Last update: 01.04.2023
- Preliminary matters
This Whistleblowing Policy applies to all and any of the companies Lugera & Makler S.R.L., Lugera & Makler Romania S.R.L., Lugera & Makler Payroll S.R.L., Lugera Recruitment Services S.R.L., Lugera Outsourcing S.R.L., Lugera Executive Search S.R.L., Lugera Servicii Profesionale S.R.L., Credit Card Broker S.R.L., individually and/or collectively referred to as “Lugera”.
The applicable legislation is represented by Law no. 361/2022 on the protection of whistleblowers in the public interest.
2.1. What is Reporting and Reporting Content
In this Whistleblowing Policy, the terms below have the following meaning:
- internal reporting – communication of information on violations of the law within Lugera; internal reporting is done through the means provided by Lugera for reporting on violations of the law, which constitute the internal reporting channels;
- external reporting – communication of information on violations of the law through external reporting channels represented by (i) public authorities and institutions that, according to special legal provisions, receive and solve reports on violations of the law, within their field of competence; (ii) National Integrity Agency (A.N.I.); (iii) other public authorities and institutions to which A.N.I. transmits the reports to competent resolution.
Reporting means communication by the whistleblower as referred to in point 3.3. of this Whistleblowing Policy, of a suspicion of misconduct, illegal acts or failure to act within Lugera.
The aim of this Whistleblowing Policy is to encourage employees and others who have serious concerns about any aspect of Lugera’s work to come forward and voice those concerns.
Employees are often the first to realize that there may be something wrong within Lugera.
Reporting is viewed by Lugera as a positive act that can make a valuable contribution to Lugera’s efficiency and long-term success. It is not disloyal to colleagues or Lugera to present your suspicions about committing illegal acts or failures to act.
If you are considering raising a concern, you should read this Whistleblowing Policy first.
- the type of issues that can be raised;
- how the person raising a concern will be protected from victimisation and harassment;
- how to raise a concern; and
- what Lugera will do.
Reporting on breaches of the law is mainly carried out through existing internal reporting channels. However, the whistleblower reporting on breaches may choose between the internal reporting channel and the external reporting channel. In choosing the reporting channel, the whistleblower may consider issues such as:
- there is a risk of reprisals, in case of reporting through internal channels;
- failure to remedy the breach effectively through internal reporting channels.
Reporting shall be in writing, on paper or in electronic form, or by face-to-face meeting, at the request of the whistleblower in the public interest.
The report shall include, at least, the following: first and last name, contact details of the whistleblower in the public interest, the professional context in which the information was obtained, the data subject (the natural or legal person mentioned in the report or in the public disclosure as the person to whom the breach is attributed or with whom that person is associated), if known, the description of the act likely to constitute a breach of the law within Lugera, as well as, where appropriate, the evidence supporting the report, the date and the signature, as the case may be.
2.2. Anonymous reports
Reporting that does not include the name, surname, contact details or signature of the whistleblower in the public interest is examined and resolved to the extent that it contains indications of violations of the law.
2.3. Untrue Allegations
If you make an allegation in good faith and reasonably believing it to be true but not confirmed by the investigation, Lugera will acknowledge your concern and you have nothing to fear.
If, however, you make an accusation frivolously, maliciously or for personal gain, appropriate action may be taken that could include disciplinary action. Also, reporting information on violations of the law, knowing that they are unreal, constitutes an offense and is sanctioned with a fine from 2,500 lei to 30,000 lei, if the deed was not committed in such conditions as to be considered, according to the law, a crime.
2.4. Record-keeping of reports
The reports shall be entered in a register, which shall include the date of receipt of the report, the surname and first name, the contact details of the whistleblower in the public interest, the subject matter of the report and the manner of settlement. The register shall be kept in electronic format.
Lugera keeps records of all reports received in compliance with confidentiality requirements. Reports shall be kept for 5 years. After the expiry of the 5-year retention period, they are destroyed, regardless of the medium on which they are stored.
- What is the purpose of the Whistleblowing Policy and when does it apply?
3.1. Objectives of the Whistleblowing Policy
The Whistleblowing Policy is designed to ensure that you can raise your concerns about facts likely to be a violation of the law within Lugera without fear of victimisation, further discrimination, disadvantage or dismissal.
This Whistleblowing Policy aims to:
- encourage you to feel confident in raising concerns about facts that may constitute a violation of the law in Lugera;
- provide avenues for you to raise those concern and receive feedback on any action taken;
- ensure that you receive a response to your concerns and that you are aware of how to pursue them if you are not satisfied with the response;
- reassure you that you will be protected from possible reprisals or victimisation if you have made any disclosure in good faith.
3.2. Scope of the Whistleblowing Policy
This Whistleblowing Policy is intended to enable those who have become aware of facts likely to constitute a violation of law in Lugera to report them as soon as possible so that they can be properly investigated.
The Whistleblowing Policy is not intended to replace the existing procedures for the amicable settlement of individual labour disputes, individual requests or complaints of employees or for the settlement of referrals of employees who consider themselves discriminated or harassed, provided in the Internal Regulation.
3.3. Who can report a problem under this Whistleblowing Policy?
This Whistleblowing Policy applies to reporting persons who have obtained information relating to breaches of the law in a work-related context. These persons shall include at least the following persons:
- a) Lugera employees;
- b) Lugera associates and directors;
- c) employees of Lugera partners, contractors, customers and suppliers;
- d) persons whose employment relationship has not yet started (candidates for open positions at Lugera);
- e) natural persons involved in the recruitment processes carried out by Lugera for its clients;
- f) people in practice or internship at Lugera.
3.4. What should be reported?
We encourage you to report any act that may be likely to violate the law.
Violations of the law shall mean acts consisting of an action or inaction which constitute non-compliance with legal provisions, covering areas such as: public procurement; financial services, products and markets, as well as the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing; product safety and compliance; transport safety; environmental protection; food and feed safety, animal health and welfare; public health; consumer protection; protection of privacy and personal data and the security of computer networks and systems; infringements affecting the financial interests of the European Union; breaches relating to the internal market, including infringements of the rules of the European Union on competition and State aid, as well as infringements relating to the internal market in respect of acts infringing the rules on corporate taxation or mechanisms the purpose of which is to obtain a tax advantage contrary to the object or purpose of the applicable corporate tax law, which constitute misconduct, contravention or offences, or which are contrary to the purpose or purpose of the law.
- Protective measures, remedies and liability
4.1. Conditions for receiving protective and remedial measures
In order to benefit from the protection measures from Lugera, the whistleblower in the public interest must cumulatively meet the following conditions:
- a) to be one of the persons reporting according to the provisions of point 3.3. of the Whistleblowing Policy and who has obtained information regarding violations of the law in a professional context;
- b) had reasonable grounds to believe that the information relating to the reported infringements was true at the time of reporting;
- c) have made an internal report.
In order to benefit from the remedies, the whistleblower must cumulatively fulfil the conditions set out in the previous paragraph, as well as the condition that the retaliation is the consequence of the reporting carried out.
4.2. Persons benefiting from protection measures, respectively from remedial measures
The measures provided for in point 4.1. above applies to whistleblowers who make an internal report, but also:
- a) facilitators (natural person assisting the whistleblower in the reporting process in a professional context and whose assistance must be confidential);
- b) third parties who have links to the whistleblower in the public interest and who may suffer retaliation in a work-related context, such as colleagues or relatives;
- c) legal persons held by the whistleblower in the public interest or for whom the whistleblower in the public interest works or with whom he has other types of links in a professional context;
- d) the public interest whistleblower who, anonymously, has reported or publicly disclosed information relating to breaches but is subsequently identified and is subject to retaliation;
- e) whistleblower reporting to the competent institutions, bodies, offices or agencies of the European Union.
4.3. Liability and Disclaimer
The whistleblower who makes a public reporting or disclosure of information on breaches of the law does not violate the legal provisions or the contractual clauses on disclosure of information and is not liable for the public reporting or disclosure of such information, provided that he has made a public reporting or disclosure under the terms of Law no. 361/2022 and had reasonable grounds to believe that the reporting or disclosure was necessary for the disclosure of a breach of law.
The whistleblower who acquires or accesses data and information of which he/she is aware by virtue of his/her job duties or employment relationships shall not be liable if the access or acquisition is for the purpose of reporting or publicly disclosing a violation of the law, and the reporting or public disclosure was carried out under the conditions of Law no. 361/2022.
The liability of whistleblowers in the public interest for acts or omissions not related to public reporting or disclosure or not necessary for the disclosure of a breach of law is subject to the provisions of ordinary law.
In court proceedings concerning violations of the right to image, copyright infringement, breach of professional secrecy, breach of data protection rules, disclosure of trade secrets or actions for damages, the liability of the persons mentioned at points 3.3. and 4.2. of this Whistleblowing Policy cannot be engaged as a result of reporting or public disclosures made under the terms of this law. The persons mentioned at points 3.3. and point 4.2. of this Whistleblowing Policy have the right to invoke such reporting or public disclosure in order to pursue the closure of the case, provided that they have had reasonable grounds to believe that the reporting or public disclosure was necessary for the disclosure of a violation of the law, pursuant to Law no. 361/2022.
If a person reports or publicly discloses information regarding violations of the law under the terms of this law and this information includes trade secrets, such reporting or public disclosure is considered legal under the terms of art. Government Emergency Ordinance no. 25/2019 on the protection of know-how and undisclosed business information that constitute trade secrets against unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure, as well as for the amendment and completion of certain normative acts.
4.4. Repair of the damage suffered
The persons referred to in points 3.3. and 4.2. of this Whistleblowing Policy who have made a report or public disclosure under the terms of Law no. 361/2022 are entitled to full compensation for the damage suffered as a result of reporting or public disclosure.
4.5. Prohibition of retaliation and challenge of measures taken in retaliation
Lugera will not take any action against the whistleblower in the public interest and the persons referred to in point 4.2. of this Whistleblowing Policy as a result of a report made by it. Any form of reprisals against whistleblowers in the public interest, threats of reprisal or attempts to reprisal shall be prohibited, in particular those concerning:
- a) any suspension of the employment contract or service relationship;
- b) dismissal;
- c) modification of the employment contract or service relationship;
- d) reduction of salary and change of working hours;
- (e) demotion or impediment to promotion to employment or public office and to professional development, including through negative assessments of individual professional performance, including civil servants, or through negative recommendations for professional activity;
- f) the application of any other disciplinary sanction;
- g) coercion, intimidation, harassment;
- h) discrimination, creating another disadvantage or subjecting to unfair treatment;
- (i) a refusal to convert a fixed-term employment contract into an open-ended employment contract where the worker had legitimate expectations that he or she would be offered permanent employment;
- j) refusal to renew an employment contract for a fixed period or early termination of such a contract;
- (k) causing damage, including to the reputation of the person concerned, in particular on social media, or financial loss, including in the form of loss of business opportunities and loss of income;
- (l) inclusion on a negative list or database, on the basis of a sectoral or industry-wide agreement, whether formal or informal, which may mean that the person concerned will not find a job in that sector or industry in the future;
- m) extrajudicial unilateral termination of a contract for goods or services, without meeting the conditions in this regard;
- n) cancellation of a license or permit;
- o) request a psychiatric or medical evaluation.
For the avoidance of doubt, the aforementioned actions, except those mentioned in letters g), h), k) and l), may be taken by Lugera in the context of the normal development of the employment relations, respectively of the commercial or collaborative relations, these actions being prohibited only to the extent that the respective action is related to the reporting carried out by the whistleblower in the public interest.
The whistleblower in the public interest, but also any person referred to in point 4.2. of this Whistleblowing Policy may challenge the measures provided in letters a) – o) above by a request addressed to the competent court, depending on the nature of the dispute, in whose territorial jurisdiction it is domiciled.
At the request of the whistleblower under disciplinary investigation as a result of internal, external reporting or public disclosure, the disciplinary investigation commission has the obligation to invite the press and a representative of the trade union or employees, as the case may be (if any). The announcement is made by communication on the Lugera website at least 3 working days before the meeting, under the sanction of nullity of the report and of the disciplinary sanction applied.
All reports will be treated confidentially and every effort will be made not to disclose your identity if this is your wish. If, as a result of the investigation of the report, disciplinary or other proceedings will have to be carried out, it may not be possible to carry out those proceedings without revealing your identity, so you may be asked to appear as a witness. If you agree to this, advice and support will be provided.
The person appointed to deal with the reporting shall not disclose the identity of the whistleblower in the public interest nor the information that would allow his/her direct or indirect identification, unless he/she has his/her express consent.
By way of exception, the identity of the whistleblower in the public interest and any other information by which it can be identified may be disclosed only if this is an obligation imposed by law, subject to the conditions and limits laid down therein. In this case, the whistleblower shall be informed in advance in writing of the disclosure of the identity and reasons for the disclosure of the personal data in question. The obligation does not exist if the information would jeopardise investigations or judicial proceedings.
Information contained in reports constituting trade secrets may not be used or disclosed for purposes other than those necessary to resolve the report.
The obligation to maintain confidentiality does not exist where the whistleblower has intentionally disclosed his or her identity in the context of a public disclosure.
The obligation to maintain confidentiality shall also be maintained if the report is mistakenly made to another person within Lugera, other than the designated person. In this case, the report shall be forwarded without delay to the designated person.
Processing and Protection of personal data
All processing of personal data carried out under Law no. 361/2022, including the exchange or transmission of personal data by the competent authorities, is carried out in accordance with the provisions of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR) and Law no. 363/2018, as well as the provisions of Regulation (EU) 2018/1.725.
Personal data that is not necessary for the resolution of a particular report shall not be collected or, if accidentally collected, shall be deleted.
The data controllers and their contact details are mentioned at the end of this Whistleblowing Policy.
The categories of data subjects according to the GDPR are those provided in points 3 and 4.2. of the Whistleblowing Policy, the data subjects mentioned in the report or in the public disclosure, other persons who are involved in the investigation.
The categories of personal data are generally the name and surname, the contact details of the data subjects according to the GDPR, the position, the employer, other personal data depending on the nature of the report and the subsequent actions related to the investigation.
The basis of the processing is art. 6 para. 1 letter a (consent of the data subject), letter c (fulfillment of a legal obligation of the data controller) and letter f (legitimate interest of the data controller) of GDPR.
The data controller processes personal data for a period of 5 years. After the expiry of the 5-year retention period, they are destroyed, regardless of the medium on which they are stored.
According to the applicable law, you have the right to request access to your personal data, their rectification, restriction of processing, deletion, portability, the right to oppose the processing, as well as the right to withdraw your consent (when the processing was carried out on the basis of the consent of the data subject), to the extent that they do not contravene the law. These rights can be exercised by addressing a written request to the data controller, either in physical format, at the address in Bucharest, sector 3, Str. Vulturilor nr. 98, et. 1, with the mention Data Protection, either in electronic format, at the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. The data controller will respond to your request as soon as possible, but no later than 1 (one) month after receiving your request. You also have the right to lodge a complaint with the National Supervisory Authority for Personal Data Processing in Romania.
4.8. The rights of the data subject (the natural or legal person mentioned in the report or in the public disclosure as the person to whom the violation of the law is attributed or with whom that person is associated)
The provisions on confidentiality and processing of personal data applicable to whistleblowers in the public interest shall also apply to the data subject as well as to the third persons referred to in the report.
The identity of the data subject shall be protected as long as actions subsequent to the report or public disclosure are in progress, unless, as a result of the resolution of the report or disclosure, it is found that the data subject is not guilty of breaches of the law that were the subject of the report or disclosure.
Data subjects have the right of defence, including the right to be heard and the right of access to their file.
- How and where can internal reporting be submitted?
Reporting may be submitted in writing (i) in electronic format, by e-mail to the email address email@example.com , mentioning in the subject of the email “Reporting violation” or similar, or (ii) in hard format, on paper, by mail/courier, to the address Bucharest, sector 3, Str. Vulturilor nr. 98, et. 1, mentioning on the envelope “Report violation” or similar.
Access to e-mail address and electronic and physical correspondence is granted only to the person (s) designated by Lugera to resolve the reports.
- What Lugera will do
Lugera appoints a person, called an Integrity Officer, with duties regarding the receipt, registration, examination, follow-up and resolution of reports, who shall act impartially and be independent in the exercise of these duties.
The Integrity Officer has the obligation to send to the whistleblower in the public interest the confirmation of receipt of the report, within 7 calendar days of its receipt.
The Integrity Officer has the obligation to inform the whistleblower about the status of the subsequent actions, no later than 3 months from the date of the acknowledgement of receipt or, if the receipt of the report has not been confirmed, from the expiry of the 7-day period provided above, as well as thereafter, whenever developments in the conduct of the subsequent actions are recorded, unless the information could jeopardize their performance.
The Integrity Officer will carry out the follow-up actions with due diligence, making every effort to resolve the recorded report correctly and quickly.
Also, the Integrity Officer has the obligation to inform the whistleblower, the heads of authorities, public institutions, other legal persons of public law, as well as legal persons of private law, on how to solve the reporting.
Also, Lugera, through its Integrity Officer, has the obligation to provide clear and easily accessible information on external reporting procedures to the competent authorities and, where appropriate, to the institutions, bodies, offices or agencies of the European Union.
Lugera will respond to your concerns as soon as possible. The primary principle for Lugera will be the public interest. To be fair to all employees, including those who may be wrongly accused, initial inquiries will be made to decide whether an investigation is appropriate and, if so, what form it should take.
The investigation may be conducted in strict confidence, i.e. by not informing the subject of the complaint until (or if) it becomes necessary to do so. However, in certain cases, such as allegations of ill-treatment of others, the prohibition of access to work will be immediately taken into account. The protection of others is paramount in all cases.
You may be interviewed to ensure that your disclosure is fully understood.
The Council will do its utmost to minimise any difficulties you may encounter as a result of a report. For example, if you are asked to testify in criminal or disciplinary proceedings, the Integrity Officer will arrange for you to receive appropriate advice and support.
Unless there are legal reasons why this cannot be done, you will be kept informed of the progress and outcome of any investigation.
- Classification of internal reporting
Reporting shall be classified when:
- a) it does not contain the elements provided in point 2.1. the last paragraph of this Whistleblowing Policy, other than the data identifying the whistleblower in the public interest, and the designated person requested its completion within 15 days, without this obligation being fulfilled;
- b) the report is submitted anonymously and does not contain sufficient information on violations of the law to allow the analysis and resolution of the report, and the designated person requested its completion within 15 days, without this obligation being fulfilled.
In the situation referred to in letter a), the classification solution shall be communicated to the whistleblower in the public interest, indicating the legal basis.
If a person makes several reports with the same object, they are connected, the whistleblower in the public interest will receive a single information. If after its submission a new report with the same subject matter is received, without submitting additional information justifying a different follow-up, it shall be closed.
The designated person may decide to terminate the procedure if, after examination of the report, it is found to be a clearly minor infringement and does not require further follow-up other than closure of the procedure. This provision shall be without prejudice to the obligation of confidentiality, to inform the whistleblower in the public interest and shall be without prejudice to any other obligations or other applicable procedures to remedy the breach reported.
The classification solution shall be communicated to the whistleblower in the public interest, indicating the legal basis.
- External reporting
This Whistleblowing Policy is intended to provide you with a pathway within Lugera to express your concerns. Lugera hopes that you will be satisfied with any action taken.
If you are not satisfied and consider it correct to take the problem outside Lugera, or decide to report the problem directly externally, as shown in point 2.1. of the Whistleblowing Policy, the authorities with attributions in this regard are provided in point 2.1. of the Whistleblowing Policy.
- Public Disclosure
If you raise concerns outside of Lugera, you should ensure that it is made to one of the authorities entrusted with this task. A public disclosure to anyone else may put you outside the protection of Law no. 361/2022.
You must not disclose information that is confidential to Lugera or anyone else, such as a customer or contractor of Lugera.
A whistleblower who publicly discloses information on breaches of the law shall be protected if one of the following conditions is met:
- a) first reported internally and externally or directly externally, but considers that no appropriate measures have been ordered within the term provided in art. 17 para (6) of Law no. 316/2022;
- (b) has reasonable grounds to believe that:
- the infringement may constitute an imminent or obvious danger to the public interest or the risk of damage which can no longer be remedied; or
- in the case of external reporting, there is a risk of retaliation or a low likelihood that the breach will be effectively remedied due to the specific circumstances of the reporting.
A public disclosure complaint may be addressed to the press, professional, trade unions or employers’ organizations, non-governmental organizations, parliamentary commissions or by making information on violations of the law available in any way in the public space.
- Review of the Whistleblowing Policy
Lugera will review this Whistleblowing Policy annually or as needed.
- Corporate Monitoring
The Integrity Officer has overall responsibility for monitoring the application of this Whistleblowing Policy.
The Integrity Officer will review the reporting register and prepare an annual report for the Lugera management. The report will include a summary of the issues raised, which departments they referred to and any other information they find useful. The report will not include personal data. The purpose of this report is to ensure that:
- Lugera and/or the relevant department learns from mistakes and does not repeat them; and
- Coherence between departments.
The reporting register together with the annual reports will be available for inspection by internal and external audit after the removal of any personal data.
Lugera & Makler S.R.L. – RO 13861487, J40/4327/2001 || Lugera & Makler Romania S.R.L. – RO 15619774, J40/10246/2003 || Lugera & Makler Payroll S.R.L. – RO 18838779, J40/11234/2006 || Lugera Recruitment Services S.R.L. – RO J40/2510/2017, CUI 37134222 || Lugera Outsourcing S.R.L. – RO 29319025, J40/13292/2011 || Lugera Executive Search S.R.L. – RO 32833416, J40/2153/2014 || Lugera Servicii Profesionale S.R.L. – RO 26061346, J40/9877/2009 || Credit Card Broker S.R.L. – 26705927, J40/3209/2010
Str. Vulturilor, nr. 98, etaj 1, Sector 3, Bucharest, Romania