’s Disclosure Management Panel (DMP)
Upon receipt of the disclosure, the recipient will notify an officer at TOTAL, who will meet with the DMP. It is the responsibility of the DMP (which consists of TOTAL’s Directors, the CEO and the General Manager of each state) to review disclosures to ensure that they meet the requirements of this policy and to ensure that they are properly investigated and responded to.
If the disclosure relates to a member of the DMP, that member will not take any part of this process as to avoid a conflict of interest.
The DMP will:
- Determine whether the disclosure satisfies the requirements for a Whistleblower Protection,
- Determine whether the disclosure warrants investigation, based on the information received,
- Assess the potential for the Whistleblower to suffer detriment as a result of having made the disclosure,
- Determine what reasonable measures the company will take to protect the Whistleblower from suffering any detriment, and
- If a disclosure is to be investigated, ensure that the Whistleblower understands the investigation process and that there is sufficient communication.
6.2 The investigation process
The investigation process followed will depend on the nature of the circumstances. Nonetheless, if the DMP determines that an investigation is warranted, all investigations will follow a similar process to the one described below:
- The DMP will ensure that the investigation is carried out by internal or external personnel who have the necessary skills, knowledge and independence,
- Where the identity of the Whistleblower is known (or unknown but a channel of communication is available) the DMP will acknowledge receipt of the disclosure to the Whistleblower and ensure further communication with this person throughout the process, where possible,
- The employee who is the subject matter of the disclosure will be informed of the subject matter of the investigation and be awarded procedural fairness (prior to the conclusion of the investigation),
- The investigator will keep records of all the interviews conducted and all records received, in relation to the investigation,
- Once the investigation is complete, the DMP will submit a report to the Managing Director of TOTAL who will determine what, if any, further action is to be taken, and
- The outcome of the investigation will be communicated to the Whistleblower in a timely manner, subject to the considerations of privacy of those whom the disclosure is made.
7. Protections for Whistleblowers
It is an offence to threaten or cause detriment to a whistleblower because of their disclosure.
7.1 Confidentiality of identity
By law, TOTAL are not permitted to disclose the identity of the whistleblower, or information that is likely to lead to the identification of the whistleblower to anyone other than regulators or the organisation’s lawyers, without the whistleblower’s consent.
Information contained in a protected disclosure will only be disclosed by TOTAL if:
- The information does not include the whistleblower’s identity (unless permitted as set out above),
- TOTAL has taken all reasonable steps to reduce the risk that the whistleblower will be identified from the information, and
- It is reasonably necessary for investigating the issues raised in the disclosure.
7.2 Protection from detrimental acts and victimisation
We encourage a Discloser to speak up about known or reasonably suspected business misconduct without fearing punishment. Under a Protected Disclosure, it is illegal for any person to cause detriment to a whistleblower.
Examples of detrimental acts include:
- Dismissal of an employee,
- Alteration of an employee’s position or duties to his or her disadvantage,
- Damage to a person’s reputation,
- Damage to a person’s property,
- Harassment and intimidation of a person, and
- Discrimination of the employee and other employees of the same employer.
If you feel that you have been victimised as a result of making a disclosure, please report the alleged victimisation to an Eligible Recipient (in section 4).
An employee, director or officer of TOTAL who is found to have victimised a person for making a disclosure may be subject to disciplinary measures, up to an including termination.
If you are victimised as a result of making a disclosure, you may also be able to seek compensation and other remedies through the courts. We advise that you seek legal advice if you are considering this.
7.3 Support and practical protection for disclosers
Whistleblowers should be aware that, in practice, people may be able to guess who the whistleblower is.
TOTAL will seek to protect whistleblowers in a range of ways. This may include:
- Assigning them Whistleblower Protection Officer,
- Allowing the person to perform their duties from a different location,
- Monitoring and managing the behaviour of other employees, and
- Offering them Employee Assistance Program.
TOTAL will also do their best to ensure that confidentiality is maintained and that records are kept secure. Thus, access to information relating to the disclosure will be limited to those directly involved in managing the investigation and each person involved will be reminded of the confidentiality requirements.
7.4 Other protections
Whistleblowers who believe that they have suffered detriment or have been victimised can also lodge a complaint with the Human Resources department. TOTAL will investigate such complaints as a separate whistleblower disclosure in accordance with this policy.
8. How will TOTAL ensure fair treatment of employees who are mentioned in reports, or to whom such reports relate?
Where the DMP or Investigation Officer’s preliminary findings determine that a formal investigation is warranted, the investigation officer will provide any employee who is subject to the investigation with:
- Information about the allegations made against them,
- The opportunity to respond to the allegations before the investigation is finalised, and
- Access to TOTAL’s Employee Assistance Program.
Where an employee is mentioned in a disclosure but the DMT or Investigation Officer’s preliminary findings determine that the suspicion is baseless or unfounded and that no formal investigation is warranted, then the matter will be closed out.
8.1 How will false or malicious reports be dealt with?
A Discloser does not need to be certain that the information provided is accurate but there needs to be reasonable grounds in order for the Discloser to make a report/ disclosure.
Disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment or contract, may be taken against the Discloser if they make a report known to be false or malicious (and without reasonable grounds).
9. Availability of Policy
This policy is available to all stake holders and will be reviewed by the CEO every 3 years or if conditions change.
What is Your Call?
Your Call provides employees, who are not comfortable using internal pathways, with a confidential and independent process for reporting wrongdoing.
Your Call provides 24/7 online reporting and a telephone hotline for employees to report, anonymously if preferred, wrongdoing at any level of the organisation. Further to this, Your Call can securely receive evidence/supporting documents and will facilitate ongoing communication between the employee and the organisation.
Is Your Call really an independent reporting pathway?
Yes. Your Call is an independent business specialising in providing 24/7 whistleblowing solutions to organisations.
Although engaged by the organisation, Your Call operates in the interest of the employee by securely receiving confidential information, objectively reporting to the organisation and ensuring the correct processes are followed.
When Your Call is engaged by an organisation, it demonstrates the senior leadership team are committed to developing a speak up culture.
If I feel it appropriate to do so, how do I stay truly anonymous throughout the process?
When making an online or telephone report, the employee will be provided with a Disclosure Identification Number (DIN) and prompted to create a unique password. The DIN will allow the employee access to communicate with Your Call or log into your Message Board portal.
From here, the employee will be made aware of their ability to provide their identity or remain anonymous.
The organisation’s policies and procedures will include further information around anonymous reporting, relevant legislation and internal protections.
What will happen to my disclosure once I report to Your Call?
Once a disclosure has been received, Your Call will review the information before notifying the nominated Whistleblower Protection Officers at the organisation.
If the employee has nominated a certain Whistleblower Protection Officer as being involved in the disclosure, Your Call will activate a secondary notification process and bypass that individual.
If further information or evidence is required from the employee, Your Call will request these items via the Message Board before notifying the organisation.
Once submitted, the organisation will investigate the disclosure in accordance with the relevant policies.
Can I communicate with Your Call, and the organisation, after I make a report?
Yes, via the Message Board available at www.yourcall.com.au/report. The employee is encouraged to regularly check the Message Board for status updates and new messages from Your Call and/or the organisation.
The Message Board also allows the employee to securely submit supporting documentation and evidence.
How am I protected from victimisation after making a disclosure?
The organisation’s Whistleblowing Policy sets out the protections provided to whistleblowers against victimisation.
In the first instance, employees should follow the steps as outlined in the policy for reporting victimisation.
If employees do not feel comfortable reporting internally, they are encouraged to report allegations of victimisation directly to Your Call. Your Call acts as an intermediary on the Message Board to ensure communication is effective.