Mumbai, October 2016
 
L’ORÉAL INDIA OPEN TALK POLICY
REVISED WHISTLE BLOWER POLICY 
 

1 PURPOSE

 
A key element of L’ORÉAL’s Ethics Program is to enable employees to voice their concerns internally, in a safe environment and in a responsible and effective manner, when they believe --that the Code of Ethics and/or Ethical Principle (Integrity, Respect, Courage and Transparency) are not being respected.
 

2 SCOPE OF APPLICATION

 
2.1 The L’ORÉAL INDIA OPEN TALK Policy applies to directors and all employees of L’ORÉAL India, including all permanent and temporary staff.
 
2.2 The L’ORÉAL INDIA OPEN TALK Policy covers all concerns made in good faith with regards to the Code of Ethics and/or Ethical Principles including but not limited to:
 
• product safety and quality
• the health or safety of an individual
• financial irregularity
• fraud
• inaccuracy of financial and/or business records (including reporting)
• money-laundering
• misuse of company resources
• disclosure of confidential information
• conflict of interest
• improper relationships with suppliers and/or customers business partners
• corruption or bribery
• extortion
• discrimination
• sexual harassment
• bullying
• misuse of private employee and/or consumer data
• damage to the environment
• misleading or false advertising claims
• unfair treatment of suppliers
• unfair competition
• insider trading
• breach of any legal obligation
• Human Rights violations
• any breach of Procedures and Guidelines of the Company
 
2.3 The L’ORÉAL INDIA’s OPEN TALK Procedure is not to be used to raise personal grievances or individual employment matters/issues. Such concerns should be raised directly with Human Resources. 
 
2.4 Employees can only use the L’ORÉAL INDIA’s OPEN TALK Procedure for personal grievances or individual employment matters/issues if they consider that their grievance is against a member of L’ORÉAL INDIA’S Country Management Committee. In this case, employees should contact the Ethics Correspondent directly.
 

3 WHO TO CONTACT

 
3.1 With the exception of 2.4 above, the normal route for raising concerns is via the employee’s Manager N+1. If for any reason employees do not feel comfortable talking to their manager, they can contact their Manager N+2.
 
3.2 For Human Resources-related matters not relating to a personal grievance or individual employment matter/issue, employees should contact the Country HR Director directly.
 
Country HR Director – Roshni WADHWA
Phone number +91 22 67003007
 
3.3   If employees do not feel comfortable talking to either their manager or HR Manager or for matters involving a member of the Management Committee, employees should directly contact the Ethics Correspondent
 
Ethics Correspondent – Kavita ANGRE
Phone number +91 22 67003090
 
3.4 In exceptional cases where employee had reported a concern to the persons listed above and was not satisfied with the action taken, he/she may contact the Managing Director of L’ORÉAL India who is also the nominated director of Board for having oversight on this procedure. 
 
Managing Director of L’ORÉAL India – Jean-Christophe LETELLIER
Phone number +91 22 67003001
While reporting a concern to Managing Director of L’ORÉAL India, the employee shall state the reason for dis-satisfaction along with the details of his concern.
 
3.5 In an exceptional case when it is inappropriate to raise the issue locally, employees should use the L’OREAL Ethics Open Talk website - www.lorealethics.com – which will allow their concern to be sent directly to Emmanuel LULIN, L’ORÉAL Group’s SVP & Chief Ethics Officer.
 

4 ETHICAL CONCERN FORM

 
4.1 Employees will be asked to complete and sign the attached form (see Annex1). This form is necessary in order to ensure that the employees’ concerns are correctly understood. This form is also available on the intranet at http://myhr.loreal.wans/sites/India/en/Pages/Formats-3.aspx
 
4.2 Employees must include the specific concerns, when and where incident occurred, who was involved, whether there is an ongoing problem /need for immediate action and any other information that could help L’ORÉAL India understand the employee’s concern. The employee should describe as objectively as possible the facts connected to their concern and only communicate those facts strictly necessary to verify their concern. If employees have the slightest doubt concerning the facts they are describing, they should indicate that they are alleged / unproven. Attempt should be made to report the concern immediately after the incident has occurred.
 
4.3 This form should be emailed or sent by post to the persons as detailed in section 3. 
 
4.4 If an employee refuses to sign this form or refuses to identify themselves (see 5 below), L’ORÉAL INDIA reserves the right to decide whether or not to investigate further.
 
4.5 A copy of the form will be sent to the Ethics Correspondent who is in charge of ensuring that the L’ORÉAL INDIA OPEN TALK Procedure is respected and followed. 
 
4.6 In situations where a concern is raised during a formal disciplinary, sickness or capability process, L’OREAL INDIA may, if it deems it appropriate, suspend the process in order to investigate the concern. However, if the concern relates to the disciplinary, sickness or capability process the Company may, where relevant, deal with both issues concurrently.
 

5 ANONYMOUS REPORTS

 
5.1 L’ORÉAL INDIA does not encourage anonymous reports because it believes that it offers sufficient guarantees to make this unnecessary. It is also very difficult to investigate a matter thoroughly if it is reported anonymously. It is therefore less likely that the employee’s concern will be addressed.
 
5.2 If an employee wishes to raise a concern anonymously, the employee should write directly to the Ethics Correspondent who will apply his/her judgment as to whether or how to deal with the anonymous allegation.
 

6 INVESTIGATIONS

 
6.1 When a concern is reported, it will be examined to ensure that it falls within the scope of the L’ORÉAL INDIA OPEN TALK Procedure.
 
6.2 If the concern does not fall within the L’ORÉAL INDIA OPEN TALK Procedure, the employee having raised the concern will be notified.
 
6.3 A preliminary examination of the concern will be carried out to ascertain whether the concern can be investigated.
 
6.4 If it appears that it is not possible to carry out an investigation, the employee having raised the concern will be notified.
 
6.5 If it appears possible to carry out an investigation, neutral and independent person/s will be nominated to carry out the investigation.
 
6.6 Certain investigations may require other internal resources (for example, HR) or any suitable external advice (for example, attorneys, forensic experts). All persons called upon to assist in an investigation will be subject to a strict confidentiality obligation.
 
6.7 Completion of an investigation will depend on the nature of concern, availability of information and prevailing situation.  However, attempt will be made to complete the same as rapidly as possible.
 
6.8 Employees may be requested to provide assistance in the internal investigation (including being interviewed, providing documents, computer files and/or other records). Full cooperation and transparency is expected from everyone involved in the investigation. Such employees are expected to maintain complete confidentiality of the matters discussed during the course of investigation. 
 
6.9 Employees asked to participate in an investigation should not attempt to interfere. They must keep the investigation and anything discussed with them as part of the investigation, confidential including with regards management, family members, friends and co-workers. Any employee should not investigate or attempt to investigate the matter on his / her own self.
 
6.10 For the sake of confidentiality and because they are only involved in fact-finding exercise, employees are not allowed to be accompanied by others during the investigation process. 
 
6.11 It is not permitted to record any investigation interviews. L’ORÉAL INDIA will arrange for notes to be taken during interviews and the persons interviewed will be given the opportunity to review, sign and date these after the interview, to confirm their agreement.
 
6.12 Depending on the result of the investigation and excluding the allegations listed in 6.13 below, the Managing Director, in liaison with the Ethics Correspondent, will decide the course of investigation, disciplinary procedure, disclosure to regulatory authorities, etc. The Managing Director of L’OREAL INDIA (who is also the nominated director of Board in this regard) will have an oversight of the overall functioning of this mechanism. The Ethics Correspondent regularly informs the Managing Director of L’OREAL INDIA of concerns raised. 
 
6.13  The SVP & Chief Ethics Officer is informed by the Ethics Correspondent of all concerns raised with regards money-laundering, public or private corruption, internal or external fraud, human rights violations (namely bullying, sexual harassment and discrimination, child labour, forced labour), allegations against a Country Management Committee member and/or allegations which could significantly affect the Group’s reputation. In such matters, the SVP & Chief Ethics Officer will decide what decisions can be taken at Country level with regards the management of this type of concern.
 
6.14 If it is impossible to verify the facts reported or if the matter has already been addressed or further action could endanger the life or health of the employee having raised the concern, including all his/her dependents and relatives, L’ORÉAL INDIA reserves the right not to proceed with further investigation of the matter.
 
6.15 L’ORÉAL INDIA will maintain a record of concerns raised the decision and any action taken for a maximum duration in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act 2013, Indian labor and HR workflow legislation.
 
6.16 No attempt should be made to delete, withheld or tamper any evidence necessary for the purpose of investigation, by any employee. Any such act will be subject to disciplinary action.
 
6.17 All concerns reported will be investigated in accordance in with the Company rules and regulations and other regulatory requirements.
 
6.18 The Managing Director of L’OREAL INDIA or any other person involved in investigation or processing of concern shall recuse himself / herself from participating in the investigation process, in case of any conflicts.
 

7 GUARANTEES OFFERED TO EMPLOYEES RAISING CONCERNS

 
L’ORÉAL INDIA guarantees that:
 
7.1 All concerns raised in good faith will be thoroughly investigated. “Good faith” means that the employees who raised the concern provided information he/she believed to honest, accurate and complete at the time, even if they were later proved wrong.
 
7.2 Appropriate action will be taken if required, including disciplinary action for safeguarding the employee raising concerns against any kind of retaliation or victimization.
 
7.3 Feedback will be given to employees raising concerns, to the extent that it is appropriate and can be given without infringing legal requirements or other duties of confidentiality.
 
7.4 All information provided, and in particular the employee’s identity, will be communicated strictly on a need-to-know basis for the requirements of the investigation or for compliance with regulatory requirement. In particular, the employee’s identity will be protected at all stages in any internal matter but L’ORÉAL INDIA cannot guarantee this will be retained if litigation process was involved. Also, L’ORÉAL INDIA cannot protect the employee’s identity where the employee has told others of their concern.
 
7.5 Employees who raised a concern in good faith will be protected against retaliation. Any employee who considers that they are subject to retaliation should immediately contact the Ethics Correspondent and/or Managing Director of L’OREAL INDIA.
 

8 GUARANTEES OFFERED TO EMPLOYEES REPORTED TO BE INVOLVED

 
L’ORÉAL INDIA guarantees that:
 
8.1 The employee(s) reported to be involved will be informed of the nature of the concern raised. Such information may however not be immediate if certain measures need to be taken to examine facts and preserve evidence.
 
8.2 The principles of due process and the presumption of innocence will be respected i.e. no decision will be taken before the employee(s) reported to be involved has been presented with the allegations and given an opportunity to respond to the allegations made against him/her.
 
8.3 All persons involved in an investigation will be subject to a strict confidentiality obligation and L’OREAL INDIA will use its best efforts to protect the reputation of the employees reported to be involved during the investigation. L’ORÉAL INDIA cannot however be held responsible if the employees have told others of their involvement in an investigation.
 
8.4 Employees who have been cleared of accusations will not suffer any negative impact and will be protected against retaliation. Any employee who considers that they are subject to retaliation should immediately contact the Ethics Correspondent and/or Managing Director
 

9 GUARANTEES OFFERED TO EMPLOYEES REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE IN AN INTERNAL INVESTIGATION

 
L’ORÉAL INDIA guarantees that employees who have participated in an investigation will be protected against retaliation. Any employee who considers that they are subject to retaliation should immediately contact the Ethics Correspondent and/or Managing Director.
 

10 CONFIDENTIALITY VIOLATIONS

 
L’ORÉAL INDIA has a duty to ensure the confidentiality of concerns raised and investigations conducted. Any employee involved in an investigation and who do not respect their confidentiality obligation may be subject to disciplinary action.
 

11 FALSE DISCLOSURE

 
L’ORÉAL INDIA also has a duty to protect its employees against malicious false accusations and rumours. It is expected that employees apply good judgment and prudence when using this procedure. Any employee raising a frivolous concern once or repeatedly, which is discovered not to be in good faith, may be subject to disciplinary action including reprimand.
 

12 GOVERNING RULES

 
This policy must be read in conjunction with the L’ORÉAL Code of Ethics and other policies of the Company
 
The Management of L’ORÉAL INDIA will manage OPEN TALK Procedure with discretion and handle each situation based on its merit. The Management of L’ORÉAL INDIA may at its sole discretion amend this procedure, which will be assessed after six months of practice.