This Policy of the Company is structured around 3 key principles: (i) the protection of confidentiality, (ii) the prevention of victimization and the non-retaliation principle, and (iii) the protection of the accused person.
(i) Protection of confidentiality
Confidentially is the cornerstone of this Policy. The recipient of the whistleblowing report and all others involved in the whistleblowing process will treat the information with the intention that such information may only be disclosed on a “need-to-know” basis. The identity of the whistleblower will not be revealed without first obtaining the whistleblower’s explicit consent, unless its disclosure is required in response to a valid court order or by the law. The whistleblower will be given prior notice before any such disclosure.
On the basis that the whistleblower’s identity is intended to be kept anonymous, the Company encourages each whistleblower to disclose his/her identity or provide contact details when reporting a concern in order to facilitate any follow-up actions. Anonymous reporting is, nevertheless, a possibility should this be required and a whistleblowing report will not be disregarded solely on the basis that it had been made anonymously.
(ii) Prevention of victimization and the non-retaliation principle
The protection of whistleblowers is of paramount importance to the Company. The Company will ensure to the best of its ability that employees who have filed a report or raised their concerns via any of the whistleblowing communication channels in good faith will be appropriately protected from any negative impact such as harassment, retaliation, discrimination or other types of unfair treatment. Retaliation includes any adverse action taken inappropriately against the whistleblower such as demotion, firing, salary reduction, etc.
Appropriate measures will be taken against any employee who engages in retaliatory actions towards a whistleblower. Such measures can take the form of disciplinary actions, including the possibility of dismissal.
A report is made in good faith if the relevant individual has reasonable grounds to believe the information was true at the time of reporting. If you believe you have suffered adverse consequences as a result of making a whistleblowing report, please inform the receiving officers in accordance with the information in section 4.1, who will arrange for an independent investigation into the matter.
(iii) Protection of the accused person
Similarly, for the person being accused of alleged impropriety, his/her employment rights and right to privacy will need to be carefully considered. The person who is the subject of an investigation may be informed about the cause if appropriate.
If the investigation finds no evidence that justifies the allegations on the accused person, the accused person should be protected from any negative impact. Even if the outcome of the investigation validates the whistleblower’s concern and corrective measures are taken, the accused person should be protected from unintended or disproportionate negative effects that go beyond the objective of the corrective measures.