Whistleblower system at the UFZ

The Whistleblower Protection Act (Hinweisgeberschutzgesetz - HinSchG), which came into force on 2 July 2023, serves to protect whistleblowers who obtain information about legal violations in the course of their professional activities and pass them on to internal or external reporting offices and to prevent them from being disadvantaged.

To implement the Whistleblower Protection Act, the UFZ has established an internal reporting office that whistleblowers can contact in confidence via various reporting channels in order to provide information on legal violations that are covered of the scope of the Whistleblower Protection Act (see § 2 HinSchG).


The whistleblower system at the UFZ serves exclusively to receive information on suspected cases of legal violations

  • which are punishable by law;
  • which are subject to fines, insofar as the violated regulation serves to protect life, limb, health or the rights of employees or their representative bodies, or
  • violate federal and state legislation as well as directly applicable legal acts of the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community in specified areas of law (such as combating money laundering; environmental protection requirements; regulations on the procedure for awarding public contracts, etc.).

This includes in particular:

  1. criminal offences in the area of economic criminal law; for example, corruption offences;
  2. offences against sexual self-determination and other criminal offences;
  3. administrative offences (e.g. in the areas of safety, health protection, occupational health and safety, environmental protection);
  4. serious breaches of duty under labour law.

IMPORTANT: The whistleblower system is expressly not available for general complaints. Any kind of violations of internal guidelines and other legal regulations such as the General Equal Treatment Act (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz - AGG) can still be reported via the conventional input channels available at the UFZ (e.g. Line Manager, (Central) Works Council, Department People & Culture, Data Protection Officer, representative body for severely disabled employees, etc.).

Several reporting channels are available to employees and business and research partners of the UFZ for receiving reports. 

Reports will be treated as strictly confidential in all cases.

Contact details of the UFZ´s internal reporting office

Denise Ludwig
Legal Department
Internal Reporting Officer
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Permoserstr. 15, 04318 Leipzig

E-mail: hinweise@ufz.de
Phone: 0341 6025 1081

Reports can be submitted by e-mail, post, phone or in person.

Contact details of the trusted attorneys

In addition, the UFZ has commissioned the law firm FS-PP Berlin - Frank Auffermann Vogel Albrecht - Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB, Potsdamer Platz 8, 10117 Berlin as an additional reporting channel for receiving reports in accordance with the HinSchG. 

There are 2 trusted attorneys responsible for the UFZ:

  • Dr. Rainer Frank
  • Sophia Hoffmeister

Reports can be submitted electronically via the FS-PP BKMS® system, by e-mail, post, phone or in person.

E-mail: vertrauensanwalt-ufz@fs-pp.de
Phone: 030 318685-933

The trusted attorneys are bound to confidentiality in accordance with the law governing the attorney´s profession and are obliged to maintain the confidentiality of the identity (if requested) on the basis of the existing mandate agreement with the UFZ.

Anonymous contact

Whistleblowers also have the option of contacting the trusted attorneys via the FS-PP BKMS® system without having to disclose their identity.
Further information and access to the electronic whistleblower portal (FS-PP BKMS® System) can be found here .

Please bear in mind that anonymous reports can lead to accusations being raised against colleagues or fellow human beings and therefore investigations may be initiated.
Therefore, please use these reporting channels responsibly and in compliance with the duty to tell the truth.

External reporting office

An external reporting office has been set up at the Federal Office of Justice. Further information on this and other external reporting offices can be found on the homepage of the Federal Office of Justice (BfJ) .

Each report will be processed confidentially. Whistleblowers acting in good faith do not have to fear any disadvantages as a result of their report. This also applies in particular if the suspicion is actually unfounded after investigation.

However, employees who may be affected by an allegation also have legitimate interests that must be taken into account. The whistleblower system must therefore be used responsibly.

Whistleblowers who deliberately make false accusations or knowingly provide false or misleading information are not protected. Such persons must expect measures under labour law or even claims under civil or criminal law.

Whistleblowers will initially receive a confirmation of receipt within 7 working days of submitting the report. All reports are carefully investigated. If reports are found to be justified, appropriate measures will be taken to rectify the offence. Within three months of receipt of the report, the whistleblower will receive information on the current status (e.g. follow-up measures taken, termination of the investigation, etc.).

Further information can be given by the Internal Reporting Officer.

The data protection information in accordance with Art. 13 GDPR can be found here .