WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION ACT
TRUSTED LAWYER FOR HOMANIT
WHAT IS A TRUSTED LAWYER?
A trusted lawyer, also known as an ombudsman, is an independent person of trust whom employees and third parties can turn to if they would like to report irregularities in the company.
The trusted lawyer for HOMANIT is Dr. Carsten Thiel von Herff.
Mr. Thiel von Herff is an impartial lawyer and has extensive experience as a trusted lawyer for various well-known companies.
In situations in which employees do not want to contact the contact person within HOMANIT in the event of difficulties or problems, the alternative is now to contact a trusted lawyer. Topics for which the trusted lawyer can act as a contact person include:
- Theft, fraud
- Sexual harassment
- Violations of occupational safety guidelines, data protection guidelines, quality safety guidelines or environmental protection guidelines
- Violations of the HOMANIT Code of Conduct
- Disclosure of Confidential Information
CONTACT DETAILS OF THE TRUSTED LAWYER
Information can be sent in writing (via the homepage, email, letter, fax), by telephone or in person to Mr. Thiel von Herff:
Dr. Carsten Thiel von Herff, LL.M.
Tel.: +49 521 557 333 0
Fax: +49 521 557 333 44
Mobil: +49 151 582 303 21
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT THE TRUSTED LAWYER (OMBUDSMAN)
Below we give you short and summarized answers to frequently asked questions about the whistleblower system.
Employees have the right to point out circumstances that suggest a violation of laws or internal rules. The trusted lawyer receives the information. He offers a legally protected and confidential area outside of HOMANIT. He informs the whistleblower about his rights and how to proceed. Only with the consent of the respective whistleblower* will the trusted lawyer forward the tip to the management of the company's headquarters.
The trusted lawyer can be involved in the process as a person of trust. He is available to the whistleblower at any time as a contact person.
*This and other personal names in this and the reference documents always refer to people or groups of people of any gender. The choice of words only serves the purpose of keeping the text linguistically simpler.
As soon as a tip has been received by the trusted lawyer, he will check the tip for plausibility. If there is a suspicion of a violation of criminal laws or a violation of internal rules of conduct - for example against HOMANIT's code of conduct - he will forward the tip, if necessary anonymously, to HOMANIT in consultation with the whistleblower.
The trusted lawyer accompanies the process while HOMANIT initiates an investigation into the facts submitted. The legal assessment of the facts under investigation and the determination of suitable measures to eliminate and prevent incorrect business practices are carried out together with the trusted lawyer.
The whistleblower will be informed of this to the extent legally possible at the latest after the process has been completed. In addition, the whistleblower can inquire about the status of the process at any time.
All employees and external parties, such as suppliers or service providers, can contact the trusted lawyer.
Yes, whistleblowers can also contact the trusted lawyer anonymously. This applies right from the first contact with the trusted lawyer. If desired, the trusted lawyer will then protect the anonymity of the person providing the information towards HOMANIT.
The trusted lawyer receives information about violations of the law and internal rule violations. The main aim is to investigate and prevent white-collar crimes, accounting offenses and damage to assets. But all violations of the HOMANIT code of conduct, such as discrimination, can also be reported.
The report will be investigated in compliance with the law and internal rules and taking into account the interests of all those involved. To do this, the trusted lawyer forwards the information to the responsible contact person at HOMANIT after checking it beforehand.
No, anyone can use the trusted lawyer free of charge.
No, the trusted lawyer may not represent the whistleblower in official or judicial proceedings. Therefore, the trusted lawyer cannot and may not take any steps to enforce the whistleblower's individual rights or claims in court.
The first contact can be made in a telephone call, via the website, by email, by SMS, by post or in a personal conversation.
Yes. It is always possible to visit the trusted lawyer personally and have a confidential conversation.
Yes. The trusted lawyer can initially be contacted completely confidentially. The trusted lawyer informs the whistleblower of his rights at the beginning of the conversation. Only at the end of the conversation does the whistleblower decide whether and in what form the information should be passed on to HOMANIT.
Yes. Only the whistleblower decides what information he gives to the trusted lawyer and which information the trusted lawyer should pass on to HOMANIT in the second step. Only in the case of improper use, i.e. intentionally false information, is the trusted lawyer authorized to pass on information even against the whistleblower's will. The trusted lawyer will explain this to you at the first contact.
Yes. The trusted lawyer acts as a self-employed and independent lawyer and is not subject to any instructions from HOMANIT regarding the handling of the matter. The trusted lawyer decides after his own due diligence whether and to what extent he may pass on the facts submitted to him to HOMANIT.
Yes. The whistleblower is protected. Any act of retaliation directed against the whistleblower will not be tolerated.
Despite repeated skepticism, cases of informing when a trusted lawyer is appointed are very rare. Nevertheless, the trusted lawyer explains to the whistleblower at the beginning of the conversation that misuse of the whistleblower management will not be tolerated and that in the event of intentional, i.e. knowing, misuse, the trusted lawyer is obliged to pass on the whistleblower's personal details to HOMANIT. In any case, employees face disciplinary consequences if they intentionally misuse the information management system.
The trusted lawyer ensures compliance with legal retention obligations and data protection regulations.
No. It is the presumption of innocence. Every tip is followed up in compliance with the law and internal rules and taking into account the interests of all parties involved. Only after the process has been completed is a decision made on possible measures.
As long as the tip was given with good intentions, i.e. not intentionally false, the whistleblower does not have to fear any consequences.
No, using a trusted lawyer is voluntary. It has been set up as an additional contact point.
No. Should the trusted lawyer be heard as a witness in a criminal, civil or other procedure, he will only reveal the name and identity of the whistleblower if he has been expressly permitted to do so by both HOMANIT and the whistleblower.
The trusted lawyer can also be contacted if the whistleblower has committed a criminal offense. On the one hand, the trusted lawyer can inform the whistleblower about his rights; on the other hand, a voluntary disclosure is viewed positively within the context of the existing employment relationship and can have a mitigating effect on the punishment in possible later legal proceedings.
No. Only in narrowly defined exceptional cases involving really serious crimes is everyone obliged to pass on information about a crime to a public prosecutor's office.
In this case, the trusted lawyer can contact the management of HOMANIT directly.
The whistleblower can obtain information about the current situation from the trusted lawyer at any time. The whistleblower will be informed by the trusted lawyer to the extent legally permissible about the initiation of an investigation and at least about the completion of the process.
Yes. No later than after the process has been completed, the whistleblower will be informed of the result by the trusted lawyer to the extent legally permissible.
This cannot be answered in general terms. There are clues that can be completed within a few hours. In the case of extensive examinations, processing can take several weeks.
Yes. Supervisors, the works council, the human resources department and management continue to be available to all employees as contact persons.