Recent Court decisions have confirmed that pursuant to Section 79 of the Corporations Act, ANY employee of a corporation (not just directors), can be liable for contraventions of the Act, if they have KNOWLEDGE of a contravention.
Section 79 provides:
CORPORATIONS ACT 2001 – SECT 79
Involvement in contraventions
A person is involved in a contravention if, and only if, the person:
(a) has aided, abetted, counselled or procured the contravention; or
(b) has induced, whether by threats or promises or otherwise, the contravention; or
(c) has been in any way, by act or omission, directly or indirectly, knowingly concerned in, or party to, the contravention; or
(d) has conspired with others to effect the contravention.
The word “person” extends to to company secretaries, corporate Counsel, and financial officers. It can extend to administrative staff.
For example, if you are copied in to an email you are ordinarily deemed to be personally APPRISED of the information in that email.
If you become aware of circumstances that may consitute a contravention, you should bring that matter to the attention of senior management.