Employees in New Zealand who work in unsavory environments but are worried about reporting unprofessional, unethical, indeed, illegal activities, can breathe easier. The New Zealand Herald reports that Kiwi whistleblowers will soon be protected from retribution or any other type of reprisals for their actions.
While this isn't exactly new (it's covered under New Zealand's Protected Disclosures Act), it extends protections to include board members and volunteers as well as people who give information in support of a whistleblower.
In other words, it not only protects the employee from his or her bosses, but it also protects individuals from such criminal and civil proceedings.
I salute this new provision, hell, the law as a whole. Despite the mantra that "no one likes a tattletale", people must feel that they are able to report inappropriate activities to the appropriate authorities without fear for their jobs or their well-being.
This type of act is exactly what the corporate world needs to avoid having to put up with another Enron.
Unfortunately, we live in a day and age where companies seem unable to police themselves and self-correct ethical problems. Perhaps they thought that the "little people" needed their monthly paychecks too badly to report unethical activity. Should that be the case, you can be sure that mentalities will soon change, especially as te new provisions will applies to board members – the very people who have access to sensitive information to which other employees are not privy.
Chalk up a victory for New Zealand for recognizing that there is still a place for ethical activity in the workplace – even in the private sector!