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Duty of care (645,-666)

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Keywords: Duty of care
Total judgments found: 112

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  • Judgment 4427


    132nd Session, 2021
    European Patent Organisation
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision to maintain his transfer to a patent examiner post.

    Consideration 11

    Extract:

    The complainant’s contention that the decision to transfer him to the examiner’s position violated the EPO’s duty of care and his dignity is well founded given the indignity and humiliation he suffered by virtue of his transfer from the administrative post that he held for some 16 years to what was, in effect, an entry level examiner’s position. The Tribunal has consistently stated, in Judgment 4240, consideration 16, for example, that an organization must carefully take into account the interests and dignity of staff members when effecting a transfer to which the staff member concerned is opposed. It should have been obvious to the EPO that the complainant’s responsibilities in the new post were significantly different from those responsibilities which were attached to his previous post and were not objectively comparable with his previous responsibilities. Moreover, there is no evidence to show that the complainant’s legitimate objections to the proposed transfer were properly addressed by the Administration before he was transferred.

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 4240

    Keywords:

    duty of care; respect for dignity; transfer;

    Consideration 12

    Extract:

    [T]he complainant’s contention that the transfer decision was tainted by misuse of authority is unfounded. In consideration 10 of Judgment 4146, for example, the Tribunal recalled that the principle of good faith and the concomitant duty of care require international organisations to treat their staff with due consideration in order to avoid causing them undue injury. It also observed that in order for there to be misuse of authority, it must be established that the decision rested on considerations extraneous to the organisation’s interests and that the staff member alleging abuse of authority bears the burden of establishing the improper purpose for which the authority was exercised. Misuse of authority cannot be presumed. The complainant has not provided evidence, against conjecture, that shows that his transfer was based on improper purpose.

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 4146

    Keywords:

    abuse of power; burden of proof; duty of care; evidence; misuse of authority; organisation's duties;



  • Judgment 4405


    132nd Session, 2021
    International Criminal Court
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decisions to abolish her post and terminate her fixed-term appointment.

    Consideration 11

    Extract:

    Plainly, the unlawfulness of the abolition of the complainant’s position and the subsequent termination of her appointment caused her moral injury. That injury was, in this case, compounded by the complainant’s distressing situation following her separation from service, which took place while she was receiving extensive medical treatment of which the ICC had been informed. It was also compounded by the fact that the Court, which has itself acknowledged that it failed in its duty of care in this respect, did not make every effort to “explore with the complainant other employment options before prior to [her] separation”.

    Keywords:

    duty of care; moral injury;



  • Judgment 4401


    132nd Session, 2021
    European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision to dismiss her application for the reimbursement of medical expenses.

    Consideration 9

    Extract:

    The complainant alleges that moral injury was caused by the Organisation’s breach of its duty of care. However, a refusal to reimburse expenses based on the rules in force, even if it results from an error in their application, cannot be regarded as a breach of the duty of care. This argument will therefore be dismissed.

    Keywords:

    duty of care; moral injury;



  • Judgment 4384


    131st Session, 2021
    International Labour Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision not to reclassify his post.

    Consideration 7

    Extract:

    [A]s part of its duty of care, the Organization has an obligation to maintain a properly functioning appeal system which adheres to the established rules and regulations (see, for example, Judgment 3027, consideration 6).

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 3027

    Keywords:

    duty of care; internal appeal; organisation's duties;



  • Judgment 4369


    131st Session, 2021
    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision to terminate her appointment.

    Consideration 4

    Extract:

    According to the Tribunal’s case law, part of an organisation’s duty of care towards its staff is to provide procedural guidance to a staff member who is mistaken in the exercise of a right insofar as that may allow them to take effective action. If there is still time, it must inform a staff member of the available means of redress (see Judgments 2345, consideration 1(c), and 2713, consideration 3(d)). In the circumstances of the case, the Appeals Board, or otherwise the Organization itself, if they considered the notice of appeal premature, should have informed the complainant so as to enable her to correct that procedural error, if need be after the decision dismissing her protest was adopted. Neither the Appeals Board nor the Organization complied with that duty. It follows that, owing to the requirements inherent in the principle of good faith, the objection to receivability based on the premature lodging of the notice of appeal with the Appeals Board must be dismissed.

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 2345, 2713

    Keywords:

    duty of care; internal appeal;



  • Judgment 4345


    131st Session, 2021
    International Atomic Energy Agency
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision to extend his temporary reassignment.

    Consideration 5

    Extract:

    The Tribunal [...] finds that the IAEA did not breach its duty of care and stresses that it is not always possible to cater to the needs of each individual employee, as the product or result of the work being done is often justifiably considered a higher priority over the individual’s personal interests (see Judgments 2587, under 10, 3192, under 22, 3447, under 11, and 4316, under 18).

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 2587, 3192, 3447, 4316

    Keywords:

    duty of care; reassignment;



  • Judgment 4253


    129th Session, 2020
    International Labour Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant, who states that he was the victim of moral harassment, claims redress for the injury he considers he has suffered.

    Consideration 8

    Extract:

    [T]he complainant takes issue with the Organization for having disclosed to certain representatives of Persian Gulf countries confidential emails that he had sent in 2009 to his superiors condemning current practices in those countries, which, he alleges, made him lose all credibility in the region and had adverse consequences for his reputation and professional opportunities after his retirement. The JAAB agreed that “such disclosure is neither appropriate nor acceptable, as it was probably detrimental to the dignity and the reputation of the complainant”, but it considered that the complainant was barred from presenting this argument in his harassment grievance.
    The disclosure of these confidential emails, which is not disputed by the Organization, constitutes a serious violation of the obligation of good faith and the duty of care. This plea is well founded.

    Keywords:

    confidential evidence; duty of care; good faith;



  • Judgment 4246


    129th Session, 2020
    World Intellectual Property Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the non-recognition of her illnesses as occupational illnesses.

    Consideration 4

    Extract:

    Throughout the procedure, WIPO considered that the decision concerning the receivability of the request came within the insurer’s sole competence. In so doing, WIPO overlooked the fact that although the insurer is not an organ of the Organization, WIPO is liable for the insurer’s acts (see Judgment 3506, consideration 19). In view of its duty of care towards its staff members, WIPO was obliged to check whether the insurer’s calculation of the time limit was correct. If this had appeared not to be the case, it would have been obliged to contest it, using the dispute resolution procedure[.]

    Keywords:

    duty of care; health insurance;



  • Judgment 4240


    129th Session, 2020
    World Health Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision to reassign her to the post of Senior Advisor on Innovative Strategic Information, Strategic Information and Evaluation Department.

    Consideration 13

    Extract:

    The complainant submits that her reassignment to the post of Senior Advisor violated WHO’s post classification standards. She presents arguments and a narrative that are highly technical to support this assertion and essentially invites the Tribunal to undertake a technical assessment of that evidence. The Tribunal has consistently stated that such an exercise falls within the purview of persons whose expertise by training and experience fits them to undertake it (see, for example, Judgments 4024, consideration 3, and 4083, consideration 8). It is however within the Tribunal’s purview to determine, as stated in Judgment 3488, consideration 3, whether in keeping with its duty of care to the complainant, in reassigning her WHO/UNAIDS showed due regard, in both form and substance, for her dignity, particularly by providing her with work of the same level as that which she performed in her previous post and matching her qualifications. That is, whether WHO/UNAIDS ensured that the responsibilities that attached to her new post were comparable, on an objective basis, to the level of the functions that she performed in her previous post (see, for example, Judgment 1343, consideration 9).

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 1343, 3488, 4024, 4083

    Keywords:

    duty of care; post classification; reassignment; respect for dignity;

    Consideration 16

    Extract:

    The GBA [Global Board of Appeal] [...] erred when it did not further consider whether, on the basis of the significantly different responsibilities, WHO/UNAIDS had breached its duty of care towards the complainant. The Tribunal has stated in Judgment 2191, consideration 3, that organizations must carefully take into account the interests and dignity of staff members when effecting a transfer to which the staff member concerned is opposed. It should have been obvious to the GBA from its own analysis that the complainant’s responsibilities had been reduced materially because of the absence of supervisory or managerial functions from the Senior Advisor post so that that post was not objectively comparable with her previous Director, TIN, post (see, for example, Judgment 4086, consideration 14). There is no evidence in the file to show that the complainant’s legitimate objections to the proposed reassignment, particularly concerning her level of responsibility, were properly addressed by the Administration before that decision was imposed on her on 28 January 2016. The complainant’s allegation that in reassigning her the Organization breached its duty of care towards her is therefore well founded.

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 2191, 4086

    Keywords:

    duty of care; reassignment; respect for dignity; transfer;



  • Judgment 4239


    129th Session, 2020
    World Health Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision to terminate her appointment for health reasons and claims that the compensation she received for her service-incurred injury is grossly inadequate.

    Judgment keywords

    Keywords:

    complaint allowed; decision quashed; duty of care; professional accident; service-incurred;

    Consideration 26

    Extract:

    [T]here is a possibility that the breach of WHO’s duty of care concerning the complainant when she returned to Geneva has led or contributed to the professional and personal circumstances in which the complainant now finds herself. An inference can readily be drawn that the complainant knows that, had she received appropriate treatment immediately on her return to Geneva, her grave present predicament, arising so early in her adult life, might not have come about and also she believes WHO should have done more to support and help her. It cannot be doubted that these matters have caused and will continue to cause the complainant considerable distress. In the special circumstances of this case, the complainant is entitled to a significant award of moral damages that the Tribunal assesses in the sum of 180,000 United States dollars.

    Keywords:

    distress; duty of care; moral injury;

    Consideration 21

    Extract:

    An international organisation has a duty to adopt appropriate measures to protect the health and ensure the safety of staff (see, for example, Judgment 3689, consideration 5). An organisation has an overarching duty of care towards its staff.

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 3689

    Keywords:

    duty of care;

    Consideration 25

    Extract:

    One of its staff had been injured, as it turns out seriously, in a car accident while on a mission overseas when performing work for the Organization. WHO had an ongoing responsibility to do all it could to mitigate the effects of the accident as part of a more general obligation to protect the health and ensure the safety of its staff (see Judgment 3994, consideration 8). It is true that Dr H. asked the complainant to see her on her return and she did not. But that provides no real justification for WHO effectively doing nothing by way of further mitigating the effects of the accident. The complainant is entitled to moral damages for this breach of the duty of care.

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 3994

    Keywords:

    duty of care; injury; mitigation of loss; moral injury; service-incurred;



  • Judgment 4221


    129th Session, 2020
    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the rejection of her request for reclassification of her post.

    Consideration 10

    Extract:

    The Tribunal sees no circumstances on which to hold that, in breach of its duty of care to the complainant, the Administration attempted (as the Tribunal severely sanctions consistent with Judgment 2282, consideration 11) to keep her from exercising her right to appeal[.]

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 2282

    Keywords:

    abuse of power; duty of care; misuse of authority; organisation's duties;



  • Judgment 4215


    129th Session, 2020
    Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision not to confirm his appointment at the end of his probation period.

    Consideration 17

    Extract:

    [A]lthough the complainant must have known that the Secretary General was not satisfied with his performance, he was not given the necessary time to remedy this situation. To underline this point, it suffices to recall that the decision to end the complainant’s appointment was taken on 25 April 2013, that he was notified of it – according to his uncontested account – on 30 April and that it took effect on 1 May, whereas the complainant had taken up his duties just a few weeks previously on 1 March 2013, and his probation period was due to end on 30 June. The complainant thus had very little time to prove his worth and, above all, was given no opportunity to take appropriate action in response to the criticisms directed at him. This is made still clearer by the emails submitted by the Organisation showing that the Secretary General’s criticisms of the complainant were, for the most part, not made until the fortnight immediately preceding the decision of 25 April. The fact is that when the complainant received the decision, he was presented with a fait accompli, which blatantly contradicts the requirement laid down in the case law that in such a situation a staff member must be granted sufficient time to enable him to improve his performance.

    Keywords:

    duty of care; duty to inform; probationary period; termination of employment;



  • Judgment 4173


    128th Session, 2019
    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision to assign her to another duty station.

    Consideration 12

    Extract:

    As stated in Judgment 3531, consideration 4, the Tribunal has “consistently held that international organisations have a duty to ensure that internal appeals are conducted with due diligence and with due regard to the duty of care owed to staff members (see, in particular, Judgment 2522)”. It is recognized that the time an appeal might reasonably take will usually depend on the specific circumstances of a given case. At the same time, as the Tribunal stated in Judgment 3688, consideration 6, citing Judgment 2904, consideration 15:
    “According to well-established case law, ‘[s]ince compliance with internal appeals procedures is a condition precedent to access to the Tribunal, an organisation has a positive obligation to see to it that such procedures move forward with reasonable speed’ (see Judgment 2197, under 33).”

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 2197, 2522, 2904, 3531, 3688

    Keywords:

    duty of care; internal appeal;



  • Judgment 4171


    128th Session, 2019
    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decisions to dismiss her internal complaints of moral harassment.

    Consideration 11

    Extract:

    [Internal] provisions simply apply the duty of care, to which the complainant also refers, owed by all international organisations. In its case law, the Tribunal has emphasised that the relations between an international organisation and its staff members must be governed by good faith, respect, transparency and consideration for their dignity (see Judgment 1479, consideration 12). An organisation must therefore treat its staff with proper consideration and avoid causing them undue injury. It must care for the dignity of its staff members and not cause them unnecessary personal distress and disappointment where this could be avoided (see, for example, Judgments 1756, consideration 10(a), and 3353, consideration 26). As the Tribunal held in Judgment 2524, an international organisation has a duty to provide a safe and adequate environment for its staff (see also Judgment 2706, consideration 5).

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 1479, 1756, 2706, 3353

    Keywords:

    duty of care; respect for dignity;

    Judgment keywords

    Keywords:

    complaint allowed; decision quashed; duty of care; harassment;

    Consideration 13

    Extract:

    Even though the charge of harassment cannot stand, an international organisation fails in its duty to treat staff members with dignity and avoid causing them undue and unnecessary injury if the organisation is aware of an unhealthy working atmosphere in the service where a staff member works but allows it to remain without taking adequate measures to remedy the situation (see, to this effect, Judgment 2067, considerations 16 and 17).

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 2067

    Keywords:

    duty of care; duty to inform; good faith; harassment; organisation's duties; patere legem; respect for dignity;



  • Judgment 4140


    128th Session, 2019
    International Fund for Agricultural Development
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision to summarily dismiss her for serious misconduct during her probation period.

    Consideration 6

    Extract:

    According to the Tribunal’s case law, an international organization is under an obligation, in view of its duty of care towards its staff, to assist them when they make mistakes in exercising their right of appeal. In particular, if a staff member has mistakenly addressed an appeal to the wrong body, that body is required to forward the appeal to the competent body (see, for example, Judgments 2345, consideration 1, 3423, consideration 9(b), 3754, consideration 11, or 3928, consideration 14).
    This case law [...] aims at preventing the procedural rules from wrongly becoming a trap for a staff member who misunderstands the procedure for exercising her or his right of appeal [...].

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 2345, 3423, 3754, 3928

    Keywords:

    duty of care; internal appeal;



  • Judgment 4102


    127th Session, 2019
    International Labour Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant contests the ILO’s failure to take a final decision on her job grading appeal and the failure to grant her a contract without limit of time.

    Consideration 7

    Extract:

    In awarding moral damages, the Tribunal takes into consideration that the Administration, in its letter of 6 March 2017, recognized its egregious administrative oversights and therefore decided to pay the complainant immediately 20,000 Swiss francs, and that the Director-General offered his sincere apologies.
    Taking into account that the complainant requested in 2009 that her job be graded at the G.4 level, that on 10 May 2017 a final decision had not yet been taken, that there was a failure to exercise a duty of care on the part of the Administration, which has failed to act for a long time, and that the issue was of great importance for the complainant, the Tribunal decides to award her 16,000 Swiss francs in moral damages in addition to the 20,000 Swiss francs already paid by the Organization.

    Keywords:

    delay in internal procedure; duty of care; moral injury;



  • Judgment 4100


    127th Session, 2019
    World Health Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision not to select him for a position for which he had applied.

    Consideration 7

    Extract:

    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 Judgments 3160, under 16, and 3582, under 3). Although it appears that the Administration took some steps to deal with an unusually large volume of work, the time taken to finalize the HBA report was nonetheless unreasonable. In Judgment 3160, under 17, the Tribunal held:
    “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.)

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 3160, 3582, 4031

    Keywords:

    delay in internal procedure; duty of care; moral injury;



  • Judgment 4098


    127th Session, 2019
    World Health Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision not to select him for a position for which he had applied.

    Consideration 10

    Extract:

    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 the present case, there was unreasonable delay in the appeal process[.]

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 3160, 3582, 3688

    Keywords:

    delay in internal procedure; duty of care; organisation's duties;



  • Judgment 4090


    127th Session, 2019
    International Atomic Energy Agency
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the processing of his application for a disability benefit and the calculation of his sick leave entitlements.

    Consideration 15

    Extract:

    The complainant is entitled to moral damages for the delay in the consideration of his application for a disability benefit arising from the IAEA’s breach of its duty of care. The Tribunal takes into account the fact that, but for the delay, he may have been in receipt of the disability benefit earlier.

    Keywords:

    delay; disability benefit; duty of care; moral injury;

    Consideration 9

    Extract:

    [T]he final constitution of the Board [was delayed] for almost four months. This was an unreasonably long period and delayed the resolution of the complainant’s application, which was ultimately successful, for a disability benefit. While the complainant has not discharged the burden of proving retaliation, bias and prejudice, the IAEA is liable for the consequences of this delay involving, as it does, a breach of its duty of care towards the complainant, a ground relied on by the complainant in his fifth argument (see Judgment 2936, consideration 19). The IAEA, through its officers, was obliged to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the complainant’s request for review of the decision to refuse him a disability benefit was dealt with as expeditiously as possible. If, as happened, an impasse about who should be the Chair arose between a member of the Board nominated by the staff member and a temporary member [...] of the Board nominated by the Administration who also had the responsibility to nominate another member as his own replacement, then steps should have been taken with great expedition to nominate the member to replace him.

    Keywords:

    breach; composition of the internal appeals body; delay; disability benefit; duty of care; medical board; organisation's duties;



  • Judgment 4088


    127th Session, 2019
    International Atomic Energy Agency
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision to reassign him to the General Service category upon the expiry of his fixed-term appointment to a position in the Professional category.

    Consideration 16

    Extract:

    The JAB’s conclusions concerning the effect of the supervisors’ failure to communicate properly with the complainant during the process rest on good grounds, particularly given the JAB’s earlier statement that the complainant’s supervisors had admitted that that failure “had certainly exhibited a lack of compassion and they apologised for that”. Nonetheless, the JAB’s conclusions have no bearing on the legality of the impugned decision, notwithstanding they support an argument that the IAEA breached its duty of care to the complainant. But that is not the subject-matter of this complaint.

    Keywords:

    duty of care; duty to inform;

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Last updated: 23.09.2021 ^ top