Our subsidiaries use our whistleblower system as a shared internal reporting point. Our subsidiaries with more than 250 employees have commissioned the parent company to provide this whistleblower system for these larger subsidiaries, too. Internal regulations guarantee the confidentiality of the information that relates to these subsidiaries.
General information for whistleblowers
All employees are expressly encouraged to approach the manager responsible for them or BayWa Compliance Organisation if they perceive a lack of clarity regarding the rules in force, have questions in this respect or notice that the conduct of somebody working for the enterprise or of one of our business partners is dishonourable or conflicts with regulations. This procedure can prevent a small problem becoming a big issue. Questions and information to the responsible manager or the BayWa Compliance Organisation should be made openly.
This whistleblower system is also the complaints procedure within the meaning of the German Supply Chain Duty of Care Act (“LkSG”). This should enable people to inform about human rights and environment-related risks and violations of human rights and environmental duties arising from the economic actions of our company in its own business field or of a direct supplier to our company.
You would like to contact us personally or have questions regarding compliance and notifications regarding possible compliance violations? We will be glad to help you.
Please note that confidentiality cannot be completely guaranteed if you make contact directly.
Personal contact to corporate compliance - BayWa AG
What is the objective of the notification system?
We prefer open communication in such matters. The first persons to approach are executive staff members. However, employees may approach the BayWa Compliance Organisation with questions or a notification at any time.
We also accept anonymous queries and notifications where whistleblowers prefer not to disclose their identity.
We follow up all notifications and do not tolerate any prejudicial treatment of persons who provide them. This also applies where notifications prove to be unjustified or unsubstantiated upon closer examination, unless such notifications contain deliberately or grossly negligently false information. If you provide an anonymous notification, it is technically impossible to identify you if the information you provide does not permit conclusions to be drawn as to your identity.
Purpose of the whistleblower system for employees, suppliers and people affected in our supply chain/value chain
With the aid of the whistleblower system, the whislteblowers can
- ask questions about compliance regulations and compliance issues, or
- inform the enterprise online about matters indicating possible breaches of regulations or dishonourable conduct (e.g., corruption, violations of human rights or environmental regulations) on the part of the enterprise and/or its employees, about weaknesses in procedures, areas of risk and possibilities for improvement.
- provide information about human rights and environment-related risks and violations of human rights or environmental duties in our supply chain.
Why can the notification system be used to ask questions as well?
Our integrity and compliance with regulations affects everybody. Severe breaches of regulations and dishonourable conduct can jeopardize the enterprise as a whole or individual jobs. For this reason, all employees are urged to keep their eyes open, to address irregularities indicating a breach of regulations, a violation of the law or dishonourable conduct, and to request advice in case of doubt about their own conduct or that of their colleagues.
It is our aim to detect potential weak points at an early point in time and to improve matters in good time. How and in what form useful information reaches us is ultimately irrelevant. A question asked can also reveal a need for improvement.
What happens to my query or to my notification?
Your query or your notification is initially received by Corporate Compliance
The person handling the case will first assess
- whether it is a query seeking advice which can be answered immediately and will send you a corresponding response via the communication channel you selected. In an individual case it might be necessary for the person handling the case to pose further questions in order to correctly understand and respond to your query.
- Whether it is notification of possible misconduct, a weak point or potential for improvement that requires further assessment. The person handling the case will initiate further appropriate measures in accordance with the relevant procedures provided for within the enterprise.
How am I protected if I submit a notification or a query?
The exchange of information via the whistleblower system takes place completely in encoded form. It is not possible for unauthorized persons to view the contents.
When submitting your query or your notification, you can choose to remain anonymous or to provide your contact data. If you wish to remain anonymous, it is not possible to identify you unless the information you provide permits conclusions as to your identity.
The whistleblower is subject to the special protection regulations of the Whistleblower Protection Act, provided that, at the time of the notification, the whistleblower had sufficient grounds to assume that the informed he or she was reporting was true and that the information concerned violations that fall under the area of application of the Whistleblower Protection Act (criminal offences, certain administrative offences), or, at the time of the notification or disclosure, the whistleblower had sufficient grounds to assume that this was the case.
The whistleblower shall not be protected if the notification deliberately or grossly negligently contains incorrect information (false report). In this case, the whistleblower shall be required to compensate for the damage incurred (Article 38 Whistleblower Protection Act).
How can I communicate with the person handling the case or receive information about the outcome of the proceedings?
If you wish to receive a response to your query or notification without disclosing your identity, then mark the box “allow queries” on the input screen. The system will allocate a process “token” to your query. You will also be asked to determine a password. The response to your query or notification will be provided digitally so that you can then access it using your password and the “process token”. If you lose these access data, access is no longer possible. In that case you will have to submit a new notification.
After verifying matters, the person handling the case will inform you about the further sequence of events, insofar as possible. If you do not activate the “allow queries” box, it will not be possible to inform you.
Can I transmit files or images together with information?
Yes, it is possible to attach files or images to information. However, for security reason, only some file formats are permitted (PDF or image formats).
Please note that files or images usually contain hidden data (so-called meta data) which may contain information about the creator of the file or, in the case of images, often the coordinates of the location where the image was taken. You should delete this meta data if you want to protect your anonymity. If you need help to do this, you will find simple instructions online.
Will I receive confirmation of receipt?
What do I have to do if I want to have a personal meeting?
If you wish to have a personal meeting, kindly mark the box “personal meeting requested” as well as the box “allow queries” so that the case worker can contact you to arrange the details. Please provide a brief description in the input box as to where and how you would be able to attend a personal meeting.
What happens if my query or notification concerns a matter in which I myself broke the rules or was involved in misconduct?
If your query or your notification about the discovery of breaches of the rules by you personally means that you incriminate yourself, this will not protect you subsequently against the appropriate measures under employment law or against possible consequences under criminal law. However, when deciding such matters, the contribution by a person whose information leads to the discovery of breaches of the rules and to the prevention of further risks, can be taken into account.
Will my query or my notification be stored?
Messages you dispatch will be stored within the whistleblower system, as will an assessment of both the relevant sector of the enterprise and the significance of the notification. In addition, communication with you via the “digital letterbox” will be stored within the system, as will the processing comments of the case worker, any measures implemented, and conclusions drawn during the further handling of the case.
Insofar as personal data is processed within this procedure, this will take place within the framework of data protection regulations. The automatic communication of stored data to third parties is not supported technically and does not take place.
Are the employees concerned informed about my query or my notification?
Can the manager responsible for me obtain access to my notification or query if he or she insists?
Both the person handling the case of your query or notification and any other persons involved in processing it within the company are subject to a confidentiality obligation. This means that nobody who is not involved in processing the notification or query can inspect it or the relevant research results.
Do I have to expect that my query or my notification will trigger an investigation?
The enterprise is under an obligation to investigate all alleged breaches of compliance in a reasonable manner. For this reason, all notifications about misconduct, weak points and potential for improvement, and if appropriate queries requesting advice, are verified accordingly. Otherwise any notification you submit would be futile.
If you provide detailed information about the matter concerned or attach documents to your notification, you should be aware that this might ultimately enable your identity to be discovered.
Can third parties such as external investigation authorities view my query or notification, or conduct further research into the results?
Within the context of their investigative powers, government authorities have access to all information within the enterprise. Within the context of investigative procedures, on the basis of court orders, these authorities are entitled to demand the surrender of all documents and materials within the enterprise that relate to a certain matter, and may also conduct a search. The enterprise may avert such orders of seizure and search measures by surrendering the relevant documents and materials.
In individual cases, this includes any information on a certain matter within the whistleblower system.
What is the relationship with the “external reporting point” like?
People who intend to report information about a violation of the rules covered by the Whistleblower Protection Act can choose whether to report to an internal reporting point within the company (i.e. the whistleblower system) or an external reporting point. The Federal Administration has set up a point for external notifications within the Federal Ministry of Justice.
If a violation reported internally is not remedied, the whistleblower is free to turn to an external reporting point.
However, to be able to start processing the notifications as quickly as possible, please report to the internal reporting point first of all.