Judgment No. 4450
The complaint is dismissed.
The complainant challenges the decision to terminate her appointment at the end of her probationary period for unsatisfactory performance.
probationary period; unsatisfactory service; complaint dismissed
According to the Tribunal’s case law, international organizations have wide discretion in taking decisions concerning staff performance appraisals. Therefore, such decisions are subject to only limited review by the Tribunal, which will intervene only if a decision was taken in breach of applicable rules on competence, form or procedure, if it was based on a mistake of fact or of law, if an essential fact was overlooked, if a clearly mistaken conclusion was drawn from the facts, or if there was abuse of authority (see Judgments 4010, consideration 5, 4062, consideration 6, 4170, consideration 9, and 4276, consideration 7). With specific regard to probationary periods, the Tribunal has said that the purpose of probation is to permit an organization to assess the probationer’s suitability for a position, and, accordingly, a high degree of deference ought to be accorded to an organization’s exercise of its discretion regarding decisions concerned with probationary matters. In the course of making this assessment, an organization must establish clear objectives, provide the necessary guidance for the performance of the duties, identify the unsatisfactory aspects of the performance in a timely manner, so that remedial steps may be taken, and give a specific warning where continued employment is in jeopardy. Moreover, a probationer is entitled to have objectives set in advance (see Judgment 4282, considerations 2 and 3).
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 4010, 4062, 4170, 4276, 4282
probationary period; discretion; performance evaluation; role of the tribunal
The Tribunal is satisfied that the Organization met its general duties regarding the probationary period. Namely it: (i) established clear objectives; (ii) provided the necessary guidance for the performance of the duties; and (iii) identified the unsatisfactory aspects of the performance in a timely manner, so that remedial steps might be taken.
organisation's duties; probationary period
The complainant contends that the objectives were fully achieved, but this is her personal opinion and it cannot substitute the one expressed by her supervisors, who are expressly qualified to make such assessments. Nor shall the Tribunal substitute its own opinion to a discretionary decision, unless it reveals flaws in fact or law that in the present case are not demonstrated.
performance report; discretion; role of the tribunal