Annual Report 2014 from the Human Resources Department

The 2014 Annual Report from the Human Resources department concerning the settlement of disputes and discipline under Chapter VI of the Staff Rules and Regulations.


1) Introduction

The 2014 Annual Report, under Chapter VI (“Settlement of Disputes and Discipline”) of the Staff Rules and Regulations, serves to report:

• cases of submission of requests for review,
• internal appeals,
• complaints before the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization (ILOAT); and
• cases in which disciplinary action was taken.

2) Requests for Review and Internal Appeals

Under Article S VI 1.01 of the Staff Rules, members of the personnel may challenge an administrative decision by the Director-General where it adversely affects the conditions of employment or association that derive from their contract or from the Staff Rules and Regulations.

If permitted by the Staff Rules and Regulations, a decision may be challenged internally within the Organization:

• through a review procedure, or
• through an internal appeal procedure. In this case, the Joint Advisory Appeals Board (JAAB) shall be consulted by the Director-General prior to taking any final decision on the merits.

3) Complaints before the ILOAT

A decision may be challenged externally by filing a complaint before the ILOAT:

• when internal procedures have been exhausted and the decision is final, or
• when an internal challenge is not permitted by the Staff Rules and Regulations.

Requests for review
From 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014, there were two requests for a review of administrative decisions taken by the Director-General. The staff members concerned challenged both the rating of their performance as “meritorious” and the related decisions of periodic advancement, i.e. the granting of one periodic step. The administrative decisions were maintained following consultation with the department concerned.

Internal appeals
From 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014, one internal appeal was submitted against two administrative decisions: the decision not to hold proceedings for the classification of an illness as occupational on account of the staff member’s request being time-barred; and the related refusal to open proceedings before the Joint Advisory Rehabilitation and Disability Board (JARDB) due to non-fulfillment of the conditions.

Having consulted the JAAB, the Director-General decided to open proceedings concerning the classification of the illness, but maintained his decision not to launch proceedings before the JARDB.

Discussions held between the HR Department and the person concerned, involving the Staff Association, have succeeded in reaching an amicable settlement.

Complaints before the ILOAT
From 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014, four requests were filed before the ILOAT:

• one concerned the Organization’s decision to dismiss a staff member after the probation period;
• one concerned the Organization’s decisions not to hold a classification of illness procedure and the decision not to hold proceedings before the JARDB. The complainant subsequently requested suspension of his complaint pending the outcome of the internal proceedings; and
• two concerned the CERN Pension Fund’s decisions not to recognise the partner of the complainant as ‘spouse’ within the meaning of the Pension Fund Rules.

4) Disciplinary Action

Under Article S VI 2.01 of the Staff Rules, the Director-General may take disciplinary action against members of the personnel who, whether intentionally or through carelessness, are guilty of a breach of the Staff Rules and Regulations or of misconduct that is to the detriment of the Organization.

Article S VI 2.02 of the Staff Rules stipulates that depending on the gravity of the breach or misconduct involved, the disciplinary action may be:

• a warning;
• a reprimand;
• suspension without remuneration or pay for a period not exceeding six months,
• loss of one or more steps; or
• dismissal.

The Joint Advisory Disciplinary Board (JADB) shall be consulted by the Director-General prior to taking any disciplinary action other than a warning or a reprimand (Article S VI 2.04 of the Staff Rules).

In cases of particularly serious misconduct, the Director-General may decide to dismiss without notice and without consulting the JADB (Article S VI 2.05 of the Staff Rules).

From 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014, there were 13 cases of misconduct:
• a series of cases of, inter alia, conflicts of interest and fraudulent activities in violation of the CERN’s Procurement Rules. The cases were investigated and reported by the Internal Audit Services and resulted in disciplinary action against nine staff members. The Director-General decided to agree with the respective recommendations of the JADB and issued sanctions ranging from a reprimand for the milder offences to dismissal in the most serious cases;
• a case of forgery of reference letters resulted in a dismissal without notice and without consultation of the JADB:
• a case of private use of a CERN car resulted in a reprimand;
• a case of transmission of an e-mail containing xenophobic content to several colleagues within CERN resulted in a warning; and
• a case of driving on site contrary to the CERN Road Traffic Rules resulted in a warning.

Moreover, the Internal Audit Service conducted an investigation into a case concerning, inter alia, forgery of official documents and non-declaration to the Organization of external financial benefits received.  Following a review of the Internal Audit Service report by the Director-General and the staff member, the staff member’s contract was terminated.

HR Department

by HR Department