Cyprus: Case Report: The Labour Disputes Court Makes An Award For Injury To Feelings While Rejecting The Sexual Harassment Claim

Last Updated: 13 June 2017
Article by Anna Praxitelous


In the decision AP v (1) Republic of Cyprus and others issued on 22/04/2016, the Industrial Disputes Court considered a variety of substantive and procedural issues in the context of a claim for sexual harassment and victimisation. This case provides a good illustration of the principles the tribunals apply when examining sexual harassment cases and how these are interpreted by Cypriot Employment Courts.


The Applicant is an employee working in the public sector. AN and Respondent 3 were at the said time employees of Defendant 1 and the Applicant's superiors. AN was a Chief Inspector of the relevant public Department where the Applicant was working and up to the 01/02/2009 he was the manager of the District Offices of the Department. Respondent 3 was the director of the Department and the chief of the Department.

In May 2006, the Applicant filed an oral sexual harassment complaint against AN to Respondent 3. Then, on the 30/01/2007, the Applicant submitted a written complaint against AN to Respondent 3. Following receipt of the complaint, a formal investigation commenced. On 06/08/2007, the General Director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment submitted the findings of the report to the Public Service Commission (PSC). Based on the findings of the report, the PSC initiated disciplinary proceedings against AN. On 29/10/2008, following the conclusion of the disciplinary hearing, AN was found guilty, amongst others, on disciplinary charges relating 'to an act or mode that is equal to a breach of any of the duties or obligations of a public servant' in breach of articles 73 (1) (b) and 73 (2) of the Civil Service Laws of 1990 until 2006 and articles 2 and 12 (1) of the Equal Treatment of Men and Women in Employment and Vocational Training Law 205(I)/2012 ('Law 205(I)/2012. On 01/12/2008, the PSC imposed as means of disciplinary measure the following: (a) the transfer of AN to another district as of 02/01/2009 for the period of 3 years and (b) severe reprimand.

On 21/10/2009, the Applicant brought proceedings against the Respondents claiming, amongst other, damages for sexual harassment and damages for injuries to feelings and physical health that the Applicant suffered and that was caused due to the Respondents' actions and omissions within the meaning of Law 205(I)/ 2002.

In her claim, the Applicant stated, amongst others, that from the commencement of the year 2006 up to May 2006 she was sexually harassed by AN (despite raising the issue with AN) and that as a result of making an oral complaint to Respondent 3 she suffered negative actions inflicted by the behavior of AN (along with the support of employees working in the District Office whose performance was evaluated by AN). She further claimed that such actions resulted in the creation of a hostile working environment and Respondent 3 did not take any measures to protect the Applicant or erect the situation. She therefore filled a formal written complaint to Respondent 3 against AN. It was the Applicant's position that following the submission of the complaint the negative working environment deteriorated and that Respondent 3 urged her to withdraw her complaint. The Applicant claimed that following the submission of the written complain and up to the submission of the court application she faced problems in the workplace and unfair treatment.

Respondents 1 and 2 alleged that there's no sexual harassment against the Applicant in accordance with the provisions Equal Treatment of Men and Women in Employment and Vocational Training Law, and that the Applicant's application is time barred. Respondent 3 did not file an appearance.


In order to render its ruling, the Court took into consideration the evidence presented and ruled that the behavior of AN for the period January 2006 - May 2006 constituted sexual harassment against the Applicant in accordance with the provisions of the Equal Treatment of Men and Women in Employment and Vocational Training Law, Law 205(I)/2002. However, the Court found that the Applicant's claim was time barred and did not award compensation for the sexual harassment the Applicant suffered for the period January 2006 - May 2006.

The Court then examined whether there was a breach of the Law 205(I)/2002 by Respondents 1 and 3. Based on the facts presented by the Applicant, the Court ruled that the Applicant had suffered unfavorable treatment in the workplace and was victimized by ANand Respondent 3 due to the submission of the sexual harassment complaint. Further, Respondent 1 failed to prove that it has taken any action to prevent from happening the sexual harassment in the Applicant's workplace and the actions that lead to the victimization of the Applicant. The Court therefore found Defendant 1 guilty of the offence, alongside and to the same degree with AN and Respondent 3. The Court noted that even the Applicant did not inform her superiors of the actions of AN, Defendant 1 would still be found guilty and to the same degree alongside Defendants 2 and 3 as Defendant 1 fail to adopt the preventive measures in accordance with Law 205(I)/2012.


The Court upheld the Applicant's claim for injuries to feelings that resulted from the Respondents and the Applicant was awarded €22.000 for injury to feelings. Respondents were made jointly and severally liable for the unfair treatment award.

Upon issuing the award, the Court noted the general legal principles governing injuries to feelings and took into consideration the facts of the case and in particular the surrounding circumstances of the discrimination the Applicant suffered due to her gender, as (i) the nature of unfavourable treatment the Applicant suffered due to the prevention/filing a sexual harassment complaint (insults, social exclusion and work isolation, psychological war, poor performance reviews, reduction of tasks and unequal treatment in relation to the tasks and the volume of work), (ii) the substantial period that lasted (from May 2006 up to September 2009), (iii) the hierarchical relationship between the Applicant, AN and Respondent 3, (iv) the long period that the examination of the written complaint of the Applicant lasted (22 months approximately) during which no measures were taken to protect the Applicant, (v) the disciplinary measures taken following the conclusion of the disciplinary process against AN and the cancellation of the Applicants appraisals for the years 2007 and 2008, (vi) the negative treatment the Applicant experienced following the imposition of the disciplinary measures to AN (continuation of unfavourable treatment, unequal distribution of work and threat to be moved to another department), (vii) that the Applicant continues to work at the Department and the consequences of the unfavourable treatment to the Applicant.


The Court focused on two important aspects while examining the case concerned: firstly whether the actions concerned fell within the definition of sexual harassment and whether the treatment the Applicant suffered was due to the prevention of the sexual harassment and secondly the type of damages the Applicant is entitled due to her been victimised. In order to address the latter questions the Court proceeded with a systematic classification of the case's evidence in the light of the relevant legal framework, namely Law 205(I)/2002, the respective Directives 2006/54/ΕC (consolidating Directive 76/207/EC) and 97/80/ΕC and a number of case law.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.