Judgment No. 3482
1. The impugned decision is set aside.
2. The CTA shall pay the complainant material damages calculated as indicated under 18.
3. It shall pay him 5,000 euros in compensation for moral injury.
4. It shall also pay him costs in the amount of 1,000 euros.
5. All other claims are dismissed, as is the CTA’s counterclaim.
The complainant challenges the decision to terminate his contract with immediate effect during his trial period.
complaint allowed; decision quashed; respect for dignity; probationary period; termination of employment; duty of care
"As the Tribunal has often had occasion to state, time limits are binding and an objective matter of fact. The Tribunal therefore should not entertain a complaint filed out of time, because any other conclusion, even if founded on considerations of equity, would impair the necessary stability of the parties’ legal relations, which is the very justification for a time bar. However, an exception to this rule will be made where the complainant has been prevented by vis major from learning of the impugned decision in good time, or where the organisation has misled the complainant, concealed some paper from him or her or has otherwise deprived that person of the possibility of exercising his or her right of appeal, in breach of the principle of good faith (see, in particular, Judgments 1466, under 5, and 2722, under 3).
In this instance, Article 4(12) of Annex IV to the CTA Staff Regulations provides that “[i]n the event that conciliation has failed, the case may be submitted within three months to the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organisation”.
The Tribunal draws attention to the fact that the rules governing the receivability of complaints before the Tribunal are established exclusively by its own Statute. Consequently it was unlawful to set a three-month time limit in the aforementioned Staff Regulations in place of the 90 days prescribed in Article VII, paragraph 2, of the Statute of the Tribunal. As the complainant was misled by the incorrect information regarding the time limit contained in the CTA Staff Regulations and he filed his complaint within the three-month time limit stipulated in the above-mentioned paragraph 12, his complaint must be deemed receivable."
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 1466, 2722