Contributed from Victoria
According the Financial Sector Union (FSU), members who work in banks are under pressure from management not to whitstleblow,
fearing that disclosures might add the growing calls for an inquiry into the banks.
Pressure makes it difficult for employees to access policies, because of the risk that they will be detected and their jobs put in jeopardy. There have been instances where managers have warned not to report unethical practices.
The parliamentary joint committee into whistleblower protection start today.
The FSU submission says whistelblower laws should provide greater protections and compensation for workers, so they can report unethical behaviour that they are witness to.
It says that over the last ten years, the industry has reached further to “exploit every customer interaction as a sales opportunity” and ignore the financial interests of the customer.
“Public trust and confidence in the Australian financial sector is essential to the efficient running of the economy. Strong whistelblower laws are essential to rebuilding trust and confidence, after a long series of crisis and scandals in the sector”.
To be any use the inquiry needs to come out with practical recommendations that will answer the need.
Recognition needs to be given to the fact that as well as legal protection on paper, whistleblowers need an environment where they are not going to be subject to retribution, despite the law. There must be consequences for employers, serious enough for employers to have an incentive to not go down this path.