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Whistleblowing – An International and In-House Perspective on the Legal Landscape in the UK and Australia, and the Practical Steps In-House Counsel Anywhere Can Take to Ensure Their Organisation Gets it Right

Samantha Mangwana, Employment Law Practice Leader, Shine Lawyers, Australia

It may be interesting to set out an overview and comparison of the private sector whistleblower protections in Australia and Great Britain. Since the British regime had been in place before I started out as a trainee two decades ago, applying across public and private sectors in the same way, I was surprised to find on arriving in Australia that there did not appear to be comparable protections here for private sector workers (although there was national legislation covering federal public sector workers and different schemes operating in the states). As it happened, a national private sector scheme was on its way, becoming law in July 2019, then ushering in what, on the face of it, appeared to be one of the toughest whistleblower protection regimes in the world.

Samantha Mangwana leads Shine Lawyers’ national Employment Law practice, from the firm’ Sydney and Canberra offices. Samantha is highly experienced, having advised employers as well as individuals, in her 20-years of practice. Prior to working for Shine in Australia, she was a Partner at the leading firms in London advising individual senior executives and partners, predominantly from the legal and financial services sectors. Her experience included working on some of the highest-profile City discrimination and whistleblowing cases. Often acting for senior people in crisis situations, Samantha understands the pressures her clients are facing, and the priority of protecting reputations. Less visibly, she advises in the background on sensitive negotiations, as well as on general points of contract and partnership law for clients moving into new roles. Samantha frequently appears as a broadcast media commentator on employment and discrimination law issues, on TV and radio, as well as providing expert opinion in specialist industry and mainstream print and digital media.

Shine Lawyers is one of Australia’s largest litigation firms. With over 40 offices nationwide, Shine has been standing up for the rights of every day Australians for over 40 years now. The firm is committed to supporting those who have had enough, dare to speak out, deserve to be heard and demand justice. Recognised as a leading force in high-risk high-impact class actions, Shine Lawyers has just won the inaugural Lawyers Weekly Class Actions award.

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