Whistleblower and whistleblower protection
What is a whistleblower system?
A whistleblower system serves as a central point of contact for HMS employees, business partners, customers and other stakeholders to draw attention to misconduct without fear of reprisals. Whistleblowers are particularly important for maintaining an open and transparent society, as they have the courage to expose misconduct with their information.
What offences can be reported?
The Whistleblower Protection Act (HinSchG) refers to the reporting of wrongdoing in the area of EU law and national law when it concerns criminal offences or administrative offences,
- which are in the public interest (e.g. tax evasion, money laundering or procurement fraud, product and traffic safety, environmental protection, public health, consumer and data protection),
- or which jeopardize the protection of life, limb or health or the protection of the rights of employees or their representative bodies (Section 2 (1) HinSchG).
However, reports of other misconduct that do not violate legal norms, e.g. violations of HMS internal compliance regulations such as data breaches, theft, damage to company property or working time fraud, do not fall within the scope of protection.
The whistleblower is only protected if he or she can provide concrete evidence. A mere rumor is not enough.
The whistleblower is not protected
- in the case of wilfully or grossly negligent misinformation about violations,
- if the information is already fully known to the public, and
- in the case of speculation/rumors.
How can a report be made?
A report can be made by e-mail, telephone, post or by meeting in person.
Phone: +49 6221 6051-140 (Elisabeth Kohm)
Post: confidential for the attention of Mrs Elisabeth Kohm
Anonymous reports are also possible. A form should be chosen in which queries and feedback from HMS are possible, e.g. by (anonymous) e-mail.