Judgment No. 3159
The complaint is dismissed.
The complainant unsuccessfully challenges the decision to abolish his post.
Considerations 9, 19 and 20
"The terms of Staff Rule 1050.2 are clear. They impose a duty on the Organization in specified circumstances. The duty is to use reasonable efforts to reassign a staff member whose post is being abolished. The specified circumstances are, as to a staff member on a fixed-term appointment, that the staff member has served “for a continuous and uninterrupted period of five years or more”. The expression “continuous and uninterrupted” fairly emphatically focuses attention on service of a particular character. There is no basis in the language of the Staff Rule to treat its operation as ambulatory in the sense that a person who has been on a fixed-term appointment but has not served in that capacity for a continuous and uninterrupted period of at least five years is nonetheless a person to whom the Organization, by operation of the Rule, is under a duty to make reasonable efforts to reassign. [...] However, a staff rule cast in terms of Staff Rule 1050.2 does not preclude the possibility that the Organization is under a duty requiring proactive conduct in circumstances not comprehended by the Rule itself. WHO does not put in issue that there is a general duty of loyalty, as the complainant contends. What might be required of an organisation in broadly similar circumstances was considered by the Tribunal in Judgment 2902. [...] The same reasoning can be applied in the present case. The complainant and WHO found it mutually acceptable, and with benefits accruing to both, for the complainant to be employed on a series of short-term appointments for much of the complainant’s employment. But the complainant nonetheless had worked, in a real and practical sense, for over a decade and a half in the service of the Organization. In those circumstances, WHO was obliged to explore with the complainant other employment options prior to his separation."
Organization rules reference: Staff Rule 1050.2
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 2902
general principle; organisation's duties; staff regulations and rules; enforcement; contract; duration of appointment; fixed-term; successive contracts; short-term; intention of parties; abolition of post; reassignment; non-renewal of contract
abolition of post; complaint dismissed