The big four firm will be tasked with assisting HSF with the implementation of new workplace policies and guidelines.
HSF’s revised Reporting Concerns and Whistleblowing policy sets out the procedure that will apply when a partner or an employee suspects wrongdoing, unethical conduct or dangers at work which may affect others.
To facilitate the policy, HSF has added a third-party external contact service called 'Faircall', utilised via phone and email, to its reporting and whistleblowing policy, which is to be run and independently monitored on the firm’s behalf by KPMG.
Accountants Daily sister title Lawyers Weekly has reported that the introduction of new in-house guidelines for personal relationships at HSF follows the high-profile exit of former HSF partner Peter Paradise over sexual harassment allegations.
KPMG workplace and employment law director Elizabeth Ticehurst told Accountants Daily earlier this year that the draft whistleblowers bill introduced in October 2017 would “really shake things up” across all areas of the economy, and has implored firms to examine and review their current policies.
“Until now, whistleblower protections have been there but they've been really piecemeal and they are quite limited in their application,” said Ms Ticehurst.
“The new whisteblowing protection bill, if it comes into force as it is, would make a big difference.
“The disclosures covered by it are significantly larger so it could cover just about any kind of misconduct or improper state of affairs in the workplace and in my view that would include workplace grievances that might not be a breach of any law, just a complaint against your manager or even complaints about bullying so a very wide scope of things that you could make a disclosure about and a wide scope of people that you can make a disclosure to.”
Jotham Lian is the news editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.