The Company wishes to ensure that its People observe a high standard of business and personal ethics while carrying out their duties for, and responsibilities to the Company, and should always practice honesty and integrity in fulfilling their responsibilities to the Company and comply with applicable laws and regulations.
This policy has been developed so that People can raise actual or alleged allegations of Serious Concerns or Serious Wrongdoing about the Company and its activities, without fear of recrimination and have confidence that their concerns will be addressed. This policy sets out the processes for reporting, investigating and addressing allegations of any Serious Concerns or Serious Wrongdoing about the Company or its activities.
This policy applies to all People (and former People).
This policy has the following objectives:
- To promote public and customer interests in the Company by encouraging People to report any Serious Concerns or Serious Wrongdoing about the Company or its activities.
- To provide People details of the kind of Serious Concerns and Serious Wrongdoing about the Company or its activities that can be reported and the reporting process.
- To advise People of the protections available to them (e.g. identity kept confidential, protection from civil and criminal liability), regardless of their role or seniority.
- To ensure that all matters are investigated appropriately, and that specific action is taken to remedy any Serious Concerns or Serious Wrongdoing.
- To comply with the Protected Disclosures (Protection of Whistleblowers) Act 2022 (the Act) when a Protected Disclosure is made; and
- To provide an avenue for alerting the Company to and addressing any misconduct.
4. Good Customer Outcome Principles.
The Company must, at all times, consider its Good Customer Outcome Principles of Trust, Value and Clarity.
The Chief Risk Officer will ensure that all People affected by this policy undertake training to familiarise themselves with the contents of this policy.
6. Policy outline.
a. What sorts of Serious Concerns or Serious Wrongdoing should be reported?
The Company encourages People to report any Serious Concerns or Serious Wrongdoing about the Company or its activities. Otherwise known as a 'whistleblower,' this is a person who raises a genuine Serious Concern or Wrongdoing about the Company or its activities:
‘Serious Concern’ includes:
- Calling out poor culture or conduct.
- Breach of the Company's Code of Conduct and/or Ethics.
- Breach of any company policy.
- Unsafe work practice or environment.
- Bullying and harassment.
- Suspicion of fraud and corruption.
- Abuse of authority by People.
- ‘Serious Wrongdoing’, as defined by the Act, and includes any serious wrongdoing of the following types:
- an act, omission, or course of conduct that constitutes:
- an offence.
- a serious risk to public health or public safety or the health and safety of any individual or the environment.
- a serious risk to the maintenance of law, including the prevention, investigation and detection of offences and the right to a fair trial.
- an unlawful, corrupt or irregular use of public funds or public resources.
- an act, omission, or course of conduct that is oppressive, unlawfully discriminatory, or grossly negligent, or that is gross mismanagement, and is done by (or is an omission) by:
- an employee (if the organisation is a public sector organisation); or
- a person performing (or purporting to perform) a function or duty or exercising (or purporting to exercise) a power on behalf of a public sector organisation or the Government.
- an act, omission, or course of conduct that constitutes:
b. How to report Serious Concerns or Serious Wrongdoing.
The Company wants to ensure People are able to voice allegations of Serious Concerns or Serious Wrongdoing about the Company or its activities openly and honestly under this policy, and to report all matters in good faith.
If People are uncertain about raising a Serious Concern or Serious Wrongdoing, they should report it regardless and it will be addressed in accordance with this policy or otherwise as appropriate.
People have a range of options to speak up if they notice something that's not right.
People can report a Serious Concern by:
- letter, email or telephone to Fidelity Life's Head of People and Performance.
- letter, email or telephone to Fidelity Life's Chief Risk Officer.
- letter, email or telephone to the Chairperson of Fidelity Life's Audit, Risk & Conduct Committee.
- letter, email or telephone to Fidelity Life's Chief Executive Officer.
- letter, email or telephone to Fidelity Life's Chief Risk Officer or
- to Raise, an independent reporting service via the whistleblower notification hotline on 0800 000 457 or the whistleblower notification website on https://www.raisementalhealth.co.nz/whistleblower.html.
It is important that the person the disclosure is reported to is independent of the issue. People may seek the support of People and Performance or Risk and Compliance in making a report.
People may also make a report anonymously. People can also report a Serious Wrongdoing to an Appropriate Authority.
Reporting a Serious Wrongdoing will be a 'Protected Disclosure' (see para C below) under the Act if the Discloser:
- believes on reasonable grounds that there has been a Serious Wrongdoing in or by the Company;
- discloses the information in accordance with this policy and does not disclose in bad faith.
c. What are the protections under the Act?
Protections under the Act only apply to Serious Wrongdoing.
Protections under the Act will only apply to a Discloser reporting a Serious Wrongdoing in the manner described above for Protected Disclosure. Where the criteria have been met, the Discloser will have the following protections:
- be immune from any civil, criminal, or disciplinary proceedings by reason of having made a protected disclosure; and
- be protected from adverse treatment as a result of disclosure, including:
- Discrimination or bias.
- Victimisation or harassment.
- Where the Discloser is an employee, retaliatory action including any employment disadvantage such as dismissal or disciplinary action.
A Discloser's identity will be kept confidential subject to the exceptions described in paragraph d.
Where a Discloser who is an employee believes they have suffered retaliatory action, that Person may bring a personal grievance under the Employment Relations Act 2000.
Where a Discloser believes they have been treated less favourably than others in the same circumstances because they made a disclosure, they can make a claim under the Human Rights Act 1993.
However, the protections above do not apply if:
- the Discloser knows that the allegations are false; or
- the Discloser acts in bad faith.
The Company must not threaten or retaliate against whistleblowers in any way. Anyone involved in such conduct will be subject to disciplinary action.
d. Investigating Serious Concerns or Serious Wrongdoing.
A Discloser can feel confident that their disclosure will be handled appropriately and acted upon. Once a matter has been reported, the most appropriate person may either undertake an investigation of the alleged Serious Concerns or Serious Wrongdoing or appoint another person to undertake that investigation. The person who undertakes the investigation must be unbiased, impartial and subject to appropriate confidentiality protocols.
The Company must use best endeavours not to disclose information that might identify the Discloser in relation to a Protected Disclosure unless:
- That Discloser has consented (in writing where possible) to the disclosure of that information; or
- The Company reasonably believe that the disclosure of identifying information is essential:
- to ensure the effective investigation of the allegation made; or
- to prevent serious risk to public health, public safety, the health or safety of any individual, or the environment; or
- to comply with the principles of natural justice; or
- to an investigation by a law enforcement or regulatory agency for the purpose of law enforcement.
Before releasing identifying information for a reason described:
- In 1 or 3 above, the Company must consult the Discloser about the release.
- In 2 or 4 above, the Company must, if practicable, consult the Discloser about the release.
After releasing the identifying information for one of the reasons set out in 1 to 4 above, the Company must advise the Discloser.
While confidentiality under the Act only applies to a Protected Disclosure, the Company will use reasonable endeavours to ensure that the Discloser who reports an allegation about a Serious Concern is also kept confidential.
People must comply with any investigation relating to this policy.
Decisions may be made only when all parties involved (or alleged to be involved) in any Serious Concerns or Serious Wrongdoing have been given an opportunity to be heard. They must be:
- given reasonable notice of any interview.
- advised that they may be represented at the interview and
- given a reasonable opportunity and period of time to respond to the allegation.
The person who investigates the allegation must produce a written report which sets out the nature of the allegation, any responses to it, any supporting evidence, and an assessment of the allegation with recommendations.
The Discloser will be kept informed of progress as appropriate.
The Company may refer a Protected Disclosure to an Appropriate Authority. Before doing so they must consult with the Discloser and the intended recipient of the referral.
The Audit, Risk & Conduct Committee will review, and assess, the adequacy of this policy at least every three years, and discuss any required or recommended changes with the Board and ensure that any revisions to this policy are approved by the Board. A copy of this policy will be available on the Fidelity Life website.
8. Related policies.
- Protected Disclosures (Protection of Whistleblowers) Act 2022 (“the Act”).
- Whistleblower Procedures.
- Conflicts of Interest Policy.
- Delegated Authority Policy.
- Contract Policy.
- Vulnerable Customer Policy.
- Financial Services Council Code of Conduct.
|Appropriate Authority||As defined in the Act, and includes among others the Commissioner of Police, the Privacy Commissioner, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and the Financial Markets Authority|
means Fidelity Life and/or any of its subsidiary companies as the context may require
In relation to the Company means an employee or former employee reporting information about a Serious Concern or:
A report of a Serious Wrongdoing made in the manner described in the Act.
Means Fidelity Life Assurance Company Limited.
|People||Means all employees, directors and contractors of the Company including (I) full-time and part-time employees (including casual and fixed-term employees) carrying out work for the Company and (ii) any person engaged to work at the Company including an independent contractor and agency worker.|
|Serious Concern||As defined in this policy under section 6a of this policy.|
|Serious Wrongdoing||As defined in the Act under section 6a of this policy.|
|Feb 2019||Risk & Compliance||
Update of policy
|May 2019||Risk & Compliance||
|February 2022||Risk & Compliance||
Update of policy to a Group policy
|July 2022||Regulatory Affairs||
Update of policy to align with legislative changes
|July 2023||Regulatory Affairs||
Updated for IGT