Judgment No. 3436
1. The decision of the Director of the CTA of 5 October 2011 and that of 15 June 2011 terminating the complainant’s appointment are set aside.
2. The complainant shall be reinstated in the Centre, to the full extent possible, as from 14 February 2012, with all the legal consequences that this entails.
3. If the Centre considers that such reinstatement is impossible, it shall pay the complainant material damages calculated as indicated under 12.
4. At all events, the Centre shall pay the complainant moral damages in the amount of 5,000 euros.
5. It shall also pay her 5,000 euros in costs.
6. The complainant’s remaining claims are dismissed, as is the Centre’s counterclaim.
Following the abolition of her post in the context of the CTA restructuring, the complainant successfully impugns the decision to terminate her appointment.
complaint allowed; decision quashed; abolition of post; reorganisation; termination of employment
Precedent has it that international organisations may undertake restructuring entailing the redefinition of posts and staff reductions in order to achieve greater efficiency or budgetary savings (see, for example, Judgments 2156, under 8, or 2510, under 10). However, each and every individual decision adopted in the context of such restructuring must respect all the applicable legal rules and in particular the fundamental rights of the staff concerned (see, for example, Judgments 1614, under 3, 2907, under 13, or 3169, under 7).
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 1614, 2156, 2510, 2907, 3169
The Tribunal’s case law has consistently upheld the principle that an international organisation may not terminate the appointment of a staff member whose post has been abolished, at least if he or she holds an appointment of indeterminate duration, without first taking suitable steps to find him or her alternative employment (see, for example, Judgments 269, under 2, 1745, under 7, 2207, under 9, or 3238, under 10). As a result, when an organisation has to abolish a post held by a staff member who, like the complainant in the instant case, holds a contract for an indefinite period of time, it has a duty to do all that it can to reassign that person as a matter of priority to another post matching his or her abilities and grade. Furthermore, if the attempt to find such a post proves fruitless, it is up to the organisation, if the staff member concerned agrees, to try to place him or her in duties at a lower grade and to widen its search accordingly (see Judgments 1782, under 11, or 2830, under 9).
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 269, 1745, 2207, 3238
permanent appointment; separation from service; reorganisation; redeployment
By thus commissioning an extraneous body to undertake a task which entailed interfering in the assessment of staff members’ suitability for the available positions, whereas the Staff Regulations made no provision for this, the Centre established an assessment system parallel to that which existed officially and which, moreover, did not offer staff members the safeguards inherent in the official system.
[I]f the CTA considers, in view of its staff complement and budgetary resources, that it cannot actually reinstate the complainant, it shall have to pay her material damages for her unlawful removal from her post. [...] The CTA will [...] be ordered to pay the complainant the equivalent of the salary and allowances of all kinds which she would have received had her contract remained in force for a period of five years [...], less the compensation she received on termination of her contract and any remuneration she may have received during this period. The Centre must also pay the complainant the equivalent of the contributions to pension, provident or social security schemes which it would have had to bear during the same period.
material injury; reinstatement; material damages