People who blow the whistle on corporate tax cheats will be protected under new laws that aim to encourage people to report white collar crime.
The new protections will help protect the identity of people who report suspected tax offences, as well as allowing anonymous disclosures.
Special Minister of State Mathias Cormann introduced the law changes, which were promised in the May budget, to the Senate on Thursday.
“Officers, employees and taxpayers will now be aware that there is a significantly higher likelihood that misconduct will be reported,” Senator Cormann told parliament.
Companies will no longer be able to use protections as a defence for failing to start internal investigations, while large organisations will be forced to have a whistleblower policy.
“These reforms will encourage the Australian business community to assess corporate governance frameworks and to take stock of current whistleblower practices and procedures,” Senator Cormann said.
It will also be easier for whistleblowers to seek redress for damage caused by speaking out.