This Australian Whistleblowing Policy (Policy) applies to Envato Pty Ltd (ACN 119 159 741), and any other related Australian entities, collectively referred to as "Envato".
Envato is committed to detecting and addressing misconduct and ensuring that those who become aware of misconduct in relation to Envato’s Australian operations can report it without being concerned that it will negatively affect them or their position. This Policy applies to the employees and officers of Envato.
This Policy is underpinned by our corporate values of which guide our behaviour and apply to every aspect of our business.
Envato will periodically review this Policy to ensure that it is operating effectively. Envato may amend this Policy from time to time at its discretion.
Interaction with Australian Whistleblowing Legislation
There are specific provisions under Australian legislation which provide whistleblowers with legal rights in relation to certain types of disclosures.
The relevant legislation is the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (sections 1317AA to 1317AK) and the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) (sections 14ZZT to 14ZZZE) (the Australian Whistleblowing Legislation). The protections under the Australian Whistleblowing Legislation only apply to certain types of disclosures, known as Qualifying Disclosures. To assist our staff to understand when those statutory protections are available, we have identified in this Policy where there are relevant specific requirements under the Australian Whistleblowing Legislation for a report to be a Qualifying Disclosure.
This Policy contains a summary of parts of the Australian Whistleblowing Legislation. For further detail, you should refer to the text of that legislation. This Policy is not intended to override any rights or obligations you may have under the Australian Whistleblowing Legislation.
A copy of this Policy is accessible to all employees and officers of Envato on Envato’s intranet.
2. Making a report
What matters should be reported?
If you have reasonable grounds to suspect that you have information concerning:
misconduct (which includes any corrupt, fraudulent or other illegal conduct or activity) or an improper state of affairs or circumstances in relation to Envato or any related body corporate of Envato;
conduct that indicates a significant risk to public safety or the stability of, or confidence in, the financial system, even if it does not involve breach of a particular law;
conduct that involves a breach of or is an offence against any of the following Commonwealth laws: the Corporations Act 2001, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001, the Banking Act 1959, the Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001, the Insurance Act 1973, the Life Insurance Act 1995, the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 1973, the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993, or regulations made under those laws;
conduct that is an offence against any other Commonwealth law that is punishable by imprisonment of 12 months or more;
conduct that is indicative of systemic issues, dishonest or unethical behaviour or practices; or
misconduct, or an improper state of affairs or circumstances, in relation to the tax affairs of Envato or an associate of Envato (Tax Disclosures),
then this is a Disclosable Matter under the Australian Whistleblowing Legislation.
Examples of the types of matters that may be reportable as a Disclosable Matter as part of a Qualifying Disclosure include, but are not limited to:
Dishonesty, corruption, bribery, fraud, money laundering or misappropriation of funds;
Offering or accepting a bribe;
Covering up fraud in financial reports;
Unsafe work practices;
Not properly responding to a serious safety issue;
Serious, inappropriate or unethical conduct such as gross mismanagement or serious and substantial waste of company resources or repeated breaches of administrative procedures;
Taking or threatening to take detrimental action against a person who has made a disclosure or is suspected to have made, or planning to make a disclosure; and/or
Deliberate concealment of information tending to show any of the matters listed above.
Envato expects all employees and officers to report any Disclosable Matters. Failure to report Disclosable Matters may result in disciplinary action.
A disclosure that does not relate to a Disclosable Matter is not covered by this Policy as it would not qualify for protection under the Australian Whistleblowing Legislation. Such a disclosure may be protected under other legislation (such as the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)).
What matters should not be reported under this Policy?
Matters that relate solely to personal work-related grievances should not be reported under this Policy and are not protected under the Australian Whistleblowing Legislation. Should you wish to report a personal work-related grievance, please refer to Envato’s Grievance Policy.
Some examples of matters which should not be reported under this Policy include:
an interpersonal conflict between employees;
a staff member's dissatisfaction with their pay; or
a staff member’s dissatisfaction with their performance feedback or results of their annual performance review.
However, the Australian Whistleblowing Legislation provides that whistleblower protections may apply to a personal work-related grievance if:
it includes information about a Disclosable Matter or information about a Disclosable Matter includes or is accompanied by a personal work-related grievance (i.e. a mixed report);
it relates to a breach by Envato of employment or other laws punishable by imprisonment of 12 months or more;
it includes information about a Disclosable Matter beyond an individual’s personal circumstances, or indicates that Envato has engaged in conduct that represents a danger to the public;
it concerns detriment to a person because they have or may be considering reporting a Disclosable Matter; or
it is made to a legal practitioner for the purposes of obtaining advice or legal representation in relation to the operation of the Australian Whistleblowing Legislation.
Who can make a whistleblowing report?
The following people (among others) are eligible to make reports under this Policy:
an officer of Envato, which includes directors of the board and the company secretary of Envato;
an Australian employee or contractor of Envato;
an individual who supplies services or goods to Envato;
a spouse, child or other relative of an individual listed above;
a dependant of any individual listed above or of their spouse; or
someone who was formerly any of the above (e.g. a former employee or contractor).
Under the Whistleblowing Legislation, the persons listed above (among others) are all eligible whistleblowers (including in relation to Tax Disclosures).
Who to report conduct to
Subject to paragraph 4.4 of this Policy, reports can be made confidentially and anonymously at any time via the following methods:
Telephone 9am and 12am, recognised business days, AEST
Australia: 1300 790 228
Mexico toll-free: +52 55 8526 4049
Your Call uses an online message board which you will have access to after making the report. The message board allows you to:
communicate with Your Call and with Envato with or without revealing your identity;
securely upload any relevant documentation and/or material that you wish to provide;
receive updates; and
request support or report detrimental acts.
Envato’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Technology Officer will receive a copy of your report from Your Call. If your report relates to one of these people, Your Call will exclude that person from all communications when they provide information about your report to Your Call.
Tax Disclosures can also be made confidentially and anonymously at any time to Envato’s Chief Financial Officer ([email protected]).
Whistleblowers are encouraged to directly report any disclosure via the methods set out in sections 2.10 and 2.11 above. The making of a report via any of those methods will mean that it has been made to an Eligible Recipient under the Australian Whistleblowing Legislation.
Under the Australian Whistleblowing Legislation, whistleblowers may also report such information to the following additional 'Eligible Recipients':
any member of Envato’s board or Nav Team; and
an auditor, or a member of an audit team conducting an audit of Envato or any related body corporate of Envato.
Under the Australian Whistleblowing Legislation, whistleblowers may also report Disclosable Matters to:
the Australian Securities and Investments Commissions (ASIC);
the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA);
in relation to Tax Disclosures, the Commissioner of Taxation (ATO); or
any other prescribed Commonwealth authority or regulator.
However, if a whistleblowing report is made to one of these regulators Envato will not automatically become aware of that report and therefore may not be able to respond to it in accordance with this Policy.
A report will also qualify for protection where an Eligible Whistleblower makes a disclosure to a legal practitioner for the purposes of obtaining legal advice or legal representation about the operation of the Australian Whistleblower Legislation, even in circumstances where the legal practitioner concludes that a disclosure does not relate to a Disclosable Matter.
A whistleblower can obtain additional information about making a disclosure, including which Policy to make a disclosure under, by contacting Envato’s People Team ([email protected]) .
How to make a disclosure
Disclosures should include as much of the following information as possible if known by the person reporting the misconduct:
what occurred and who was involved;
how the misconduct arose; and
where and when the misconduct occurred.
Whistleblowers are able to make an anonymous disclosure and still be entitled to the protections set out in this Policy and under the Australian Whistleblowing Legislation if the other requirements for making the disclosure are complied with. Whistleblowers can remain anonymous over the course of the investigation and after any investigation has been finalised. A whistleblower may refuse to answer questions that they feel could reveal their identity during follow-up conversations.
However, if the whistleblower's identity is not provided when making a whistleblowing report this may (among other things):
prevent Envato from updating the whistleblower on Envato's efforts taken in response to their disclosure; and
affect Envato's ability to take steps to protect the whistleblower from detriment.
People who want to make anonymous reports are encouraged to use the Your Call service as this allows ongoing two-way communication while remaining anonymous.
Even if a whistleblower does not make the report on an anonymous basis the person receiving the report is not permitted to reveal the identity of the whistleblower, or information that is likely to lead to the identification of the whistleblower, except in certain circumstances as set out in section 4 below.
Disclosures outside of Envato
Generally only reports that are made to the list of people or entities set out in sections 2.10, 2.1, 2.12 and 2.13 above will ensure protections are afforded to the whistleblower making the report. Making reports to others outside of Envato, except to the appropriate regulator, auditor, actuary, or registered tax/BAS agent (as appropriate), or to a legal practitioner, will not obtain the protection of the Australian Whistleblowing Legislation or any other protections provided by this Policy.
There are two categories of disclosure that a whistleblower may make to a journalist or a Member of Parliament and still obtain the protections of the Whistleblower Legislation. These are called Public Interest Disclosures and Emergency Disclosures.
A whistleblower should contact an independent legal adviser before making a public interest disclosure or an emergency disclosure.
Public Interest Disclosure - this category allows a whistleblower to make a disclosure to a journalist or parliamentarian if:
the whistleblower has previously made a disclosure to ASIC, APRA or any other prescribed Commonwealth authority;
at least 90 days have passed since the disclosure was made to ASIC, APRA or any other prescribed Commonwealth authority;
the whistleblower does not have reasonable grounds to believe that action is being taken to address the matters to which the previous disclosure related;
the whistleblower has reasonable grounds to believe that making a further disclosure of the information would be in the public interest; and
following the end of the 90 day period, the whistleblower gives the body to which the previous disclosure was made a written notification that includes sufficient information to identify the previous disclosure and states that the whistleblower intends to make a public interest disclosure.
Emergency Disclosure - this category allows a whistleblower to make a disclosure to a journalist or a parliamentarian if:
the whistleblower has previously made a disclosure to ASIC, APRA or any other prescribed Commonwealth authority;
the whistleblower has reasonable grounds to believe that the information concerns a substantial and imminent danger to the health or safety of one or more persons or to the natural environment; and
the whistleblower gives the body to which the previous disclosure was made a written notification that includes sufficient information to identify the previous disclosure and states that the whistleblower intends to make an emergency disclosure.
For both Public Interest and Emergency Disclosures, the extent of the information disclosed must be no greater than is necessary to appropriately inform the recipient of the relevant misconduct or substantial imminent danger.
Unless a disclosure is being made under those provisions, speaking to a journalist or a member of parliament about confidential information in relation to Envato without authorisation is not permitted and may be a disciplinary offence.
3. Handling of reports
Investigation of Reports
All reported disclosures will be reviewed, and where appropriate will be investigated at the earliest opportunity. Envato will endeavour to manage any findings promptly. The way a disclosure is managed depends on what it involves and will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
Generally, if the whistleblower can be contacted, Envato will confirm receipt of their disclosure within two (2) Business Days. Where an investigation of a report is deemed appropriate, Envato will endeavour to commence the investigation as soon as reasonably practicable from the date Envato receives the report. However, there may be reasons why an investigation may take longer, or may not be practicable.
Envato will expect those involved in the investigation to keep the subject matter of the investigation confidential. However, certain disclosures may need to be made for the reasonable conduct of the investigation and the proper resolution of the matter being investigated. Other protections set out under this Policy will apply to the investigation. The investigation will be undertaken by an appropriate person selected by Envato and/or outside Envato, depending on the nature of the investigation.
In order to enable the conduct of fair and unbiased investigations and actions, it may be necessary for Envato to:
obtain specialist, independent advice from trained investigation staff inside Envato or to refer the matter confidentially to a third-party investigation firm, if deemed appropriate having regard to the nature of the Disclosable Matter(s);
appoint a person to assist in the investigation of a matter which is the subject of a report; or
refer the matter to the police or law enforcement where disclosures refer to, or include, criminal behaviour.
In the conduct of an investigation, Envato may proceed as follows:
determine the nature and scope of the investigation;
speak to anyone who may be affected or involved in the disclosure so that they are provided with the opportunity to respond to the allegation(s);
consider these responses; and
speak to witnesses (where there is a dispute as to the facts surrounding the allegations).
The findings of any investigation into a disclosure (together with any remediation action plan) will be subject to the confidentiality obligations set out in this Policy. The method for documenting and reporting the findings will depend on the nature of the disclosure. In most cases, a final investigation report will be provided to Envato's Chief Financial Officer, Chief Technology Officer, and Chief Executive Officer. In the case of a Tax Disclosure, the final investigation report will also be provided to Envato’s Chief Financial Officer. Where the whistleblower has not consented to their identity being shared, any final investigation report will be redacted to protect the whistleblower's identity or information that may identify the whistleblower.
Fair treatment of employees that are the subject of a disclosure
Envato also aims to ensure the fair treatment of employees and other persons engaged by Envato who are referred to in reports of Disclosable Matters. Fair treatment of those persons includes but is not limited to:
the opportunity to be 'heard' on, and respond to the allegations against them before any adverse findings are made against them; and
the opportunity to have their responses considered by Envato and, in appropriate circumstances, investigated.
If you are implicated in a report regarding a Disclosable Matter which is being investigated and you believe that you are being treated adversely during the course of the review of the matter, you should report your concerns to Envato's Chief People Officer ([email protected]) and/or General Counsel ([email protected]), so that these matters may be addressed.
Envato will endeavour to respond promptly to any complaints about unfair treatment during the investigation of a disclosure that are raised by implicated parties.
Providing updates to those making misconduct disclosures
Envato will, where appropriate, provide the whistleblower with updates at various stages of any investigation into the disclosure. Any updates supplied to a whistleblower may need to be limited in order to also preserve the confidentiality of an investigation and the privacy of those potentially affiliated, named, implicated or associated with the matters disclosed. The frequency and detail of any updates supplied (where appropriate), and the initiation or resolution of any potential subsequent investigation, may vary according to the matters reported and the context of the misconduct disclosed.
Envato will, where appropriate, advise the whistleblower of the conclusion of any investigation and may provide the whistleblower with details of the outcomes of that investigation. Where claims cannot be substantiated, Envato reserves the right to deem a disclosure closed and notify the whistleblower accordingly (where the whistleblower’s identity is known).
4. Protection and Support of Whistleblowers
You may choose to make a report on an anonymous basis, however, there are a number of advantages in connection with the investigation process if you disclose your identity.
If you do disclose your identity and you are an Eligible Whistleblower who is making a disclosure protected by the Australian Whistleblowing Legislation, the recipient has an obligation to keep your identity confidential. This includes keeping confidential information which could lead to the disclosure of your identity.
Envato has the legal right to share a whistleblower’s identity if reasonably necessary to refer an incident to authorities (such as ASIC, APRA and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) or other prescribed body) who may wish to pursue the matter.
Under the Australian Whistleblowing Legislation, it is also permissible to:
disclose information regarding the suspected or actual wrongdoing disclosed without revealing the whistleblower’s identity or information that is likely to lead to the identification of the whistleblower;
disclose information other than the whistleblower’s identity if it is reasonably necessary for the purposes of the investigation and all reasonable steps are taken to reduce the risk that the whistleblower will be identified;
disclose the identity of a whistleblower, or information likely to lead to his or her identification to a legal practitioner for the purposes of obtaining legal advice or representation in relation to the disclosure; or
disclose the identity of a whistleblower where such disclosure is made with the consent of the whistleblower.
In order to allow for a proper investigation of the matter, and to provide support to the whistleblower, the recipient of your disclosure may ask you to consent to the disclosure of your identity to specific individuals, such as:
any other persons reasonably necessary for the purposes of investigating matters the subject of your disclosure.
You do not have to agree to share your identity this way.
To assist maintain the confidentiality of a whistleblower’s identity, Envato may take steps to ensure:
all personal information or reference to the whistleblower witnessing an event is redacted;
the whistleblower is referred to in a gender-neutral context;
where possible, the whistleblower is contacted to help identify certain aspects of their disclosure that could inadvertently identify them; and
disclosures are handled and investigated by qualified staff.
If you are the recipient of a report from a whistleblower relating to a Disclosable Matter, you must not reveal the identity, or information that is likely to lead to identification, of the whistleblower without the written consent of the whistleblower or express permission from Envato's General Counsel to make the disclosure. Such action is illegal and may constitute a criminal offence.
Whistleblowers can be assured that any information released in breach of this Policy will be treated seriously and may result in disciplinary action, including dismissal. A breach of this Policy may in certain circumstances also result in criminal sanctions. Whistleblowers should report any suspected or actual breaches of confidentiality to Envato's Chief Financial Officer at [email protected].
Envato is committed to protecting and respecting the rights of whistleblowers. Envato will not tolerate any detriment caused, or threatened to be caused against any person who has made, or who is believed to have made, a report regarding Disclosable Matters. Under the Australian Whistleblowing Legislation,Detriment is defined to include, without limitation, any of the following:
injuring an employee in their employment, (e.g. not giving an employee legal entitlements such as pay or leave);
changing an employee's job to their disadvantage;
offering a potential employee different (and unfair) terms and conditions for the job, compared to other employees;
discriminating between employees to the disadvantage of a whistleblower;
harassment or intimidation of a person;
harm or injury to a person, including psychological harm;
not hiring someone because they have been a whistleblower;
damage to a person’s property, reputation, business or financial position; or
any other damage to a person.
Any victimisation, retaliation or detriment caused or threatened to be caused in reprisal for a report regarding Disclosable Matters being made under this Policy will be treated as misconduct and may result in disciplinary action, which may include dismissal (or termination of engagement). If you experience or discover any such detrimental conduct, or potential conduct, you should report it immediately via the methods set out in section 2.10 of this Policy or to Envato's Chief Financial Officer at [email protected] or Chief Technology Officer at [email protected].
Where appropriate, to protect a whistleblower from the risk of detriment Envato may:
conduct a risk assessment of the whistleblower, and any other staff that might be suspected of having made a disclosure;
allow a whistleblower to perform their duties from another location;
reassign the whistleblower to another role (at the same level);
make modifications to the whistleblower's workplace or the way work duties are carried out; or
reassign or relocate other staff involved in the Disclosable Matter.
In some circumstances, Envato may be required to take administrative action to protect whistleblowers from detriment. This is not detrimental conduct. It will also not be detrimental conduct under this Policy where Envato is required to manage a whistleblower's unsatisfactory work performance in line with Envato’s performance management procedures. Where appropriate, Envato will inform the whistleblower about the reason for any administrative or management action.
If you experience or discover any detrimental conduct, or potential conduct, you should report it immediately via the methods set out in paragraph 2.10 above or to Envato's Chief Financial Officer ([email protected]) or Chief Technology Officer ([email protected]). Envato will investigate any complaint of detriment to a whistleblower as a separate matter. That matter will be investigated by an officer who is not involved in the investigation of any relevant disclosure(s) and the investigation findings will be provided to Envato's Chief Financial Officer, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Executive Officer. A whistleblower may seek independent legal advice or contact regulatory bodies (such as ASIC or APRA) if they believe they have suffered detriment.
5. Additional Protections & Penalties
Under the Australian Whistleblowing Legislation, a person may bring civil proceedings for a compensation order or pursue civil penalties even when a criminal prosecution has not been, or cannot be, pursued. This may include circumstances in which a whistleblower (or any other person) has suffered loss, damage or injury and Envato has failed to prevent a person from causing the detriment.
Support of whistleblowers
Envato firmly believes that those who reasonably suspect or witness misconduct should be able to report their suspicions with the confidence that they will be supported, and not punished or discriminated against for making a disclosure.
Whistleblowers are encouraged to raise any concerns arising out of a disclosure (or anticipated disclosure) or any subsequent investigation process to Envato's Chief Financial Officer ([email protected])or Chief Technology Officer ([email protected]).
So as to ensure whistleblowers are supported both during, and following the making of a disclosure, Envato encourages whistleblowers to make use of Envato's employment assistance program or EAP provider Benestar via Envato’s intranet or by calling 1300 360 364.
Criminal or civil liability
Whistleblowers who make a Qualifying Disclosure will not be subject to any civil or criminal liability for making the disclosure. No contractual or other remedy may be enforced against them on the basis of their disclosure.
Action may still be lawfully taken against a whistleblower who has engaged in misconduct, but Qualifying Disclosures cannot be used in any proceedings.
The whistleblower is not protected from civil or criminal liability for any of their conduct which may be revealed by the report. However, if a whistleblower reports misconduct and actively cooperates in an investigation that might implicate them in the misconduct, the fact they have made a report may be taken into account as a mitigating factor when determining what action should be taken against them.
Reporting to the board
The Board will generally be provided with confidential reports on the number and type of whistleblowing incidents quarterly to enable it to address any issues at a regional or group level. The Board will also usually be provided with additional information about any material incidents raised.
Review, Access, Training and Further Information in relation to this policy
This Policy will be available to officers and employees of Envato on the intranet. A copy of this Policy will also be available on Envato's website to ensure it is accessible for all eligible whistleblowers.
This Policy may be reviewed and amended from time to time and will be reviewed by Envato at least every two years.
The people team will be responsible for conducting upfront and ongoing education and training on this Policy, and relevant processes and procedures to all officers and employees. Please direct any questions regarding this Policy, or how to make a whistleblowing report to Envato's People Team ([email protected]).