NZ Shareholders Members Area

NZSA Policy Statements

Employee Engagement/Whistle Blowing

Background

The Association believes that companies that have engaged employees will produce better results benefitting all stakeholders and in particularly shareholders.

Part of achieving better engagement is for employees to have a safe process to report genuine  illegal or other inappropriate behaviour that may harm the company and the employees. This is commonly known as "whistle blowing".

In addition to the Protected Disclosures Act 2000, there is other legislation and regulation around Health and Safety and financial conduct appertaining to the NZX and Financial Markets Authority.  The Association believes that where appropriate for the company, employees should have access to a suitable employee assistance programme which will ensure they suffer no adverse consequences as a result of drawing illegal or inappropriate behaviour to the Company's attention.

The NZSA Position

The Association recommends that all companies have an appropriate policy around employee engagement including the safe reporting of illegal and other inappropriate behaviour.
The company should disclose its policy, or explain why it doesn’t have a policy in its Annual Report.
Where the company has a policy, it should also disclose sufficient details of the mechanisms which  allow employees to report such behaviour in a manner that will inform a reader of the report about the efficacy of the policy.

Voting Discretionary Proxies

Where it can be demonstrated that harm was caused and the company concerned did not have an appropriate policy around employee engagement or failed to uphold this, the NZSA will consider appropriate voting against the re-election of Directors.

(Introduced March 2016)