Judgment No. 3936
1. The Director-General’s decision of 10 December 2015 is set aside.
2. The case is remitted to UNESCO, which shall proceed as indicated in consideration 9 of the judgment.
3. UNESCO shall pay the complainant moral damages in the amount of 10,000 euros.
4. It shall also pay her 1,000 euros in costs.
5. All other claims are dismissed.
The complainant, who held the grade P-5 post of Head of UNESCO’s National Office in Kinshasa, challenges the decision to transfer her to Paris.
complaint allowed; decision quashed; case sent back to organisation; transfer
The Tribunal observes that at the time when she submitted her protest, and indeed when she received a reply to it, the complainant, who was initially assigned to Kinshasa, was on maternity leave. Thus she had not actually taken up her duties as chargée de mission in the Bureau of Field Coordination, to which she had theoretically been assigned from 1 March 2013, and could not in any event be regarded as “stationed” at Headquarters for the purposes of paragraph 7(c) of the Statutes of the Appeals Board.
It follows that the Director-General wrongly dismissed the complainant’s appeal as time-barred, since it was submitted within the two-month period running from her receipt of the memorandum of 1 March 2013.
internal appeal; late appeal
[T]he Director-General wrongly dismissed the complainant's appeal as time-barred, since it was submitted within the two-month period running from her receipt of the mémorandum of 1 March 2013.
It ensues from the foregoing that the Director-General's decision of 10 December 2015 must be set aside.
The case will be remitted to UNESCO for the Appeals Board to examine the appeal that had been submitted to it by the complainant.
case sent back to organisation
Article VII, paragraph 1, of the Statute of the Tribunal provides that a complaint is not receivable unless the decision impugned is a final decision and the person concerned has exhausted such other means of redress as are open to her or him under the applicable staff regulations. In accordance with the Tribunal’s case law, to satisfy this requirement a complainant must not only follow the prescribed internal procedure for appeal but must follow it properly and in particular observe any time limit that may be set for the purpose of that procedure (see, for example, Judgment 3296, under 10).
ILOAT reference: Article VII, paragraph 1, of the Statute
ILOAT Judgment(s): 3296
receivability of the complaint; internal appeal; time limit