Judgment No. 4250
The complaint is dismissed.
The complainant contests the decision not to grant him the requested paid parental leave upon the birth of his child by surrogacy.
family relationship; parental leave; paternity leave; complaint dismissed
The Tribunal observes that the complainant is basically advocating for a change in the rules and does not make any specific claim in that respect. Accordingly these statements, which are of a general nature serve unclear purposes, and the Tribunal cannot address them.
competence of tribunal; discrimination; change of rules
Underpinning the complainant’s claim of discrimination against him is his contention that his situation did not come within the conditions of entitlement for any of the three forms of paid parental leaves recognized in Article 8.7 of the Staff Regulations. He notes that he was not entitled to maternity leave as he is not a woman and cannot become pregnant; he was not entitled to paternity leave because he is not the biological father of his daughter; and he was not entitled to adoption leave because his name appeared on his daughter’s birth certificate from the day of her birth and thus, he could not adopt his own child. This contention is unfounded. Article 8.7(2)(a) states that “[u]pon presentation of his child’s birth certificate, a male official shall be entitled to paternity leave with full salary and allowances for a total period of up to four weeks”. Contrary to the complainant’s assertion, this provision is not limited to a biological father. The provision is clear and unambiguous that the only conditions that must be met for a staff member to be entitled to paternity leave is to be recognized as a parent in the child’s birth certificate and to be of male gender.
[I]t is somewhat puzzling that in the present complaint, the complainant now submits that the inappropriate use of the adoption leave provision amounts to discrimination against him. This submission is unfounded. Having regard to the complainant’s particular situation as a primary care giver, the Administration sought to accommodate his situation with a longer period of paid leave than that provided in the paternity leave provision. Based on a broad interpretation of the complainant’s situation that he was not a biological parent of his daughter, the Administration assimilated his relationship with his daughter as one of adoption. As the ILO notes, this was the most favourable decision available in the Staff Regulations.