1.1 Every person has the right to be treated with courtesy, respect and dignity. Consistent with this right, the Office acknowledges that measures need to be taken to ensure that all staff members enjoy equality of opportunity and treatment. The Parties recognise that all forms of harassment are not only an affront to equitable treatment but also a serious form of misconduct that will not be tolerated. Consequently the Parties are committed to ensuring a working environment which is free of all forms of harassment.
1.2 Behaviour of this type causes harm to the mental or physical health and well-being of individuals. It also undermines the objectives and work of the ILO and damages the reputation of the Organization. Accordingly, the Parties agree that anyone who believes that s/he has been subjected to harassment should have a right of redress.
Office guarantees the right to invoke the procedures provided for
in this Agreement without fear of intimidation, victimization, discrimination
or unfavourable treatment. This protection shall apply equally to
all persons making an allegation and to those providing information
concerning such an allegation or otherwise assisting in any process
under this Agreement.
1.5 The Parties agree that any violation of the rights established in this Agreement is subject to disciplinary and other appropriate action.
1.6 The Parties agree to develop and implement strategies - including information, education, training, monitoring and evaluation - with the objective of both preventing harassment from occurring and influencing the attitudes and behaviour of persons associated with the Organization in a manner consistent with the spirit and intent of this Agreement. Managers and staff will be trained in the practical operation of this Agreement.
1.7 The Parties stress that all staff have the responsibility to comply with the provisions on harassment set out in this Agreement. The Parties will make every effort to ensure that all staff and other appropriate protected persons co-operate in pursuing the effective implementation and operation of this Agreement.
1.8 The rules of natural justice shall apply to the resolution of harassment-related grievances.
1.9 The Office recognizes its duty to release documents and information relevant to a harassment-related grievance.
1.10 The Parties recognize their duty to safeguard privacy and confidentiality during any process covered by this Agreement. All information concerning harassment-related grievances will be handled in such manner as to protect the privacy of all those involved.
1.11 The Office recognizes the role of the Staff Union to represent any protected person, at his/her request, in relation to matters dealt with under this Agreement.
1.12 The Parties emphasize the importance of field-based protected persons having full access to all processes within the harassment-related grievance procedure. To facilitate operation of this procedure, greater use should be made of information technology, including, where appropriate, video-conferencing. To further facilitate improved participation in the grievance procedure, field-based protected persons may appoint any representative provided for under this Agreement to act on their behalf.
1.13 The Parties agree that the necessary assistance and support will be provided to ensure that, in appropriate cases, an allegation of harassment can be resolved informally between the parties directly involved.
1.14 The Parties acknowledge that, in the absence of informal resolution between the parties directly concerned, the procedures that are set out in this Agreement will be followed to ensure that the matter will be dealt with in a sensitive, fair, timely and confidential manner.
1.15 The Office will make available appropriate assistance, including counselling, to the parties involved in harassment-related grievances.
1.16 The Parties recognize the need to provide a variety of alternative dispute-resolution procedures in order to deal adequately with the broad range of harassment-related grievances which might arise.
1.17 The Parties agree to introduce special measures to deal with class action.
2.1 The expression "protected person" means a person afforded the protection of this Agreement and includes:
2.2 The expression "staff member" means any person with a paid relationship with the Office as defined in the Collective Agreement on a Procedure for the Resolution of Grievances (Article 2.1).
2.3 The expression "claimant" means a protected person who has lodged a grievance under this Agreement.
2.4 The expression "respondent" means any person who is alleged to have or considered to have harassed a claimant(s).
2.5 The expression "participants" in the Joint Panel process refers to the claimant(s), the respondent(s) and the Office.
2.6 The expression "Union representative" means the Officers of the Union, accredited Union officials, shop stewards or any staff members appointed by the Union to represent it.
2.7 The expression "days" means working days.
2.8 The expression "harassment-related grievance" means any instance of harassment of a protected person or allegation of harassment made by a protected person.
2.9 The expression "harassment" encompasses any act, conduct, statement or request which is unwelcome to a protected person(s) and could, in all the circumstances, reasonably be regarded as harassing behaviour of a discriminatory, offensive, humiliating, intimidating or violent nature or an intrusion of privacy. It includes, but is not limited to, the following, which may occur singly, simultaneously or consecutively:
2.10 The prohibition on sexual harassment covers behaviour at the workplace or at social functions arising out of work, during travel or missions undertaken in connection with work or during field work carried out with regard to projects in which the ILO is involved.
2.11 The expression "facilitation" is understood to be a process whereby a facilitator encourages the parties to resolve the issues in dispute between them and reach a mutually acceptable outcome.
2.12 The expression "facilitator" means a person appointed to facilitate the resolution of grievances pursuant to this Agreement and Article 23.1 of the Collective Agreement on a Procedure for the Resolution of Grievances dated 13 September 2000.
2.13 The expression "applicable line manager" means the protected person's immediate supervisor or any of the superiors of that supervisor.
2.14 The expression "Senior Director" means the Director-General or the relevant Executive Director, Regional Director or other manager of equivalent organizational level reporting directly to the Director-General.
2.15 The expression "class action" means an action initiated by two or more protected persons concerning the same or a very similar issue. A decision on a class action shall have binding effect in all similar cases.
3.2 Prevention of sexual harassment, mobbing/bullying and any other forms of harassment will be the subject of comprehensive, regular and ongoing training for all protected persons.
3.3 The Office shall provide education and training for managers on prevention of harassment generally and the operation of this Agreement in particular.
3.4 Briefing on this Agreement shall be provided to all new protected persons as part of the induction process organized for such staff members and other protected persons.
3.5 The Office will, within 30 days of the signature of this Agreement, issue to all protected persons a policy statement on harassment prevention and resolution, reflecting the Guiding Principles laid down in Article 1 above. The policy statement will also be issued to all protected persons in the course of the induction, education and training processes referred to in the preceding paragraphs.
3.6 The Office shall make available and maintain pages on the Office Intranet dedicated to information on harassment prevention and resolution and the operation of this Agreement.
3.7 The Office shall make available and maintain more comprehensive and detailed sources of information relating to harassment prevention and resolution for the use of protected persons seeking such information.
3.8 In order to monitor and evaluate the implementation of this Agreement, the Parties will carry out anonymous surveys and reviews, in consultation with the Ombudsperson and other relevant persons. Such surveys should assess the nature and frequency of harassment occurring in connection with work in the ILO. Information and data collected will be made public by the Parties.
5.3 If a protected person considers that informal resolution is inappropriate, unduly drawn out or unsuccessful, s/he may initiate any of the options included in the Resolution by Dialogue Process immediately.
Resolution by dialogue process
6.2 Any claimant wishing to invoke the procedures specified in Article 6.1 shall do so within six months of the incident(s) giving rise to a harassment-related grievance, or, if the harassment-related grievance relates to an ongoing matter, within six months of the last date on which the matter affected him/her. Where a protected person wishes to invoke the procedure after the expiry of this time limit, s/he shall refer a request in writing to the Ombudsperson, who shall have the power to decide if the harassment-related grievance should be heard notwithstanding the delay. Such decisions of the Ombudsperson shall be final and without appeal.
7.1 In an attempt to resolve a harassment-related grievance, a claimant may request an informal and private meeting with any applicable line manager. If requested, the line manager should assist the claimant by providing information and advice as to possible ways of resolving the harassment-related grievance. Unless the claimant expressly requests otherwise, the line manager shall treat any such meeting and the fact that it has been requested or has taken place as private and confidential. No record shall be kept of it.
Referral to the Ombudsperson
10.2 A claimant may refer a harassment-related grievance to the Ombudsperson by making a statement in writing within the time frame specified in Article 6.2. The statement shall contain the following details:
10.4 In conducting his/her investigation, the Ombudsperson may seek further statements from any persons s/he considers to be relevant to the harassment-related grievance. The Ombudsperson may also hold meetings or discussions with such persons and may involve them in his/her investigation in any other way s/he deems necessary.
10.5 The Ombudsperson may, in the course of discharging his/her functions, call for the production of all documents or information as may be relevant.
10.6 For purposes of this Article, non-compliance with an opinion of the Ombudsperson under Article 4.1(b) above recommending the disclosure of relevant documents or information shall not be regarded as a refusal to cooperate.
11.3 The claimant(s) and respondent(s) shall have the right to be represented. They also have the right to be accompanied by a Union representative or by a past or present ILO official of their choice at meetings. Neither the claimant(s) nor the respondent(s) shall have the right to legal representation before the Ombudsperson.
11.4 Following a meeting, further discussions or investigations may be undertaken by the Ombudsperson in order to enable him/her to fulfil his/her functions under Article 9.
12.2 If the Ombudsperson is unable to develop a proposal for resolution, s/he shall provide a reasoned report explaining why resolution was not possible.
12.3 Copies of the Ombudsperson's report shall be distributed to:
12.5 The Ombudsperson and those persons who receive a copy of his/her report have a duty to safeguard its confidentiality.
13.1 The Ombudsperson shall have a time limit of 30 days from the initial notification of the harassment-related grievance to him/her, within which to endeavour to effect resolution and provide reports to those persons specified in paragraphs 12.3 and 12.4 above. Before the expiry of the 30 days, the time may be extended to a maximum of 60 days, but only if the claimant(s) and respondent(s) agree. If they do not agree, the Ombudsperson shall provide the claimant(s) and respondent(s) with a reasoned report explaining why resolution was not possible.
14.1 If the claimant is not satisfied with the Ombudsperson's proposal for resolution of the harassment-related grievance or the action proposed by the Ombudsperson is not implemented, the claimant may refer the grievance to the Joint Panel within 30 days of receipt of the Ombudsperson's report.
Resolution by adjudication process
15.1 The Joint Panel Process shall take the form of a full examination of the facts and/or arguments in dispute between the claimant and respondent taking into account the sensitive nature of harassment-related grievances. It shall culminate in action proposed by the Joint Panel.
15.2 The Joint Panel established under the Collective Agreement on a Procedure for the Resolution of Grievances dated 13 September 2000 is the Joint Panel for the purpose of this Agreement.
16.2 The written notice shall contain information under the following headings:
16.3 Once the Joint Panel has been formally notified of the harassment-related grievance in this way, it shall invite the respondent and the Office to make in writing any statements they may have. Any such statements shall be notified to the Joint Panel within the time specified in the request by the Joint Panel for such statements.
Article 1717.1 Once the Joint Panel has received the written statements, it shall arrange a full examination of the harassment-related grievance by written notice to both parties. The claimant and the respondent shall each have the right to request an oral hearing before the Joint Panel, and the Joint Panel shall decide if an oral hearing is necessary. The decision of the Joint Panel on oral hearings shall be final and without appeal; the Joint Panel shall supply specific reasons if a request for an oral hearing is refused.
The Joint Panel process
17.2 The claimant, respondent and a representative of the Office shall all have the right to be present at an oral hearing.
17.3 For the purpose of the examination, the claimant, the respondent and the Office shall have the right to appoint a representative as follows:
17.4 The examination shall be conducted according to the principles of fair procedures and natural justice, in line with the rules of procedure established by the Joint Panel for harassment-related grievances. In the examination of a harassment-related grievance, the Joint Panel may invite the Ombudsperson to provide information and advice.
17.5 The Chairperson of the Joint Panel shall preside over the proceedings of the Joint Panel. The members of the Joint Panel shall, if they deem it necessary, develop rules of procedure to guide the conduct of cases, subject always to the provisions of this Agreement. The Chairperson shall be competent to decide on procedural matters, in consultation with the other members of the Joint Panel.
17.6 The Joint Panel may at any time require documents or information from any of the participants. The documents or information must be supplied within the time granted by the Joint Panel. Copies of the documents or information shall be communicated forthwith by the Joint Panel to the participants, except when it decides by a unanimous vote that the information shall not be communicated and provides in writing a reasoned decision to the participants. The participants will be given the possibility to comment within a period of time to be determined by the Joint Panel. The Joint Panel may also seek expert advice or opinion from any source.
17.7 The Joint Panel shall keep a written and/or taped verbatim record of the hearing. All of the participants shall have the right to inspect and have copies of the record.
17.8 At any time during the Joint Panel process, should the participants decide to resolve the harassment-related grievance and reach a mutually acceptable solution, they can request the Chairperson of the Joint Panel to grant them time to do so; during that period granted by the Chairperson, the time limits incumbent upon the Joint Panel process (specified in Article 16) shall be suspended. If the claimant and the respondent jointly notify the Chairperson in writing that they have reached a mutually acceptable solution, the Joint Panel process will be terminated.
19.1 The Joint Panel shall have a time limit of 30 days from the receipt of the written notice within which to hold a hearing and to come to a conclusion as to the proposed action to be communicated to the Director-General. If the Joint Panel decides that such action cannot be completed within 30 days, it must inform the participants that the time will be extended to a maximum of 60 days.
21.1 In accordance with Article VII of the Statute of the ILOAT, the staff member has 90 days from the receipt of the Director-General's decision on the outcome of the Joint Panel, or from the date from which the Joint Panel's proposal constitutes a decision, in line with Article 20.3(c), within which to refer a complaint about the decision on the harassment-related grievance to the Tribunal.
22.1 Notwithstanding the current arrangements for the waiver of immunity from jurisdiction, the Parties shall, within twelve months of signing this Agreement, conclude negotiations on additional remedies to be made available to claimants who have been found to be subject to harassment (including harassment by a non-staff member) under the procedures set out in this Agreement. These negotiations shall include the possible waiver of immunity in appropriate cases.
23.1 The Office shall ensure that protected persons who feel that they have been harassed, who raise a harassment-related grievance or who assist in any process under this Agreement, for example by providing information or by serving as witness, shall not be subjected to intimidation, victimization, discrimination or retaliation. Any such act shall be dealt with as a disciplinary matter.
24.2 (a) The words "six months" in Article 2.1(i) above shall be replaced with the words "twelve months" for a transitional period of one year from the date of signature of this Agreement.
(b) Harassment-related grievances raised in accordance with this transitional provision shall be resolved under the procedures established in this Agreement.
25.2 No term of this Agreement shall be suspended, modified, cancelled or otherwise amended except by means of a written agreement signed by the Parties. The Parties may renegotiate any part of this Agreement.
25.3 The Office shall submit to the November 2001 session of the Governing Body any amendments to the Staff Regulations and other relevant texts necessary to give effect to this Agreement, in a manner which also preserves other substantive entitlements of staff members within the meaning of the Preamble to this Agreement. In any case of doubt between this Agreement and a relevant article of the Staff Regulations, the interpretation that is more favourable to the staff member(s) concerned shall take precedence and prevail."
25.4 A copy of this Agreement and the related amendments to the Staff Regulations and other relevant texts shall be provided to each existing and future protected person. The Parties shall ensure that all protected persons are aware of the existence of this Agreement and shall undertake the preparation of an instruction manual for all protected persons on the effect of this Agreement and the operation and effect of this procedure.
Updated by FQ. Approved by FH. Last update: 6 March 2001.