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Reporting obligation

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Obligation to report House for Whistleblowers Act

This obligation to report has been drawn up on behalf of Van Uitert Companies B.V. and also applies for all subsidiary companies, hereinafter referred to as Van Uitert Companies.

Definitions

Article 1.1.       The following terms used in these regulations are defined as follows:

The Organisation: Van Uitert Companies

Reporter: the employee or another person who has come into contact with the organisation as a result of his or her work and who makes a report. These persons include, in any case, temporary employees, seconded employees, trainees, volunteers and other hired individuals.

1.2                   Suspected social abuse: the Reporter’s suspicion that there is serious

abuse within the organisation in so far as;

a. the suspicion is based on reasonable grounds resulting from the knowledge gained by the Reporter in his employment with the Organisation or from the knowledge obtained by the Reporter through his work for the Organisation.

b. the public interest in the case is at least:

  • the (imminent) violation of a legal regulation;
  • an (imminent) danger to public health;
  • an (imminent) danger to the safety of persons;
  • an (imminent) danger to the degradation of the environment;
  • (imminent) danger to the proper functioning of the public service or a company as a result of improper conduct or omission.
  • The suspected social abuse also includes an imminent abuse, an integrity violation where individuals violate the standards and values of the Organisation and irregularities in the implementation, structures, processes or procedures within the organisation that are so serious that they go beyond the responsibility of the immediate managers.

1.3.                  Management Board: those who are appointed as the management of the Organisation.

1.4.                 Reporting Officer: the person appointed by the Management Board/Works Council to act as a confidential

             adviser for the Organisation within the context of these regulations.

1.5.                  External Party: in these regulations, except in the cases of

                        Article 5.3 of these regulations, External Party means:

a. an authority charged with the investigation and prosecution of criminal offenses, such as the Public Prosecution Service;

b. an authority charged with monitoring compliance with the provisions of or pursuant to any statutory provision, such as the Social Affairs and Employment inspectorate;

c. another competent authority where the suspicion of abuse can be reported, such as the Whistleblowers Authority.

Internal report

Article 2.1. The Reporter reports the Suspected social abuse to the Reporting Officer in accordance with the procedure described in these regulations. In case of doubt as to whether there is a Suspected social abuse, the Reporter can check this in good faith and without discrimination with the Reporting Officer before making a formal report.

2.2. If the report of a Suspected social abuse concerns the Reporting Officer, this report will be submitted to the Management Board.

2.3. Unless there is a ground for exception as referred to in Article 5.2 of these regulations, the Reporter may also report the Suspected social abuse to the Management Board in accordance with the procedure described in these regulations.

2.4. The Reporting Officer makes a written record of this report, stating the date of receipt and has the Reporter, who will receive a copy thereof, sign it for approval. The receiving officer informs the Management Board as soon as possible of a reported Suspected social abuse stating the date on which the report was received; if possible, the same day.

2.5. If the report has been made to the Reporting Officer, he will inform the Management Board in a manner agreed with the Reporter. Upon receipt of the report, an investigation will commence as soon as possible. In addition, the Reporting Officer will, in consultation with the Management Board, assess whether an External Report has to be made. Both the Reporter and the person to whom the Suspected social abuse has been reported, treat the report confidentially and thereby observe the GDPR requirements.

2.6. The Organisation is not obliged to investigate every report. If the Organisation chooses not to investigate a report, it will inform the Reporter of this decision as soon as possible and stating the reasons for its decision. If the report is investigated, the Reporter will be informed of the subsequent steps.

2.7. As soon as the investigation has been completed, the Reporter will be informed of the main conclusions. The Reporter will be given the opportunity to respond to the result of the investigation and the Organisation’s position before the investigation is completed. Based on this, the Reporter can decide whether to make an external report.

Reporting Officer

Article 3.1. The Organisation appoints a reporting officer. The Reporting Officer acts as a process monitor during the reporting procedure. The Reporter can seek advice from the Reporting Officer in all confidentiality about what the best course of action is for him to take.

3.2. The Reporting Officer acts with authority, credibility and, in that capacity, independently of the Organisation’s management.

3.3. If the Reporting Officer is an employee that is employed by the Organisation, the legal protection of Article 21 of the Works Councils Act and Book 7, Section 658b of the Dutch Civil Code apply mutatis mutandis to the Reporting Officer.

Position

Article 4.1. Within a period of eight (8) weeks from the time of the internal report, the Reporting Officer or the Management Board will inform the Reporter in writing of the substantive position regarding the reported Suspected social abuse. Which actions have to be taken as a result of the report will also be indicated.  The position is formulated taking into account the possible confidential nature of the (business) information to be provided and the applicable legal provisions such as privacy regulations.

4.2. If the position cannot be given within eight (8) weeks, the Reporter will be notified accordingly in writing by the Management Board or the Reporting Officer. An indication of the time period within which the Reporter can expect a statement of position will also be provided.

External Report

Article 5.1. After completing the internal reporting procedure as referred to in Article 2 of these regulations, the Reporter may consider reporting the Suspected social abuse to an External Party if:

a. the Reporter does not agree with the position and the intended actions as referred to in Article 5 of these regulations and is of the opinion that the suspicion has been wrongly set aside, or

b. the Reporter, even after inquiring, has not received a statement of position within the period(s) as referred to in Article 5 of these regulations.

5.2. The Reporter may consider reporting the Suspected social abuse directly to an External Party, thereby disregarding the internal reporting procedure, if it cannot reasonably be expected of him to make an internal report first.  That is in any case relevant in the following situations involving:

a. acute danger, where a compelling and urgent public interest makes immediate external reporting necessary;

b. the Reporter has a reasonable suspicion that the highest person responsible within the Organisation’s management is involved in his or her suspicion of social abuse;

c. a situation in which there is reasonable cause for the Reporter to fear countermeasures as a result of the internal report;

d. a clearly identifiable threat of embezzlement or destruction of evidence;

e. an earlier report in accordance with the procedure of the same Suspected social abuse that has not removed the Suspected social abuse;

f. a legal obligation to report directly to an External Party;

5.3. Only if, in the reasonable opinion of the Reporter, he or she reports a Suspected social abuse in good faith because, in his or her reasonable opinion, this is of such major public interest that, in the circumstances of the case, that interest must be given greater weight than the Organisation’s interest in confidentiality, the External Party within the meaning of paragraph 1 or paragraph 2 of this article can also be understood to mean another external third party who, in the reasonable opinion of the Reporter, may be deemed capable of directly or indirectly of eliminating or having the suspected abuses eliminated.  The Reporter thereby takes into account, on the one hand, the effectiveness with which the other external party he has chosen can intervene and, on the other hand, the interests of the Organisation in the least possible damage as a result of that intervention.  The Reporter will only make an external report as referred to in this paragraph if there are no other potentially less harmful alternatives available.

5.4. If no suitable external contact point exists, an external report can be submitted to the Investigation Department of the Whistleblowers Authority. This department can investigate the report if:

a. it contains the following information:

  • the name and address of the Reporter;
  • the date;
  • a description of the Suspected social abuse and the name of the Organisation that it concerns;
  • the reason(s) why the Reporter is of the opinion that there is a Suspected social abuse.

b. the Reporter has a ‘reasonable suspicion’ of a social abuse. This means that he does not have to prove everything in detail, but that he must be able to show that something is wrong.

c. it must concern a Suspected social abuse.

there is no other authority (such as the Public Prosecution Service, an inspectorate or supervisor) that can investigate the abuse, or if this authority does not investigate the abuse or does not investigate it properly

d. an internal report has first been made, but it has not been properly addressed; or the Reporter had a good reason not to report internally;

e. the Whistleblowers Authority is not already investigating the abuse;

f. the court has not already made an irrevocable decision about the abuse;

g. it does not concern minor incidents of integrity.  The Whistleblowers Authority only investigates work-related abuses.

Purposes for which the whistleblowers regulations are not intended

Article 6.1. These regulations do not replace existing procedures for dealing with (individual) complaints or irregularities. Such complaints and irregularities must first be discussed through the normal channels with the immediate superior, the line manager, the HR manager or other regular person designated for that purpose.

Safeguarding the Reporter’s legal rights

Article 7.1. The Reporting Officer will keep the Reporter’s identity secret as much as possible. If it is not possible to keep the Reporter’s identity secret in connection with further action to be taken to combat the Suspected social abuse, the Reporting Officer will first contact the Reporter to discuss the matter.

7.2. The Reporter of a Suspected social abuse that acts in good faith and with due care falls under the legal protection of Book 7, Section 658b of the Dutch Civil Code.  This means that the Reporter shall not be prejudiced in any way by or because of his or her report of a Suspected social abuse.  In other words, the Reporter will not be treated any less favourably by the Organisation and/or his/her colleagues in connection with making a report than he/she would have been treated if he/she had not made a report. This legal protection applies both during the handling of the internal or external report and afterwards.

7.3. If during the investigation it appears that it is not possible to confirm that there is a Suspected social abuse, while the Reporter has acted with due care, no measures will be taken against the Reporter.

7.4. If the investigation shows that a report was made falsely or in bad faith, then this may constitute a ground to take measures against the Reporter in reasonable proportion to that ground.

7.5. If the Reporter is punished by a specific person, treated unfairly or otherwise prejudiced without reasonable grounds, this will have consequences for that person.

7.6. Due care has, in any case, been taken if:

a. the Reporter has first raised the relevant facts internally as referred to in Article 2 of these regulations, unless this could not reasonably have been expected of him/her, as provided for in these regulations;

b. the Reporter announces the facts in an appropriate and proportionate manner when reporting to an External Party as provided for in these regulations;

c. the Reporter has a reasonable suspicion that the facts in question are correct as referred to in Article 1.3.a of these regulations;

d. when reporting to an External Party a public interest is at stake as referred to in Article 1.3.b of these regulations, and

e.  when reporting within the meaning of Article 6.3 of these regulations, the importance of the notification in social terms takes precedence over the Organisation’s interest in confidentiality.

7.7. The Reporter will also enjoy the protection referred to in this Article 8. of these regulations in the event of a report of incidents, irregularities and violations of integrity.

7.8. If the Reporter is of the opinion that he/she is being prejudiced, the Reporter may request the Investigation Department of the Whistleblowers Authority to conduct an interpersonal conduct investigation into the way the Reporter has been treated.

Privacy

Article 8.1. All personal data processed by the Organisation in the context of these regulations will only be used to fulfil the objectives of these regulations. The personal data will only be provided to persons who need it for these purposes or to comply with a legal obligation or to serve an important public interest.

8.2. If a report proves to be unfounded, all personal data relating to the report will be destroyed as quickly as possible, unless the personal data is necessary for securing evidence in a possible proceeding.

8.3. If a report is found to be justified, the personal data associated with the investigation will be deleted within two (2) months after the investigation has been completed, unless disciplinary action is taken, or the personal data is necessary for securing evidence in a possible procedure.

8.4. If the Organisation is part of a group, the personal details of a report will only be shared with other members of the group if the report of a Suspected social abuse can affect those other members within the group.  If this requires personal data being processed outside the European Union, the Organisation will take the necessary data protection measures to make this possible.

Concluding provisions

Article 9.1.

These regulations come into effect on 16-05-2019.

9.2.

These regulations were approved by the works council on 15-05-2019.

9.3.

These regulations are made available to persons working at the Organisation in writing and/or electronically.

9.4.

From the date of entry into force, Mr K. Severijns is appointed Reporting Officer for these regulations.

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