JUDGMENT OF THE CIVIL SERVICE TRIBUNAL

(First Chamber)

18 May 2009

Case F-66/08

Emile De Smedt and Others

v

European Parliament

(Civil service – Officials – Remuneration – Allowance for shiftwork – Allowance for officials on regular standby duty – Articles 56a and 56b of the Staff Regulations)

Application: brought under Articles 236 EC and 152 EA, in which Mr De Smedt and 20 other officials of the Parliament seek annulment of the individual decisions of the Parliament refusing to grant them, first, the allowance for shiftwork referred to in Article 56a of the Staff Regulations, to which they claim to be entitled under Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1873/2006 of 11 December 2006 amending Regulation (ECSC, EEC, Euratom) No 300/76 determining the categories of officials entitled to allowances for shift work, and the rates and conditions thereof, and second, the allowance for officials on regular standby duty referred to in Article 56b of the Staff Regulations, to which they claim to be entitled under Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1945/2006 of 11 December 2006 amending Regulation (EEC, Euratom, ECSC) No 495/77 determining the categories of officials entitled to, and the conditions for and rates of, allowances for regular standby duty.

Held: Notice is given that the applicants withdrew their claims relating to the annulment of the individual decisions of the Parliament refusing to grant them the allowance for officials on regular standby duty referred to in Article 56b of the Staff Regulations. The individual decisions of the Parliament refusing to grant the applicants the allowance for shiftwork referred to in Article 56a of the Staff Regulations are annulled. The Parliament is ordered to bear all the costs.

Summary

Officials – Working conditions – Allowance for shiftwork

(Staff Regulations, Art. 56a)

Individual decisions of an institution must be annulled which refuse to grant the allowance for ‘shiftwork’ provided for in Article 56a of the Staff Regulations to officials carrying out such work, required by the ‘exigencies’ of the telephone switchboard to which they are assigned, whereas that shiftwork is ‘a regular and permanent feature’, the institution, in granting that allowance by individual decisions adopted at a later date than the abovementioned decisions, has itself given implied but clear recognition that the applicants satisfy the conditions laid down in Article 56a for granting the allowance, and whereas, lastly, it cannot be disputed that their material working conditions were the same before and after the date on which the individual decisions were adopted granting them that allowance.

In that respect, it would be incorrect to claim that Article 56a of the Staff Regulations is not applicable on the ground that the shiftwork performed by the officials does not result from formal decisions by that institution.

Similarly, the fact that those officials do not work overtime and work fewer hours per week than the normal working hours for that institution does not call into question their entitlement to the allowance provided for in Article 56a of the Staff Regulations. That provision does not require either that overtime be worked or that the number of hours worked per week should be equal to the normal number for that institution. In any event, in view of the personal and family inconvenience caused by a weekly work schedule organised into shifts, it is not unreasonable for switchboard operators to work 7.5 hours fewer per week than the normal number in that institution.

(see paras 21-23)