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Judgment No. 2768


1. The impugned decision is set aside.
2. The case is referred back to the EPO in order that it may proceed as indicated under 8.
3. The EPO shall pay the complainant 8,000 euros in damages.
4. It shall also pay her 3,500 euros in costs.
5. All remaining claims are dismissed.

Considerations 4-5


"The principle of good faith and the concomitant duty of care demand that international organisations treat their staff with due consideration in order to avoid causing them undue injury; an employer must consequently inform employees in advance of any action that may imperil their rights or harm their rightful interests (see Judgment 2116, under 5). This duty of care is greater in a rather opaque or particularly complex legal situation. [...] When the complainant took up employment with the Office it had been possible, for at least a year, to obtain the transfer of pension rights from the USS to the Office's pension scheme. But it is clear from the file that the applicable rules were so complex that a mere perusal of the documentation would not enable employees to understand them fully. Furthermore, the Administration and staff members were still largely unfamiliar with the possibility of transferring pension rights. In the light of these particular circumstances, the Office's duty to inform could not be confined to merely handing the applicable texts to the staff members concerned by a possible transfer. This duty demanded that the Office, having obtained such information as was necessary, should draw to the attention of the staff members concerned the possibility of obtaining a transfer of pension rights and should inform them of the procedure to be followed."


ILOAT Judgment(s): 2116


good faith; organisation's duties; duty to inform; respect for dignity; staff member's interest; staff regulations and rules; pension; participation; pension entitlements; transfer of pension rights; duty of care

Last updated: 17.08.2020 ^ top