Judgment No. 4232
1. The decisions of the Director General of 1 July and 7 September 2015 are set aside.
2. The OIE shall pay the complainant compensation for material injury and interest thereon, calculated as indicated in consideration 8 of the judgment.
3. It shall also pay him costs in the amount of 5,000 euros.
4. All the complainant’s other claims are dismissed, as is the OIE’s counterclaim.
The complainant challenges the decision to stop paying his salary while he was on sick leave.
complaint allowed; decision quashed; occupational illness
Although it is true that in an old judgment referred to by the OIE, Judgment 889, the Tribunal held that it was for the complainant to produce evidence proving that his illness resulted from his employment, that statement was made in circumstances where the medical advisers of the organisation in question and the insurance scheme, having examined the complainant’s case, had concluded that the alleged illness was not service-incurred. The Tribunal therefore considered that it was for the complainant, who challenged the finding of the medical advisers, to provide evidence to invalidate it (see Judgment 889, consideration 1). The situation is fundamentally different in this case. The OIE did not arrange for the complainant to undergo a medical examination or request him to do so, but the complainant has submitted a medical certificate establishing a link between his illness and his employment.
Plainly, the findings of an official’s doctor may be disputed by the employer organisation, but where the medical certificate is sufficiently precise as to the existence and nature of the illness and the link with the official’s employment, the organisation may not reject it without carrying out its own medical examination. Since that was not done in this case, the OIE cannot challenge the occupational nature of the complainant’s illness.
ILOAT Judgment(s): 889
The Tribunal considers that the material injury suffered by the complainant shall be fairly redressed by ordering the OIE to pay him the equivalent of the salary and various indemnities which he would have received if he had been in service from 19 July 2015 until his dismissal on 1 October 2015, net of any substitute income received during that period. The Organisation will also be required to pay him the equivalent of the pension contributions that it would have had to pay for him during the same period. All these amounts shall bear interest at the rate of 5 per cent per annum as from the date on which they fell due until the date of their payment, but an order for the payment of compound interest is not warranted.