Whistleblower system and
complaint management

in accordance with the German Supply Chain Act
(Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz, LkSG)

Mestemacher GmbH has established a digital whistleblower system with Dr. Carsten Thiel von Herff, LL.M. as part of its compliance strategy. Attorney Dr. Carsten Thiel von Herff is available to serve as an independent counsel (ombudsman). All employees, business partners, suppliers, customers and other third parties can contact him confidentially as well as anonymously.

Topics for which the counsel can serve as a point of contact include, but are not limited to:

  • Corruption / bribery
  • Theft, fraud
  • Discrimination
  • Misconduct
  • Competitive / anti-trust violations
  • Bullying
  • Sexual harassment
  • Violations of occupational safety regulations, data privacy specifications, quality assurance guidelines or environmental protection regulations
  • Disclosure of confidential information.

The counsel is able to receive tips regarding potential violations of the law or internal regulations (whistleblower management). In addition, he handles the complaint process in accordance with the German Supply Chain Act (code of procedure). The complaint process allows individuals to submit tips regarding human rights and environmental risks, as well as regarding violations of human rights or environmental obligations resulting from the business activities of a company within their own business area or the activities of a direct or indirect supplier.

The whistleblower platform is available in multiple languages.

Process for handling tips

Once the counsel receives a tip, he reviews the tip to determine whether it is plausible. If it concerns a suspected violation of criminal law or a violation of internal rules of conduct – such as a violation of the Mestemacher GmbH Code of Conduct – then he forwards the tip to the overall management of the Mestemacher Group as well as the general management of Mestemacher GmbH following consultation with the whistleblower, in anonymous form if necessary. The counsel supports the process, while the overall management of the Mestemacher Group conducts an investigation of the facts provided in coordination with the general management of Mestemacher GmbH. The legal assessment of the matter under investigation is completed, and suitable measures to correct and prevent incorrect business practices are defined in conjunction with the counsel. The whistleblower is informed of these at the latest after the process is completed, if permitted by law. In addition, the whistleblower can request information about the status of the process at any time.

Anonymity and protection for whistleblowers

The anonymity of the whistleblower is ensured at all times at the whistleblower’s request. Therefore, it is possible for the counsel to forward anonymous tips to the overall management of the Mestemacher Group and general management of Mestemacher GmbH. In this case, all further communication will be handled by the counsel, who is subject to professional secrecy.

Protecting the whistleblower is an important part of handling the matter at hand. In particular, the whistleblower is protected by the principle that no retaliatory actions against them will be tolerated.

The whistleblower’s request to protect their own identity is weighed against the interests of persons affected by the tip in disclosing the matter at hand. Therefore, intentional abuse of the complaint and tip submission mechanism will not be tolerated. In exceptional cases, if the whistleblower system is intentionally abused, the counsel may disclose the identity of the whistleblower to the company.

Contact information

Whistleblowers can submit their tips via the digital reporting platform, in writing (email, letter, fax), by phone, or personally to Dr. Carsten Thiel von Herff:

Dr. Carsten Thiel von Herff, LL.M.
Loebellstraße 4
D – 33602 Bielefeld

Tel.: 0521 / 55 7 333 0
Fax: 0521 / 55 7 333 44
Cell: 0151 / 58 2 303 21