Judgment No. 4162
1. The impugned decision of 14 March 2016 is set aside to the extent that it requires the complainant to pay medical fees and incidental expenses pursuant to Article 17(d) of Appendix D.
2. UNIDO shall pay the complainant costs in the amount of 2,000 euros.
3. UNIDO’s claim for an order allowing it to offset any current or future liabilities against the outstanding balance owed to it by the complainant under Article 17(d) of Appendix D is dismissed.
4. All other claims are dismissed.
The complainant challenges the final decision on her claim for compensation for a service-incurred injury or illness.
complaint allowed; decision quashed; illness; service-incurred
In Appendix D to UNIDO’s Staff Rules there is no provision dealing with the duration of the payment of compensation for a partial disability. The Tribunal finds that UNIDO has, in fact, an established practice related to the duration of the payment of the compensation for partial disability. The Tribunal accepts UNIDO’s submission that this practice is consistent with the United Nations’ (UN) practice prior to the amendment of Appendix D to the UN Staff Rules, that compensation for partial disability did not extend beyond a staff member’s mandatory retirement date.
practice; partial disability
The complainant [...] asserts that the Medical Board members were unqualified. This assertion is without merit. The members were specifically selected because of their qualifications in their areas of expertise and, indeed, the complainant selected one of the Medical Board members herself. The complainant’s assertion is, in effect, grounded on her disagreement with the content of the Medical Board’s report and is rejected.
It is [...] observed that the obvious and ordinary meaning of “sustained” in the context of a decision is to uphold or affirm the earlier decision. The ordinary meaning of “sustained” does not include a decision that alters the prior decision. However, the same provision provides that if “the Director-General alters his original decision in favour of the claimant” the Organization bears the identified costs. The language of the provision is clear and unambiguous. If the drafter of the provision had intended that the claimant would bear the identified costs in the event that the original decision was altered to her or his detriment it would have been explicitly stated.
In Judgment 4098, under consideration 10, in relation to delay in the internal appeal process, the Tribunal stated:
“It is well settled in the case law that internal appeals must be conducted with due diligence and in a manner consistent with the duty of care an international organization owes to its staff members (see Judgment 3160, under 16; see also Judgments 3582, under 3, and 3688, under 11).”
In Judgment 3160, in consideration 17, the Tribunal also stated:
“The amount of compensation for unreasonable delay will ordinarily be influenced by at least two considerations. One is the length of the delay and the other is the effect of the delay. These considerations are interrelated as lengthy delay may have a greater effect. That latter consideration, the effect of the delay, will usually depend on, amongst other things, the subject matter of the appeal. Delay in an internal appeal concerning a matter of limited seriousness in its impact on the appellant would be likely to be less injurious to the appellant than delay in an appeal concerning an issue of fundamental importance and seriousness in its impact on the appellant.”
See also Judgment 4031, under 8.
ILOAT Judgment(s): 3160, 3582, 3688, 4031, 4098
delay in internal procedure