Judgment No. 3925
1. The decision of 1 October 2014 and the earlier decision of 8 October 2013 are set aside.
2. Eurocontrol shall pay the complainant compensation under all heads in the amount of 10,000 euros.
3. It shall also pay him 5,000 euros in costs.
4. All other claims are dismissed.
The complainant challenges the rejection of his application for payment of language training fees.
complaint allowed; decision quashed; training
Considerations 3, 4 & 5
The two reasons stated for refusing to pay for the complainant’s language training were, firstly, that the training in question would not usefully contribute to the proper functioning of the unit in which he was employed and, secondly, that the days of leave which he needed to complete the training would create operational difficulties for that unit.
The Tribunal recalls that training at various levels in various subjects is a natural part of the professional experience (continuous training) and aims to improve performance in a variety of areas (see, in particular, Judgment 3052, under 6). Therefore, as a matter of principle, every official is entitled to professional training, subject to the restrictions imposed by the staff rules or regulations of the organisation employing her or him.
In the Tribunal’s view, Eurocontrol made an error of law by taking account solely of the complainant’s duties at the time when he submitted his application for defrayal of training fees when it assessed the benefit of the language training to the functioning of the unit.
ILOAT Judgment(s): 3052
The complainant [...] complains of the slow handling of his internal complaint. The Tribunal observes that whereas Article 92(2) of the Staff Regulations governing officials of the Eurocontrol Agency specifies a time limit of four months for the Director General to notify the person concerned of his reasoned decision, in this case such a decision was taken only after nine months. Although that length of time is not unreasonable in absolute terms, it nevertheless constitutes a breach by Eurocontrol of its own rules, which caused the complainant moral injury that likewise warrants redress.
moral injury; patere legem; delay in internal procedure