Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs are posted here in response to questions sent by staff members. Click any of the topics to see a list of questions and answers materials in order by date posted. You can set the filter to sort for FAQs for one or more topics.

You can submit a question by emailing unstaff-servingasone@un.org. Please note that emails are not responded to individually. However, as many queries as possible are turned into Frequently Asked Questions which are posted here.

Administrative matters

Rental subsidies

How do I know the rent threshold percentage for a place of employment?
Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The threshold percentage is published by the International Civil Service Commission
on its website. From the ICSC homepage map, click on the country, the information
icon, and from the data that opens about that country, click post adjustment
classification. Rental subsidy percentage for that country is also provided on the
screen.
>Go to the ICSC site - http://icsc.un.org (Please note that certain data is not available
through the public website but is available through the UN intranet or extranet)

Where can I find the reasonable maximum rent level for a duty station?
Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The maximum reasonable rent level by duty station is found in the Benefits at My Duty
Station Calculator on the Pay and Benefits page of the HR Portal. The maximum rent
levels are also published in Information Circulars that you can find by searching the
HR Handbook.
> Go to the Benefits Calculator (Link not yet available)

Appointment types

Continuing appointment

As of the eligibility date, I had a disciplinary measure imposed on me, but I am appealing the decision through the UN Dispute Tribunal. Will I be eligible for consideration of a continuing appointment?

In accordance with section 2.1(f) of ST/SGB/2011/9, a staff member must not have been subject to any disciplinary measure during the five years preceding the eligibility date. Therefore, if a staff member had a disciplinary measure imposed in the five years preceding the eligibility date, the staff member would not be eligible for consideration at that review, even if an appeal is in progress as of the eligibility date. Should the disciplinary measure be rescinded after the eligibility date, the staff member may be considered in the next review, provided all other criteria are met.

Can a missing performance appraisal be substituted by a note from the supervisor indicating that performance has been satisfactory for the continuing appointments review?

Performance appraisals cannot be substituted by a note written by a supervisor. A duly completed performance evaluation is required. 

Does time spent working on a temporary assignment count towards the five years of continuous service required to be eligible for a continuing appointment?

The required five years of continuous service must have been completed without any break in service.

Time spent working under a temporary appointment does not count towards the five years of continuous service given that temporary appointments cannot be converted to fixed-term appointments and staff members separate from the organization upon expiration of the temporary appointment.

Assignment of a staff member who holds a fixed-term appointment to a temporary job does not affect his/her continuity of service. Service is considered continuous until the expiration of their fixed-term appointment. If a staff member is separated following the expiration of their fixed-term appointment and then is reemployed on a temporary appointment, the service shall not be considered as continuous between the prior and new appointment.

It must be noted that the period of the temporary assignment for any staff member must not exceed the expiry date of their fixed-term appointment. 

How long will the continuing appointment be?

A continuing appointment is an open-ended appointment. Staff members remain, subject to satisfactory performance, for continued employment.

A continuing appointment can be terminated for unsatisfactory performance as well as for other reasons including abolition of a post, reduction in force, health reasons, disciplinary reasons, and in the interest of the organization.

I am a staff member on a fixed-term appointment who meets all the eligibility requirements. I have always been on secondment from my government. Am I eligible for consideration for a continuing appointment?

Provided all other eligibility criteria are met, including appointment following a review by a Secretariat central review body, staff members on secondment from their national government are eligible for consideration of a continuing appointment. It will normally be granted only once the secondment status ceases.

I am currently on special leave without pay and I meet all the eligibility criteria as of the eligibility cut-off date. Can I get a continuing appointment?

For the 2014 review exercise, candidates who avail of special leave without pay during the review process will be exempted from being disqualified on the basis of the special leave without pay, if they meet all the eligibility criteria and are deemed eligible by their executive office or local personnel office. However, during the final review if the candidate on special leave without pay continues to meet the criteria listed under section 2.1(b), (e) and (f) of ST/SGB/2011/9 and a decision is made to grant a continuing appointment to such candidate, it will be granted only upon return to active service.

I am due to retire on or after 1 January 2018 at age 60 or 62. Under the ICSC compensation package, the mandatory age of retirement for all staff members on board as of 1 January 2018 will be 65. Will I be eligible for the continuing appointment now that

I am due to retire on or after 1 January 2018 at age 60 or 62. Under the ICSC compensation package, the mandatory age of retirement for all staff members on board as of 1 January 2018 will be 65. Will I be eligible for the continuing appointment now that I will have 7 years remaining from the eligibility date until I turn 65? 

Yes. Since the exercise for the 2014 CA review is anticipated to conclude during the third quarter of 2018 and the new mandatory age of separation will be effective 1 January 2018, the new mandatory age of separation of 65 will apply to all staff members being considered for a continuing appointment when determining whether or not a staff member is within seven years of retirement.

I can log into inspira using a staff account but when I go to the menu for continuing appointments, it tells me that only some staff have been given access. Can I still request access to review my record even if I am not eligible?

No. Only staff pre-identified as potentially eligible have been given access to the continuing appointment menu in inspira.

Staff members who believe they are eligible and have not received an email notification of their eligibility for review should contact their Executive Office or local HR office to request review for inclusion by the deadline of 31 October 2017. No requests will be considered beyond this date. 

I did not get an email saying that I am potentially eligible and as a result, I cannot access the continuing appointments menus in inspira to conduct the review. However I meet the requirements to be considered. How can I request access?

If you believe you are eligible for consideration, please contact your Executive Office or local HR Office and make a request to be included by 31 October 2017. Before you contact them, please be sure you meet the eligibility criteria listed in this checklist.

Please note that the deadline for request to be included in the list of potentially eligible candidates is close of business on 31 October 2017. No requests will be considered beyond this date.

I have a performance evaluation report for 2013-2014. Since the eligibility cut-off date is as of 1 July 2014, can I use this one as part of the four required reports?

Yes. Performance reports that have been finalized before the eligibility date can be considered. For this review exercise, the eligibility date is 1 July 2014.

I have been serving in the UN Common System continuously since January 2000. I joined the Secretariat on secondment from UNICEF in September 2012 and subsequently transferred to the Secretariat in September 2014. Considering that I have been serving wi

I have been serving in the UN Common System continuously since January 2000. I joined the Secretariat on secondment from UNICEF in September 2012 and subsequently transferred to the Secretariat in September 2014. Considering that I have been serving with the UN Secretariat since September 2012, would I be eligible for consideration for the granting of the continuing appointment?

As of the eligibility date i.e. 1 July 2014 your parent Organization was UNICEF as you were on secondment status with the Secretariat. Although during the seconded period you were subject to the Staff Regulations and Rules of the UN Secretariat, you retained your rights of employment with UNICEF. It was only upon your transfer in September 2014 that you became a UN Secretariat staff member and ceased to have any contractual relationship with UNICEF. Accordingly, you may be eligible for consideration in the next review, provided all other criteria are met.

I have no access to the menus on continuing appointments in inspira. Who can help me?

To find the continuing appointment menu, log on to inspira using your staff ID number and select Self service> Continuing appointments> Continuing appointments. Here you will be able to review and provide comments on your data. You will not be able to access the continuing appointments menu if you do not have a staff account (i.e. you do not log in with your UN index number). If, after logging in as a staff member you are still having technical problems, send an e-mail through the ‘Contact us’ link on inspira.un.org outlining the issue. 

I just returned from secondment. Although at the eligibility date I was on secondment, I returned to the Secretariat during the period of consideration. Would I be considered for the continuing appointment?

In accordance with section 2.7 of ST/AI/2012/3, a staff member who is, at the eligibility date or at any point during the period of consideration, seconded from the Secretariat to another United Nations entity, will be considered at the next review following his or her return to active service in the Secretariat. The “period of consideration” refers to the period of time between the eligibility date and the date of granting of the continuing appointment. Accordingly, a staff member on secondment to another organization at the eligibility date and who returned to the Secretariat during the period of consideration would be considered in the next review, subject to meeting the eligibility criteria.

I received an email saying that I can start the continuing appointment eligibility review but I am lost as soon as I log into inspira. Where do I need to go?

It will be helpful to begin by understanding the continuing appointment process. The review stages are outlined in this step-by-step guide and ST/IC/2017/23.

Next, refer to the inspira Quick Guide to help you navigate the different screens in inspira. You will also find a green information button on each screen that will guide you on what you need to do.

I received an email saying that I can start the continuing appointments eligibility review but I am lost as soon as I log into inspira. Where do I need to go?

It will be helpful to begin by understanding the continuing appointments process. The review stages are outlined in this step-by-step guide and ST/IC/2015/23.

Next, refer to the inspira Quick Guide to help you navigate the different screens in inspira.  You will also find a green information button on each screen that will guide you on what you need to do.

I was a former 300 series staff member who was separated with payment of accrued annual leave and reappointed the next day on a fixed-term appointment. Is my service under the 300 series appointment counted towards the five years of qualifying service...

I was a former 300 series staff member who was separated with payment of accrued annual leave and reappointed the next day on a fixed-term appointment. Is my service under the 300 series appointment counted towards the five years of qualifying service needed to be eligible for a consideration of a continuing appointment?

Generally, continuity of service shall be considered broken when the staff member has been separated and paid on account of termination indemnity, repatriation grant or commutation of accrued annual leave.

The General Assembly, in resolution 65/247, decided, however, that the service of staff members who were previously appointed under the 100, 200 or 300 series of the Staff Rules, and who have been appointed since 1 July 2009 on a fixed-term appointment under the provisional staff rules after a competitive process under staff rule 4.15, would count towards the eligibility requirement of five years of continuous service for a continuing appointment, if they have served for five years continuously.  Exceptionally, for the purpose of implementing General Assembly resolution 65/247, the service of former 300 series staff who were separated and reappointed under a fixed-term appointment without a break in service would be considered as continuous for the purpose of consideration for a continuing appointment, regardless of whether or not separation payments were made under the 300 series appointment, unless the separation and reappointment occurred at their own initiative through their resignation or application to a position or duty station involving a separation on resignation or expiry of appointment and reappointment to another position. Subject to meeting all other eligibility criteria, the period of service under the 300 series appointment for these individuals would be counted towards the five years of qualifying service needed for consideration of a continuing appointment.

I was given access to inspira, so if I am eligible, why do I need to provide comments and information?

Only potentially eligible staff (i.e. who meet some, but not necessarily all, eligibility criteria) were given access to the continuing appointments menus in inspira. However, existing data has to be checked for accuracy and any additional data related to eligibility may not be automated and will require assessment by your Executive Office or local HR office. Any comments/additional information you can provide on the data by the deadline date (17 November 2017), will enable your Department to have as much information as possible available to make a recommendation. As review by staff is not mandatory, non-review on your part will not disqualify you for review by Departments/Offices.

I was serving on an 11-month fixed-term appointment as of 30 June 2009. Under the interim guidelines for the implementation of the contractual reform[1], I was given a one-year fixed-term appointment under the new staff rules with no break in service...

I was serving on an 11-month fixed-term appointment as of 30 June 2009. Under the interim guidelines for the implementation of the contractual reform1, I was given a one-year fixed-term appointment under the new staff rules with no break in service, which was renewed for another year. After serving two years, I was separated and required to take a break in service, following which I was subsequently reappointed under a fixed-term appointment after having been selected for a position subject to review by a Secretariat central review body. Does my prior service under fixed-term appointments count for the purpose of consideration for a continuing appointment?

Generally, continuity of service shall be considered broken when the staff member has been separated and paid on account of termination indemnity, repatriation grant or commutation of accrued annual leave. Exceptionally, however, bearing in mind General Assembly resolution 65/247 and the transition to the new contractual arrangements, the service of staff who were transitioned to a one-year fixed-term appointment under the new staff rules in accordance with the interim guidelines  will be considered as continuous for the purpose of consideration of a continuing appointment in cases where a separation from service occurred after 1 July 2009 and involved an interruption in employment with the United Nations of three working days or less that was imposed by the Organization for administrative purposes, regardless of whether the staff member was paid on account accrued annual leave or other separation benefits.  Such service will be counted towards the five years of continuous service needed to be eligible for consideration of a continuing appointment unless the separation and reappointment occurred at their own initiative through their resignation or application to a position or duty station involving a separation on resignation or expiry of appointment and reappointment to another position.

I was “regularized” prior to the continuing appointment eligibility date after having been selected for a position following review by a Secretariat review body. Prior to being regularized, I served for many years on 11-month fixed-term appointments...

I was “regularized” prior to the continuing appointment eligibility date after having been selected for a position following review by a Secretariat review body. Prior to being regularized, I served for many years on 11-month fixed-term appointments and was required to take a 3-day break in service in between appointments. Is my service under the 11-month fixed-term appointments counted towards the five years of qualifying service needed to be eligible for consideration of a continuing appointment? 

Generally, continuity of service shall be considered broken when the staff member has been separated and paid on account of termination indemnity, repatriation grant or commutation of accrued annual leave.

Exceptionally, in order to implement General Assembly resolution 65/247 and to take into account the transition to the new contractual arrangements, for staff formerly appointed under the 100 series of staff rules, service will be considered as continuous in cases where a separation from service occurred before 1 July 2009 and involved an interruption in employment with the United Nations Secretariat for a period of 30 calendar days or less that was imposed by the Organization for administrative purposes only, regardless of whether or not the staff member was paid on account accrued annual leave balance or other separation entitlements. Such service would count towards the five years of service needed to qualify for a continuing appointment, unless the separation and reappointment occurred at their own initiative through their resignation or application to a position or duty station involving a separation on resignation or expiry of appointment and reappointment to another position.

 

If a staff member has stayed in one duty station for 2 years or more and had two e-PAS cycles, will she/he be given points for two entries?

Yes, a staff member may receive points for each e-PAS cycle of at least 1 year period when the performance rating received is either “Exceeds expectations” (which refers to the highest rating under the new Performance Management and Development system) or “Consistently exceeds expectations” (the highest rating under the previous Performance Management system) or “Frequently exceeds expectations” (the second highest rating under the previous Performance Management system).

If I need copies of my performance documents or any additional information/clarification to complete my review in inspira, can I contact OHRM?

As the review for continuing appointment will be conducted by the Executive Offices/local HR offices, you should contact the focal point from your respective Executive Office/local HR office. 

In terms of eligibility for a continuing appointment, is there any difference between a national staff member working for a field mission and a national staff member working for an Agency, Fund or Programme in the same duty station?

Agencies, Funds and Programmes must decide on their own modalities for the granting of continuing appointments and for those that are not governed by the UN Staff Rules and Regulations there may be differences in terms of eligibility.

Regarding national staff in field missions not being eligible for continuing appointments, the General Assembly decided this based on Member States’ view that individual field missions are temporary and have finite mandates. Their view was that granting of continuing appointments to this group of staff would be inconsistent with the purpose of this contractual arrangement.

Is a “letter of reprimand” from a supervisor considered a disciplinary measure?

No. This is an administrative measure and such measures, as listed in staff rule 10.2 (b), are not equivalent to the disciplinary measures which render staff members ineligible.

One of my performance appraisals completed prior to the eligibility date is currently under rebuttal. Will this appraisal be used in the review for a continuing appointment?

In case a completed performance appraisal is under rebuttal, and should the rebuttal process result in a change in the rating of an appraisal after the eligibility date but prior to the completion of the ongoing annual review process, the revised rating shall be the one taken into account in the current review exercise.

One of the conditions for eligibility for continuing appointments is that staff members must have a performance rating of at least “Meets expectations” or equivalent in the four most recent and completed performance appraisal reports of one year or more…”

One of the conditions for eligibility for continuing appointments is that staff members must have a performance rating of at least “Meets expectations” or equivalent in the four most recent and completed performance appraisal reports of one year or more…” (2.1(b) of ST/SGB/2011/9 and 2.21 of ST/AI/2012/3). What is understood by the “four most recent and completed performance reports of one year of more”? 

For the 2014 review, as an exception to sections 2.1 (b) of ST/SGB/2011/9 and 2.21 of ST/AI/2012/3, staff members who have had a performance rating of at least “meets expectations” or its equivalent in all performance reports, including those of a duration of less than one year, but covering the past four years, can be eligible for consideration for a continuing appointment. However, no points would be allocated for any performance appraisal report covering a period of less than one year.

Inspira will display the performance reports on file for 10 years from date of eligibility but staff members can always provide reports that the system does not display for consideration.

One of the eligibility requirements for continuing contracts is “appointment through a competitive process”. What does that mean?

Appointment through a competitive process means that you have been selected for a position via established procedures including review by a central review body that was established by the Secretary-General or through a competitive examination (such as NCRE or G to P). Field central review bodies were established for peacekeeping operations and special political missions in 2009. 

Regarding the base criteria for eligibility for a continuing appointment, what is considered a disciplinary measure?

Disciplinary measures can take one or more of the following forms:

(a) Written censure;
(b) Loss of one or more steps in grade;
(c) Deferment, for a specified period, of eligibility for salary increment;
(d) Suspension without pay for a specified period;
(e) Fine;
(f) Deferment, for a specified period, of eligibility for consideration for promotion;
(g) Demotion, with deferment, for a specified period, of eligibility for consideration for promotion;
(h) Separation from service, with notice or compensation in lieu of notice,  and with or without termination indemnity;
(i) Dismissal.

Any one of these constitute a disciplinary measure and means that the staff member does not meet the base eligibility criteria for continuing appointments. 

 

Some of my personal information in inspira is incorrect. How can it be changed?

The data you see has been uploaded to inspira from different databases (IMIS, Nucleus, etc). You will be able to comment, within the prescribed timeframe, on the data that is critical for eligibility or points allocation determination, and your Department/Office will take your comments into account when making their final decisions.

However, please note that any correction of wrong information will have to be done at the source (i.e. the system from which the data was uploaded). Contact your Executive Office or local HR office to request a correction. No new uploads of data into inspira will be done in the course of the review for continuing appointments.

What are the Secretariat review bodies?

The Secretariat review bodies are: the Senior Review Group (under ST/SGB/2011/8), and the Central Review Boards, the Field Central Review Boards, the Central Review Committees, the Field Central Review Committees, the Central Review Panels and the Field Central Review Panels established under the framework of ST/SGB/2011/7

What if I have a temporary appointment in between two fixed-term appointments, would the period on temporary appointment be treated as continuous?

The period of service on a temporary appointment would constitute a break in the continuity of service under a fixed-term appointment, therefore your overall period of service would not be considered continuous. The period of service under a temporary appointment would not count towards the five-years of qualifying service. And the count of qualifying years of service would start counting from the date of your second fixed-term appointment, posterior to the period on temporary appointment.

What is the difference between a permanent appointment and continuing appointment?

Permanent appointments were linked to the concept of a career service, and thus subject to satisfactory performance. A staff member granted a permanent appointment had a reasonable expectation of continued employment until his/her mandatory age of separation.

Continuing appointments are open-ended appointments. However, unlike the permanent appointment, the Secretary-General may terminate the appointment without the consent of the staff member if, in the opinion of the Secretary-General, such action would be in the interest of the good administration of the Organization.

What is the rationale for having an age limitation for eligibility towards the continuing appointment?

The condition of seven years of service remaining is a requirement imposed by the General Assembly.

In resolution 65/247 of 24 December 2010, the General Assembly specifically decided that in order to be eligible for consideration for the granting of a continuing appointment, staff members must “have at least 7 years of service remaining before reaching the mandatory age of separation”.

The General Assembly based this decision on one of the eligibility criteria which was in place for consideration for a permanent appointment, namely to be under the age of 53 on the date when the staff member has completed or completes the five years of qualifying service. In order to ensure equality in treatment for all the staff members irrespective of their individual mandatory age of separation which varies depending on their date of entry in the Organization, the General Assembly decided to formulate this criterion differently and refer to the number of years of service remaining rather than to the age of staff members.

What is the timeline for the continuing appointments review?

16 October 2017​:

  • Emails sent to potentially eligible candidates;
  • inspira opens up for candidates’ review of eligibility data.

* Staff who do not receive emails and believe they may be eligible should review the eligibility criteria on this checklist and then contact their Executive Office by 31 October 2017 to request to be included in the potentially eligible group and to receive access to the continuing appointments data in inspira.

3 November 2017:

  • Deadline for Executive Office/local HR office focal points of respective department to send lists of additional staff who may be eligible to the Continuing Appointments Team.

17 November 2017:

  • Deadline for candidates who wish to avail of the opportunity to provide comments and submit additional information/documents through inspira.  

*This deadline will be strictly enforced. Candidates are advised to allow sufficient time to prepare and submit their comments in inspira. Please note that review by candidates is not mandatory. However, any comments/additional information you can provide on the data by the deadline date will enable your Department to have as much information as possible available to make a recommendation. 

31 January 2018: 

  • Deadline for Executive Office/local HR office to review their staff members’ information in inspira and make the determination on the eligibility.

Date to be announced: 

  • Email notification to candidates notifying them of their eligibility status in inspira.

Stage 2 – Points Allocation Review

In the event that the post envelope is larger than the number of eligible candidates, the points allocation stage will not be required and the Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM) will conduct the final review and award the continuing appointments.

If the post envelope is smaller than the number of eligible candidates, the points allocation process will be conducted prior to the final review by OHRM for award of a continuing appointment.

The time-frame for the points allocation review and final OHRM review will be announced. 

Which Department will conduct my continuing appointment review?

You will be reviewed by the Department you are serving with at the time of the review. If you are on assignment at the date of the review, the parent Department will conduct the review in consultation with the new Department. 

Why are the staff in the tribunals and national staff (National Professional Officers and staff in the General Service and related categories) in field missions not eligible for continuing appointment?

Given the fact that the tribunals are downsizing and completing their mandates and that Member States view individual field missions as temporary and with finite mandates, Member States concluded that the staff in the tribunals and national staff (National Professional Officers and staff in the General Service and related categories) in field missions are consequently employed only for a fixed period of time. Based on this, Member States were of the view that granting of continuing appointments to this group of staff would be inconsistent with the purpose of this contractual arrangement.

Will I be granted a continuing appointment if I meet all the criteria and I am found to be eligible?

The review of eligibility is Stage I of the process. If the number of continuing appointments to be awarded under a given post envelope is larger than the number of eligible staff members then those staff members recommended to be granted continuing appointments will be assessed by OHRM to ensure that they continue to meet the following criteria during the entire review period:

(a) have performance rating of at least “Meets expectations” or equivalent

(b) are not international or locally recruited staff serving in the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwandaor the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

(c) are not be subject to any disciplinary measure

(d) are not seconded or separated from the Organization. The final determination of granting the continuing appointment will be made by the ASG for Human Resources Management.

In the event the number of continuing appointments to be awarded under a given post envelope is smaller than the number of eligible staff members, then Stage II, the Point Allocation, will commence. Staff members and departments/offices will be advised of the calendar of this process in due course. As with Stage I, staff will be given the opportunity to provide comments and additional information through inspira on the calculation of their points. The departments/offices will proceed with the review.

Will I have access to check in inspira the on-going status of my continuing appointment case after the staff member review deadline?

Once you submit your comments on your eligibility status, your status in inspira will change from INITIAL to SUBMITTED FOR REVIEW. This indicates that your Executive Office or local HR office will initiate the review of your eligibility. However, as this is a global competitive process, all staff members will be notified on the same date (after 31 January 2018) about the outcome of the eligibility review. Your status will continue to show as SUBMITTED FOR REVIEW until that date and no feedback will be provided while the review is under way.

Will service with Agencies, Funds and Programmes count towards eligibility and the points for continuing appointments?

In order to be eligible for consideration for the granting of a continuing appointment, staff members must have five years of continuous service on fixed-term appointment(s) under the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations. Thus, periods of service on fixed-term appointments in another entity governed by the United Nations Staff Regulations and Rules prior to joining the United Nations Secretariat shall be counted towards the qualifying service provided the service has been continuous.

Service in organizations not governed by the United Nations Staff Regulations and Rules will not count towards the eligibility criteria.

Once considered eligible for the granting of a continuing appointment, points will be allocated based on established criteria regardless of whether the staff member’s previous service was with the UN Secretariat or with agencies, funds and programmes, provided the service has been continuous.

For example, a staff member employed by UNICEF for 3 years in Khartoum, by FAO for 3 years in Kabul, and by the UN Secretariat for 6 years in New York would be considered eligible for a continuing appointment based on the 6 years of continuous service with the UN Secretariat. FAO is not governed by the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations; nonetheless points will be allocated for the staff member’s service in Khartoum and Kabul, provided such service was continuous.

Permanent appointment

I am a staff member with a permanent appointment currently on a post funded from the regular budget. If I accept a position in the Secretariat that is funded from extra-budgetary resources, will I risk losing my job and permanent status if the funding for

In line with staff rules 13.1 (a) and (d), staff members holding a permanent appointment shall retain the appointment until they separates from the Organization. In the event that the necessities of service require abolition of a post or reduction of the staff, and subject to the availability of suitable posts for which their services can be effectively utilized, staff members with permanent appointments shall be retained in preference to those on all other types of appointments, provided that due regard shall be given in all cases to relative competence, integrity and length of service.

Conditions of Service

Allowances

Does time served as a GS staff or National Staff count towards the five year period required for eligibility for mobility allowance?

Mobility allowance is payable to staff in the P and FS categories. To qualify for payment of the mobility allowance, a staff member must have five years’ prior consecutive service as a staff member in the United Nations or another organization of the common system. Service credited towards the five-year requirement may include service as a GS or NO staff member.

How much is the non-family hardship allowance?

The non-family hardship allowance is equivalent to the applicable dependency rate of hardship allowance in a category “E” duty station for staff with dependents, and half of the applicable single rate of the hardship allowance in a category “E” duty station for staff paid at the single rate. As is the case with the mobility and hardship allowances, the amount of the non-family hardship allowance will vary depending on dependency status and grade level.

 

  P-1 to P-3
FS-1 to FS-6
P-4 to P-5
FS-7
D-1 and above
Dependent rate (per month) $1,453 $1,743 $1,938
Single rate (per month) $  545 $  654 $  727

 

Non-family hardship allowance is in addition to the regular hardship allowance received by staff applicable to their duty station of assignment.

I am going to a non-family duty station soon. When can I expect to receive the non-family hardship allowance?

As provided in section 5 of the Administrative Instruction on the Mobility and hardship scheme (ST/AI/2011/6), the additional non-family hardship allowance shall be payable to eligible staff members who are assigned to duty stations designated as non-family from the beginning of their assignment and for the duration of their assignment to those locations.

If there is a change in the designation of the duty station (from family to non‑family or the reverse) during the course of a staff member’s appointment to the duty station, an appropriate adjustment shall be made to the staff member’s salary to account for the amount payable or for discontinuation of the allowance, as of the effective date of the change in the duty station designation.

I was recruited as international staff member on a Temporary Appointment in a non-family duty station. Am I entitled to receive the non-family hardship allowance?

Yes, staff on Temporary Appointments are eligible for the non-family hardship allowance.

I work in a family duty station but my family cannot join me here for various reasons. Am I eligible to receive the non-family hardship allowance?

No. Only eligible staff assigned to duty stations with non-family designation receive the new hardship allowance. When a staff member is assigned to a family duty station, the organization has not restricted travel of family and thus this is the personal choice of the staff member. In cases where the family does not join, the staff member may avail of Family Visit travel.

If I serve in a field mission and if my duty station becomes a family duty station, my family will join me. My question is why is the lump sum, in lieu of shipment, only $5,000 and not $15,000 which is the lump-sum at a dependent rate?

The amount of the relocation grant, which is in lieu of shipment of personal effects, is linked to the travel of the family members. As only family members are being authorized to travel to the duty station join the staff member, that portion of the relocation grant relating to family members is payable. The $5,000 portion of the relocation grant relating to family members is the difference between the single rate of the relocation grant payable when the staff member travels alone ($10,000) and the dependent rate when staff and at least one eligible family member travels together ($15,000).

Regarding the non-family hardship allowance, why does single staff get less than staff with dependents (single staff get only half of the applicable single rate of the hardship allowance in a category “E” duty station)?

This is in recognition of the fact that a single staff member has less liabilities in maintaining a second household.

What is the non-family hardship allowance for?

The non-family hardship allowance is to compensate for the added financial burden and psychological hardship of keeping a second household and being away from family.

The regular hardship allowance compensates for the degree of hardship experienced at the duty station in terms of health, security, climate, housing, isolation, local conditions and educational facilities. Duty stations are categorized on a scale of difficulty from A to E with A being the least difficult. The amount of the hardship allowance varies according to the hardship classification of the duty station and the staff member’s grade and family status. Please go to the website of International Civil Service Commission, www.icsc.un.org, for more information on the hardship allowance.

Benefits/ entitlements

As a Headquarters staff member going to the field, I understand I get some benefits for relocating, such as assignment grant and relocation grant. Will I get these benefits also upon my return to my parent duty station?

Yes. If you are assigned to a field mission for one year or longer, you are eligible for assignment grant as well as 1,000 kgs shipment of personal effects (or relocation grant in lieu of shipment of personal effects). Upon return from mission assignment, you would again be eligible for payment of assignment grant, and 1,000 kgs shipment of personal effects (or relocation grant in lieu of shipment). Please see the UN Salaries, Allowances and Benefits website for more information on assignment grant and relocation grant.

Do I need to keep the original documentation I submit for the review?
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

All eligible staff members are required to retain the original documentation submitted as part of each annual review for five years, as this may be necessary for audit / monitoring purposes. Failure to provide this information will result in the funds being recovered.

How have the harmonized conditions of service affected staff serving in field missions?

• There are now more staff in the field serving in family duty stations. In some duty stations, there was the discrepancy whereby, in some locations, staff serving with UN agencies, funds and programmes or other UN offices could bring their families but staff serving with field missions in the same location could not. Before 1 July 2011, only about 10 % of the posts in peacekeeping and special political missions (about 680) were in family duty stations. As of 1 July 2011 this increased to approximately 30 % of the posts (over 2,000) in missions. Staff who have eligible dependents (i.e. spouse and dependent children) and who are assigned to family duty stations are able to have their eligible family members installed at their duty station, if they so wish. Eligible family members are entitled to travel related entitlements.
• For staff serving in non-family duty stations there is an additional hardship allowance (non-family hardship allowance) to compensate for the added financial burden and psychological hardship of keeping a second household and being away from family. Through the additional hardship allowance, international staff serving in non-family duty stations will be paid between $500 – $1,900 per month depending on grade and whether you are paid at the dependency rate or single rate.
• The rest and recuperation scheme is harmonized within the UN common system. International staff, as well as UN Volunteers, serving in locations with R&R, get paid for R & R travel to a designated location. However, where there is UN transportation available, travel will be provided to staff free of charge and no payment for travel costs apply. The duration of R & R travel is five consecutive calendar days not charged to annual leave plus an appropriate number of calendar days for travel time. R & R designations and cycles are harmonized across the common system.

If I go on a mission assignment from a headquarters duty station or an office away from headquarters will I be eligible for rental subsidy when I come back to my post at my duty station?

Rental subsidy is an integral part of post adjustment. If an internationally-recruited staff member at Headquarters goes on assignment to a field mission which involves a change of duty station, on return from assignment he/she would have a new change of duty station and be again installed at the Headquarters duty station. He or she would be eligible to apply for rental subsidy.

In order to complete their dependency review, what should a staff member do if they do not see the “Benefits” section in the Self Service Menu of inspira?
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

First, staff members should contact the inspira support in order to determine if there is a technical problem (Contact us link located in the top right of the inspira screen.). They should also contact their local Human Resources office, where they can get assistance to complete the review and/or hand deliver required documentation. 

Initially, I was recruited internationally for a temporary appointment and was subsequently given a two-year fixed-term appointment. Now that my appointment is ending, I am relocating back to my home country. How is my relocation grant calculated upon...
Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Complete version of the question: Initially, I was recruited internationally for a temporary appointment and was subsequently given a two-year fixed-term appointment.  Now that my appointment is ending, I am relocating back to my home country.   How is my relocation grant calculated upon separation?

 

Your relocation grant will be based on the allowance package coming with the two-year fixed term appointment.  Accordingly, you can then receive a lump sum for unaccompanied shipment in the amount of $15,000 USD at the family rate or $10,000 USD at the single rate.  

Rental Subsidies and Deductions – Revised Policy and Process

A new administrative instruction on “Rental subsidies and deductions” (ST/AI/2013/2), is now available which introduces a more streamlined process in addition to more specific eligibility requirements.

Various key changes have been established in advance of the increasingly automated procedures that Umoja is starting to bring as the new system is gradually implemented throughout the UN Secretariat.

What are some key changes to the policy?

Application process

Staff members no longer need to submit annual re-application forms but now must re-apply every time their lease is renewed. The subsidy will be calculated in accordance with the lease validity period, provided there is no change in dwelling, rent and family size.
Conditions of payment

Conditions to regulate the payment of the subsidy to former staff members who are re-employed or serving staff who return from assignments under six months involving a change of official duty station now apply.
Clarification on how the payment of the subsidy is determined when both spouses are eligible has been included.
Staff must now disclose all rebates and gratuities granted to them by their landlords (such as free rent or temporary reductions in rent).
Self-certification mechanism

Rental subsidy self-certification, which requires that staff attest to information stated in their application, has been introduced.
Monitoring and oversight

Staff members may be requested to submit original documentation within 30 days of the initial request. Consequently, lease agreements and any other documents supporting rental subsidy application(s) must be retained for five years.
Should a staff member fail to submit any requested documentation or to report changes such as the provision of housing assistance, changes in accommodation, rent, family size, or to falsify documentation, various administrative measures may be effected including:
(i) immediate termination of the rental subsidy;
(ii) recovery of prior subsidy payments; and/or
(iii) any other administrative and/or disciplinary measures (see staff rule 10.2), including dismissal for misconduct.

The staff member and their eligible family members, as applicable, are required to regularly reside at the property for which the subsidy is claimed.
How will the new policy be implemented?

A new information circular (ST/IC/2013/25) on this topic has also been issued. This includes additional details on self-certification, as well as the new compliance monitoring mechanism and rental subsidy application forms. This simplified rental subsidy process will remain in effect until the procedure later becomes automated through the Umoja solution.

For further information, please refer to the itsforreal website for regular updates on a wide range of Human Resources topics.

What time-frame does the current dependency benefits review cover?
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The current dependency benefits review covers the 2014 calendar year. (However, those who have not completed review for prior years are highly encouraged to do so by the same deadline of 30 June 2015.) 

Where can I get help in completing my dependency benefits review?
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Once you have logged into inspira, you can access the P84 Dependency Allowance Staff Member Quick Guide in the Manuals Section for help in completing your application.  In addition staff should consult circular ST/IC/2015/9, for further information.

 

Education grant

Can I claim the education grant during periods of Special Leave without pay (SLWOP)?

SLWOP will have an impact on the education grant entitlement and all other allowances and benefits. “Without pay” refers to any and all types of payments. No allowance, benefit or entitlement is payable. The education grant will, therefore, also not be paid during periods of SLWOP. If the staff member is on SLWOP for a period shorter than the full school year for the education grant, then that grant will be prorated accordingly to take the period of leave into account.

International Civil Service Commission (ICSC)

What did the General Assembly decide in 2010 regarding “harmonization of conditions of service for staff serving in non-family duty stations”?

Acting on the basis of a recommendation of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), which regulates and coordinates the conditions of service of staff in the entire UN common system, the General Assembly decided that benefits and allowances for staff working in non-family duty stations should be the same for the entire UN common system, whether you work for a UN field mission or for a UN agency, fund or programme.

In December 2010, the General Assembly approved one compensation package for all UN common system staff serving in non-family duty stations. The package included an additional hardship allowance to compensate for the added financial burden and psychological hardship of keeping a second household and being away from family (this non-family hardship allowance will eventually replace the special operations approach used by agencies, funds and programmes). Furthermore, the package included the same rest and recuperation scheme for all UN common system staff, including paid travel.

The General Assembly also decided that the designation of mission duty stations as family or non-family should be harmonized on the basis of security assessment and the practice of the UN agencies, funds and programmes.

The General Assembly’s decision to harmonize conditions of service of staff in non-family duty stations was effective 1 July 2011. For the full text of the General Assembly decision, see resolution 65/248.

Leave

Are staff members permitted to work for another entity while on special leave without pay (SLWOP)?

As outlined in staff rule 5.3 (a) (i), Special Leave without Pay (SLWOP) may be granted at the request of a staff member holding a fixed-term or continuing appointment. It is usually envisaged for advanced study or research in the interest of the United Nations, to meet personal obligations, such as for child-care in cases of extended illness, or for other important reasons, and for such period of time as the Secretary-General may prescribe. Requests for SLWOP are reviewed on their merits and approved on the basis of the interest of the Organization. If you are interested in taking SLWOP, please approach your Executive Office.

Since during periods of SLWOP staff members remain staff members of the Organization and retain their status as international civil servants with all obligations this entails, SLWOP is not normally intended to provide staff members with an avenue to pursue employment in other UN or non-UN entities. Outside employment / activities are governed by ST/AI/2000/13, in particular section 3 and 4.

In particular, SLWOP will not be authorized for governmental service in a political office, in a diplomatic or other representational post or for any functions that would be incompatible with the staff member’s continued status as an international civil servant. However, in exceptional circumstances, SLWOP may be granted to a staff member who is requested by his or her Government to render temporary services involving functions of a technical nature.

For employment in other UN entities that are part of the UN Common System of Benefits and Allowances, for staff in the professional and higher categories, there are administrative procedures in place to facilitate the temporary or long-term movement to such entities, subject to agreement by the receiving and the releasing entity and the staff member. Holding parallel appointments in two UN entities at the same time is normally not allowed.

If a staff member asks to work for another UN entity whilst already on Special Leave the following information will be required:

The reason why Special Leave was originally approved in advance of the requested employment.
Details of the proposed role, including entity, functions etc.
Details of any potential conflict of the new role with the staff member’s status as an international civil servant.

Can I be granted special leave without pay (SLWOP) for employment outside the UN Secretariat?

During periods of SLWOP, staff members retain their status as international civil servants with all obligations this entails. Therefore, SLWOP is not normally granted to provide staff members with an avenue to pursue employment in other UN or non-UN entities but rather is granted for work-life balance, to accompany a spouse to a different duty station, etc. Should a staff member during the period of his or her SLWOP be presented with an opportunity to engage in outside employment/activities, he or she must request approval to engage in such activity. These types of requests are reviewed on a case by case basis.

In particular, SLWOP will not be authorized for governmental service in a political office, in a diplomatic or other representational post or for any functions that would be incompatible with the staff member’s continued status as an international civil servant. However, in exceptional circumstances, SLWOP may be granted to a staff member who is requested by his or her Government to render temporary services involving functions of a purely technical nature.

Regarding employment in other UN entities that are part of the UN Common System of Benefits and Allowances, there are administrative procedures in place to facilitate temporary or long-term movement to such entities for staff in the professional and higher categories. This is subject to agreement by both the receiving and releasing entity and the staff member. The Inter-Organization Agreement concerning Transfer, Secondment or Loan of Staff details the conditions under which staff members can move throughout the UN Common System of salaries and allowances.

If a staff member requests permission to work for an entity other than the UN Secretariat whilst already on Special Leave the following information will be required:

- The reason why Special Leave was originally approved in advance of the requested outside activity or employment.

- Details of the proposed role, including entity, functions etc.

- Details of any potential conflict of the new role with the staff member’s status as an international civil servant.

- Any other relevant information. Additional information may be requested by the reviewing office and/or OHRM.

Can I still receive my rental subsidy while on Special Leave without pay (SLWOP)?

SLWOP will have an impact on rental subsidy. “Without pay” refers to any and all types of payments. No allowance, benefit or entitlement is payable. Rental subsidy will, therefore, also not be paid during periods of SLWOP

How do I apply for Special Leave?

Except for sabbatical leave, staff members are required to address a memorandum through their Chief to their Director/ASG for approval. The approved memorandum is then forwarded to the Executive Office for administrative action. Depending on the request, it may be further reviewed by OHRM.

I am a staff member on a Temporary Appointment – can I request Special Leave?

Staff members holding temporary appointments may be granted special leave on an exceptional basis for compelling reasons, subject to approval from the Secretary-General.

If I become sick while on annual leave, how should this be reported and subsequently recorded for time and attendance purposes?

Sick leave during annual leave may be approved if a staff member is ill for more than five consecutive working days (not including weekends or holidays), in any seven day period while on annual leave, including home leave, provided that the sick leave is certified. If the illness does not cover at least five consecutive working days, the entire duration of absence is considered annual leave.

Is it possible to take Special Leave without pay (SLWOP) for personal reasons? For how long and what reasons are acceptable?

Special leave without pay is granted at the discretion of the Secretary-General. Special leave can normally be authorized for up to two years. The acceptable reasons for special leave are advance studies and research in the interest of the United Nations, extended illness, child care, family support, mandatory military service, and other. For eligibility requirements, please refer to staff rule 5.3.

What is sabbatical leave and under which conditions am I eligible to take it?

Eligible staff may apply for sabbatical leave under the sabbatical leave programme to pursue projects of study and research related to the work of the United Nations. Sabbatical leave lasts no more than four months, during which the staff member would be granted special leave with full pay.

The sabbatical leave programme is open to staff members who have completed five years of service with the Secretariat within the last six years and who are expected to serve with the Secretariat for no less than two years after completion of the sabbatical leave period. A committee will evaluate applications in a competitive manner and recommend a maximum of 15 applications per year.

The provisions governing the sabbatical leave programme are found in ST/AI/2011/1.

When can I request special leave?

The conditions under which special leave may be granted to a staff member vary. The table which is attached summarizes the conditions for requesting special leave, which are reviewed individually and take both the Organization’s and the staff member’s interests into account.

This summary illustrates different modalities of special leave with full, partial or without pay. The list of requirements is not exhaustive; and it should be noted that the Staff Regulations, Rules, and governing Administrative Issuances prevail in all instances.

Who is eligible for Special Leave?

In accordance with staff rule 5.3, Special Leave may be granted to staff members holding fixed-term, permanent or continuing appointments. Staff members holding temporary appointments are exceptionally granted special leave for compelling reasons, subject to approval from the Secretary-General.

Pay

I am a locally recruited staff member working in a small remote area in a mission away from my family. Can I be considered for any of the entitlements that compensate for the hardship of being away from my family?

Locally recruited staff are eligible for Hazard Pay. However, the mobility and hardship allowances, including the new additional hardship allowance, are only for staff who have been internationally recruited on an assignment of one year or more.

Relocation grant

Can an internationally recruited staff member defer his/her entitlement to a relocation grant upon separation? If so, for how long?

Yes, upon separation an internationally recruited staff member can defer their entitlement to removal expenses for up to two years. The entitlement expires if removal has not commenced within two years of the date on which the staff member became entitled to such expenses.

Rest and Recuperation

Do I have to travel to the designated location for my R&R?

While travel will be provided to the R & R destination, staff members may choose to travel to any other location, however any additional costs of the deviation would be at the staff member’s expense. Where UN transportation is provided to the designated R & R location, any travel to another location would be entirely at the staff member’s own expense.

How many days is Rest & Recuperation (R&R)?

As of 1 July 2011, the rest and recuperation scheme includes five consecutive calendar days not charged to annual leave and an appropriate number of calendar days for travel time to the R & R destination. Travel days are counted as calendar days.

How much is the payment of Rest & Recuperation (R&R) travel?

The Organization will pay for travel on R & R by the least expensive and most direct route from the duty station to the designated place of rest and recuperation. The Organization may purchase a ticket or provide a lump sum equivalent to the air ticket price. Where a staff member chooses to go to a destination different to the designated location for R & R, the financial liability of the Organization will be equal to the cost of the air ticket to the designated location.

Where UN transportation is available, it will be provided to staff free of charge and no payment for travel costs will apply.

How will the designated location for the purpose of paid R&R travel be determined?

The official R & R destination is normally a location nearby the duty station that is suitable for R & R purposes in terms of cost and convenience of transportation. The Organization’s designation of rest and recuperation destinations takes into consideration the availability of United Nations transportation.

The R & R destinations, as well as the R & R designations and cycles, will be determined by an interagency group comprised of representatives from the UN and the UN agencies, funds and programmes with a field presence.

Is it possible for a family duty station to have Rest & Recuperation (R&R) entitlements? And if so, will my family get paid R&R travel as well?

It is possible that a family duty stations could be designated for rest and recuperation purposes. However, only the staff member would be entitled to rest and recuperation travel. There is no entitlement for R&R travel for family members.

Now that R&R for peacekeeping and special political missions are harmonized with the rest of the UN common system, how is it decided which duty stations will have R&R (and what the cycle will be)? ...

Now that R&R for peacekeeping and special political missions are harmonized with the rest of the UN common system, how is it decided which duty stations will have R&R (and what the cycle will be)? Will missions still be able to send in their recommendation? 

Rest and recuperation cycles for field missions are aligned with those of the UN agencies, funds and programmes. The International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) has established the framework which guides the determination of locations designated for rest and recuperation and the cycle.  Duty stations shall be approved for rest and recuperation by the Office of Human Resources Management following inter-agency consultations.

Field missions will continue to be consulted and will be able to provide their recommendation but should do so in consultation with the UN Country Team.

Now that the rest and recuperation scheme is harmonized with the UN common system, what are the changes for staff in field missions?

The harmonized rest and recuperation scheme for international staff as well as international UN Volunteers includes:

Paid travel by the least expensive and most direct route to a designated R & R location. Where UN transportation is available, it will be provided to staff free of charge and no payment for travel costs will apply.

Five consecutive calendar days not charged to annual leave and an appropriate number of calendar days for travel time to the designated R & R location.

R & R cycles and designations are harmonized within the UN common system.

What if I want to go to another location than the official R&R destination? What amount will I get then?

Where the UN provides free transportation from the duty station approved for rest and recuperation purposes to the designated rest and recuperation destination and the staff member decides to travel to an alternative destination, there will be no payment expenses by the Organization.

Where UN transportation does not exist and the staff member chooses to travel to a location other than the official R&R destination, the staff member may still receive the air ticket to the designated destination.

When a lump sum is provided, the cost of travel in the lowest fare, economy class, by the cheapest and most direct route from the duty station approved for rest and recuperation purposes to the designated rest and recuperation destination is payable.

Where can I find the rules on R&R?

Administrative instruction ST/AI/2011/7 on “Rest and recuperation” details the rules on R&R.

Duty station

Duty station classification

How is a determination made of whether a duty station is designated as family or non-family as of 1 July 2011?

Duty stations from which dependents have been evacuated will be designated as “non-family duty stations” where a determination has been made that the medium- or longer-term presence of non-essential staff and/or dependents is dangerous or unsuitable for reasons of their safety and security. The determination of a duty station as non-family will normally be made within six months of the declaration of an evacuation.

I serve in a field mission and my duty station is expected to become a family duty station but I don’t think the conditions at my current duty station are suitable for young children. Can my family be paid to travel to another duty station?

Travel of family members in connection with a staff member’s appointment or assignment can be made only to the duty station that the staff member is assigned to, as the purpose of the travel to for the family to reside with the staff member at the duty station of assignment. However, children attending school outside of the duty station may be eligible for education grant travel.

My duty station was a non-family duty station but is becoming a family duty station. What are my entitlements for moving my family?

Where a non-family mission location is designated as a family duty station internationally-recruited staff members with eligible dependents (i.e. a spouse and dependent children who would normally reside with the staff member when not serving in a non-family duty station) are eligible for travel related entitlements for family members. These include:

Initial travel of eligible family members to the duty station,

Payment of assignment grant in respect of family members who travel to the family duty station at UN expense consisting of 30 days DSA at half the rate applicable to the duty station for each family member,

Shipment of personal effects for family members who travel to the duty station at UN expense in the amount of 500 kgs for the first eligible family member and 300 kgs for each additional dependent, or a relocation grant in the lump-sum amount of $5,000 for all family members in lieu of shipment of personal effects.

In addition, eligible family members of staff serving in a family duty station are eligible for home leave travel and education grant travel.

Some of the duty stations that are designated family duty stations do not seem suitable for families. Why are they family duty stations when the conditions are not appropriate for a family?

The overall quality of life at a duty station is taken into consideration in the hardship categorization of the duty station. However, the hardship classification of a duty station in itself does not determine the status of a duty station as “family” or “non-family”.

In determining the degree of hardship, consideration is given to local conditions of safety and security, health care, education, housing, climate, isolation and the availability of the basic amenities of life. Duty stations are categorized on a scale of difficulty from A to E with E being the most difficult. The hardship allowance provides staff with compensation to make whatever arrangements they deem necessary to manage under the circumstances or to supplement for the lack of adequate facilities at the duty station. In addition, where there is a lack of adequate school at the duty station, the education grant provides for additional education grant travel and a higher amount for board for children attending school outside the duty station at the primary and secondary levels.

Even if a duty station is designated family duty station, staff members may decide not to bring his or her family to the duty station where he or she is serving. If a staff member chooses not to bring his or her family to the duty station, he or she can continue to make use of the Family Visit Travel or Education Grant Travel, if applicable.

Family duty station

I am in a duty station that has just become a family duty station. As a new mother, am I entitled to breaks to breastfeed my baby? I know that national staff have this right, but do internationally-recruited staff too?

The Secretary-General’s bulletin ST/SGB/2003/14 details the Secretariat-wide policy, it applies to all nursing mothers of infants under one year of age and is not linked to national staff status. It is one of the rather straightforward policies, though local conditions in terms of facilities (“pump-room”, cold storage, etc.) may vary outside HQ and Offices away from HQ (UNON, UNOV, UNOG) and Regional Commissions). So for those aspects on specific facilities, it will depend on the duty station, but all duty stations are encouraged to support the policy through respective facilities, within their means. Staff should speak with their local personnel office to mind out more about the facilities and arrangements made locally.

To clarify, it is not possible to combine the two breaks allowed daily to one longer break, the two breaks are for two separate “feedings,” not one very long one.

Field

I am a staff member at HQ in New York. If I go on a mission assignment for a year I understand I will be installed in the mission duty station. What does installment entail?

Installment involves a change of duty station with payment of salary and allowances applicable to the duty station. A staff member assigned to a mission duty station for one year will be installed and be eligible for payment of assignment grant, shipment of personal effects, post adjustment, rental subsidy, and mobility and hardship allowance at rates applicable to the mission duty station. Effective 1 July 2011, staff members serving in non-family duty stations will be paid an additional hardship allowance. The amount is between $500 and $1900 per month depending on the staff member’s level and dependency status.

What is the arrangement if you work at an HQ duty station and want to go on assignment to a field mission?

Initial assignments to field missions are normally for a period of one year. Extensions of assignments to field missions may be made, subject to the mission’s needs, the staff member’s performance and the agreement of the releasing office.

An internationally-recruited staff member assigned to a mission for one year will be installed at the mission duty station and be eligible for payment of assignment grant, shipment of personal effects, post adjustment, rental subsidy, and mobility and hardship allowance at rates applicable to the mission duty station. Effective 1 July 2011, an additional hardship allowance will also be paid for service in non-family duty stations.

Internationally recruited Professional staff members and General Service staff members at an HQ duty station or a regional commission who go on assignment to a field mission may retain a lien on their post at the parent duty station for up to two continuous years counting from the effective date of their initial appointment.

Staff members in the Professional category who wish to remain at the mission beyond a continuous period of service of two years will be required to relinquish their lien on their post at the parent duty station and will be transferred to the mission post, provided they were competitively selected through the established procedures. For transfers to the same position for which they were initially selected for mission assignment, they will not be required to apply again provided they were previously reviewed by a central review body.

General Service staff members who wish to remain at the mission beyond a continuous period of two years are required to relinquish their lien on their post at the parent duty station and compete as an external candidate for an appointment to a mission. They are required to apply and be selected through the established selection processes.

Effective 22 April 2010, staff members with no appointment limitation who are on assignment to field mission positions one level higher than their current grade at the headquarters location or regional commission, and who maintain a lien on their post at the parent duty station, are temporarily promoted for the duration of the assignment. This means that while being temporarily promoted, such staff members may apply to positions one level higher than their temporary grade as long as they have been on that assignment for more than one year. At the end of their posting, the staff member will however revert to their original level at the former duty station and may then only apply to job openings one level above their original level.

If a staff member from an HQ duty station goes on assignment to a field mission for three months or less, he or she it will be on travel status basis (i.e. in receipt of daily subsistence allowance).

Non-family duty station

I am a General Service staff member working at one of the headquarters duty stations. If I go on assignment to a non-family duty station what salary scale will I be paid under?

For the purpose of payment of salary and allowances, General Service staff members who are assigned to a non-family duty station are temporarily converted to the Field Service level for the duration of their assignment. The staff member’s pensionable remuneration, however, will remain at the General Service level. Upon return to the parent duty station, the staff will revert to their General Service level.

I am serving in a non-family duty station. Am I eligible to get travel paid for my family to go to a closer place than my home country? There is, for instance, a duty station within my mission that will become a family duty station.

Entitlements are based on the duty station where the staff member is assigned. As you are assigned to a non-family duty station, there is no entitlement to travel of your family members to the duty station or an alternative location. However, you are entitled to the non-family hardship allowance, which compensates for the added financial burden and psychological hardship of being separated from your family members.

I work at a Headquarters duty station, what will happen to my family if I go on assignment to a non-family duty station? Will they be repatriated to my home country?

Family members of staff members assigned to non-family duty station are normally expected to remain at the parent duty station during a staff member’s mission assignment. However, where the entitlement exists, staff members would be given the option to travel their family members to the place of home leave under the home leave travel or advance home leave travel entitlement. When the staff member returns to the parent duty station, eligible family members may travel back against the return leg of home leave travel or advance home leave travel.

Effective 1 July 2011, and following the General Assembly’s decision to harmonize conditions of service for staff serving in non-family duty stations, staff who serve in a non-family duty station will get an additional hardship allowance. The amount is between $500 and $1900 per month depending on the staff member’s level and dependency status.

Which duty stations are currently designated non-family duty stations?

Please click here for the latest list of non-family duty stations designated by the International Civil Service Commission, which is effective from 1 July 2014.

Examinations & Tests

Language Proficiency Examinations

After I click "Browse Catalog", I get the message below.
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The issue is related to how the security of "cross-domains" is handled in Internet Explorer, adding the "https://elearning.un.org" domain to the list of trusted sites should fix the issue.

1. Go to Internet Explorer >> Internet Options >> Security

2. Add "https://elearning.un.org" to the list of trusted sites

Am I eligible for the LPE if I have not taken any courses or use the language at work, but I speak the language at home regularly since I am a child or with my spouse?
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

No, using the language at home does not fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Are all UNDP staff eligible to register for the LPE Examination?
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Please note that only UNDP staff members who are in the General Service Category and on Fixed Term or Permanent Appointments are eligible for UNDP endorsement to take the Language Proficiency Exam according to UNDP practice. If you need further clarification, please contact UNDP directly.

Are civilian police, military observers and members of national military contingents serving in missions considered UN Secretariat staff members?
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

No, civilian police, military observers and members of national military contingents serving in missions are not considered UN Secretariat staff members. 

Are interns of United Nations System considered staff members of United Nations common system?
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

No, interns are not considered staff members of United Nations system.

Are Junior Professional Officers (JPOs) considered staff members of the UN common system?
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Yes, JPOs are staff members of the UN entity that issued their letter of appointment. Therefore, Associate Experts or Junior Professional Officers of the UN Secretariat are considered UNS (internal) staff members. Those working with UNDP or UNICEF for instance are considered staff members of UNDP or UNICEF, external staff for the purposes of the LPE.

Are National Professional Officers working at UN Secretariat field missions considered staff members?
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Yes, National Professional Officers are considered staff members.

Are United Nations Volunteers (UNVs) considered staff members of United Nations Common System?
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Yes, UNVs are staff members of the UN Common System, but they are not staff members of the UN Secretariat (UNS). Therefore, they are considered "external applicants" for the purpose of the LPE. Eligible UNVs may be convoked to the LPE as external candidates, only if UNV - Bonn Headquarters endorses and is responsible for payment of the LPE fee.

I have a UNDP-issued letter of appointment. Am I considered a Staff Member of the United Nations Secretariat?
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

If your letter of appointment is issued by a UNDP office on behalf of an agency, fund or programme, you are considered a staff member of the UN Common System and you must select your corresponding agency, fund or programme, when registering for the LPE. Alternatively, and strictly for the purpose of registering for the LPE, if your letter of appointment is issued on behalf of an office or department belonging to the UN Secretariat, such as OCHA or DSS, then you are considered a staff member of the UN Secretariat and you must select UNS (United Nations Secretariat) when registering for the LPE.

If the agency/organization that I worked for does not endorse the payment of my LPE registration fee, can I opt to pay the fee myself?
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

No, individuals may not pay the registration fee directly to the UN to register for LPE. 

In inspira, after I click on "Browse Catalog" in "My Learning", I see the message "You do not have access to Catalog items. Please contact your System Administrator." Who should I contact?
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

This message means that you have not requested for access to the examination catalog items. Go to My Learning, then click Request for Learning, then select LPE as the Learning Type. The guide "How to create an account in inspira (external applicant) posted here covers how to request for such access. Please try the steps outlined in the guide. 

The "Appointment Type" and/or "Appointment Expiry" date in inspira does not reflect my contract type and/or expiry date. How can I correct this?
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

These fields in inspira are pre-populated from a snap-shot of Umoja and may not be the most up-to-date. These fields will not be used in the eligibility screening process. Please attach a copy of your contract which states the correct expiry date to the application. Click Add Attachment, then select Contract Extension as Document Type. You may also make a note in the comment box to the Local Administrator that the correct expiry date is shown in your attachment.

What should I do if I get the message below after I click "Submit Enrollment"?
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Please attach a proof of your contract which states the correct appointment expiry date to the application. Click Add Attachment, then select Contract Extension as Document Type. It is important that you choose Contract Extension and NOT Contractual Status as Document Type in order to bypass this error message. 

Young Professionals Programme

Are staff members at UNEP and UN-Habitat eligible to apply for the YPP as Secretariat staff (‘G to P’ and ‘G to N’ candidates)?

Staff at UNEP and UN-HABITAT are considered Secretariat staff members for this purpose.  As such, those in the General Service and related categories or Field Service category FS-5 and below can apply for YPP job openings listed ‘for Secretariat Staff G to P’ and ‘for Secretariat Staff G to N’, provided that they meet all of the relevant eligibility criteria.

Are staff members placed at the professional level from the YPP examination given the same personal development opportunities as external YPP candidates?

Yes, absolutely. No distinction is made between YPP participants in terms of development opportunities offered.

Are staff members who plan to sit for the YPP examination allowed to take time off to prepare for and attend the examination?

Subject to your supervisor’s approval, staff should be allowed to take the YPP examination without having to take annual leave. Preparation for the examination should be done outside of work hours, or during leave.

Can a JPO/ Associate Expert, consultant, UNV or intern apply for the YPP examination?

Only Secretariat staff from the General Service and related categories and Field Service staff FS-5 and below can apply for the YPP examination as a staff member (‘G to P’) or through the route referred to as ‘G to N’. JPOs/ Associate Experts, consultants, UN Volunteers and interns may apply for the YPP examination only as an external candidate if they meet all criteria for the YPP. For details of how to apply, external candidates should refer to the instructions on the UN Careers Portal and should use a non-UN inspira account to apply for the relevant job opening (i.e. not the account with their index number). 

Can a staff member in the Professional category or field service staff in the FS-6 category apply for the YPP examination?

Only Secretariat staff from the General Service and related categories and Field Service staff FS-5 and below can apply for the YPP examination as a staff member (‘G to P’) or through the route referred to as ‘G to N’. Other categories of staff may apply for the YPP examination as an external candidate, provided that they:

  • are 32 years or younger at the end of the examination year;
  • are a national of a participating country. The list of participating countries is published annually and varies from year to year (Go to careers.un.org/ypp or /yppfr for clarification);
  • hold at least a first-level university degree, relevant to the job family in which they would like to take the examination;
  • are fluent in either English or French (knowledge of other official United Nations languages is an asset).

For details of how to apply, external candidates should refer to the instructions at: careers.un.org/YPPapplicationprocess.

The information is also available in French at: careers.un.org/YPPderoulementdelaselection.

Please note that such candidates should use a non-UN inspira account to apply for the relevant job opening (i.e. not the account with their index number).

A staff member in the Professional or FS-6 category cannot apply to the job opening marked ‘for UN Secretariat Staff G to N’ nor ‘for UN Secretariat Staff G to P’.

Can a staff member on a temporary appointment apply for the YPP examination?

If you are a temporary contract holder in the General Service and related categories and would like to apply for the G to N examination, you will be allowed to apply as an internal applicant in inspira on an exceptional basis. If your contract is currently not valid until six months after the examination date (date noted in the job opening), you MUST attach a letter to your online application from your Executive Office stating the intent to renew your contract until at least that date. You must create an internal inspira account with your UN ID and email address (if you already have an internal inspira account, you can use it). This account will allow you to apply for one of the job openings, as long as you meet all of the eligibility requirements. Please note that you can apply to only one job opening and that submitting multiple applications will result in automatic disqualification. You will need to build your application and full profile if you had only an external inspira account so far. You will not be allowed to apply to any other jobs with this internal inspira account.

Can I apply to sit the YPP examination in more than more job family?

External applicants and staff applying through the ‘G to N’ route can only apply to one job family. Submitting applications for more than one job family will result in automatic disqualification.

Internal applicants (that is, Secretariat staff in the General service and related categories (including Field Service category, FS-5 and below) who meet the relevant eligibility criteria including five years of continuous Secretariat service and successful performance in the last two appraisals), can apply for up to two job families from the job openings marked ‘for UN Secretariat Staff G to P’. Submitting applications for more than two job families will result in automatic disqualification.

If staff members choose to sit the examination in two job families, they will have to sit for both job families’ Specialized Papers on the same examination day.

Can I be selected and placed at any time?

The placement of Young Professionals will be conducted centrally four times a year through a ‘recruitment campaign’ in the months of January, April, July and October. Should positions be available within your job family, you will receive a notification of the vacant posts via email and you will be asked to rank the positions in order

of preference. Hiring managers will also be required to create job openings in our estaffing portal, Inspira. Your application will then be appended to those job openings for review by hiring managers. Upon logging in to Inspira you will be able to view all the job openings to which your application was appended. Should a hiring manager be interested in your candidature they may recommend your selection immediately from the roster or they may contact you for a brief informal discussion related to the position. Upon receipt of the preferences of both the hiring managers and the candidates on the appropriate roster the YPP team will conduct a matching exercise to facilitate the placement. Should exceptional circumstances warrant the need of filling a post outside of the quarterly schedule, you may be contacted for only that particular position. At that point the opportunity to rank the post will not be available.

Can I obtain a job by applying for extra-budgetary P-2 positions advertised on the Careers Portal?

P-2 positions advertised online at careers.un.org are extra- budgetary positions available in the United Nations Secretariat and you are free to apply to them. Please note that if you do apply for these positions and are considered suitable, the hiring manager can select you immediately from the roster. However, if you are selected you will not be given a YPP contract. If you are selected for such a position, you will still remain on the YPP roster. Some YPP candidates may prefer to apply for these positions to acquire experience while they are waiting for their YPP placement. Should you be interested and apply, please send us an e-mail confirming that you applied.

Can/should NCREs placed within the UN now refer to themselves as being YPPs in their PHP and other documents, or should they continue to use the term NCRE?

For clarity, the term NCRE should still be used.

Do all successful candidates get a job offer?

Passing the examination does not guarantee a job but if you pass the YPP examination, you will most likely be offered a job. The number of candidates that pass is closely linked to the positions that are projected to become available. Hiring Managers select the most suitable candidate for the P-1 / P-2 position in each case. Job offers to successful candidates are made on a regular basis, subject to the requirements of the Organization filling the P-1 / P-2 positions that have become available at that point in time.

Do staff members successful in the YPP examination compete against all other successful YPP candidates for the same positions, or are there particular positions reserved for internal candidates?

Hiring Managers review profiles of all eligible successful candidates both internal and external to the UN and choose the most suitable based on merit. Whilst staff members who pass the YPP examination will fill up to 10% of all the YPP positions available, there are no specific posts earmarked for candidates moving from the GS and related categories to the P category.

How is the written examination created?

The Specialised Board of Examiners, which consists of current UN Secretariat staff within the relevant substantive Department, develops the exam questions with guidance from the Examinations and Tests Section. Exam content changes from exam to exam, and is based on the current and anticipated needs of the Organization.

How is the written examination evaluated?

Examinees' responses are marked anonymously by a panel of markers for the General Paper and by the Specialised Board Members for the Specialised Paper. They are marked according to pre-determined scoring criteria, established during exam creation. The Central Examinations Boards has oversight of the recommendations and decisions across all exam areas.

How long can I expect to remain on the list of successful candidates?

The YPP list of successful candidates is valid for a period of three (3) years. We hope to place all successful candidates within this time frame, but if you are not placed you will be removed from the list. Should you remain interested in the Young Professionals Programme, you will be required to retake and successfully pass the YPP examination.

I am a staff member with dual nationality. Can I apply for the YPP examination with either nationality, or do I have to apply according to what the UN currently recognizes as my nationality?

Secretariat staff from the General Service and related categories and Field Service staff on FS-5 and below who are applying to the YPP examination as a staff member, or through the route referred to as ‘G to N’, should apply using the nationality that is already officially recognized by the United Nations in official documents received when joining the Organization. If the staff member is a dual national and his or her nationality recognized for UN purpose is not participating in the YPP examination while his or her other nationality is participating, the staff member should indicate that he/she wants to apply for the examination under the nationality not recognized by the Organization.  If successful, he/she will have to take the necessary steps to change his/her nationality by contacting his/her human resources office or OHRM.

If a staff member is a dual national and both his/her nationalities are participating in the YPP examination, the staff member should indicate under which nationality he/she wants to apply for the examination. If he/she chooses a nationality not recognized by the Organization and if he/she is successful, he/she will have to take the necessary steps to change his/her nationality accordingly. Please note that your preferred nationality must be indicated as the “country of nationality” in your application.

I passed the written part of the YPP examination but failed the oral examination. Do I need to repeat both parts of the examination at a subsequent examination?

Yes, you will have to go through the entire examination process again, starting with the submission of your application. The YPP examination is comprised of both a written and oral examination, and results from one examination year do not carry over to another examination year.

I was invited to take last year’s YPP examination, but I did not take it. May I take this year’s examination?

In order to take this year’s examination, you must submit a new application, meet all eligibility requirements, and be convoked to take the examination.

If I am selected, how many days do I have to accept or decline the position?

Upon receipt of the offer of appointment you will have seven (7) calendar days, to accept or decline any position offered.

Is there a different passing threshold for internal and external candidates?

The passing threshold is consistent across internal and external candidates.

Is there a quota for the number of placements from YPP internal roster?

Yes. The number of placements from the “YPP internal” roster is subject to paragraph 51 of General Assembly report A/65/305/ Add.4, “…10 per cent of the total pool of positions available for the programme [will] be earmarked for successful G-to-P candidates, who [can] be placed in any available post”. YPP internal candidates will be offered positions on a first come, first served, basis until the quota is met.

What career opportunities will I have?

After the initial two years of satisfactory performance and depending on the availability of posts, you may apply for positions you qualify for at the P-3 level through the staff selection system.

What does the change from NCRE to YPP mean for successful NCRE candidates who have already been placed within the Organization?

There will be no change for NCRE candidates who were appointed before the implementation of the YPP and have already attended their orientation.

Those who have not been placed yet, will be invited to the same orientation as the YPP candidates and will participate in a rotation programme after having normally served in the Organization at the Professional level for two years.

What happens if I decline interest in being considered for a particular post?

While preferences made at the time of application will be taken into account for all YPP recruits, all successful candidates must be prepared to accept the first position offered within their occupational group. Should you decline to be considered for the position, you will be removed from the list of successful candidates unless your decline falls under the exceptional circumstances. The following are counted as declines: failing to participate in an interview; declining to accept a position after being selected; declining a formal offer of appointment; withdrawing your application in iInspira; putting your application on hold in iInspira without approval from the YPP team; failing to respond to emails or phone calls from hiring managers within a reasonable time period.

What happens next if I am successful in the YPP examination?

If you are successful you will be offered a job at the P-1 or P-2 level (for further information on contracts, please have a look at the next section of these FAQs). Within 3 to 9 months after the conclusion of the examination, you will be informed of up to three jobs for which you will be considered and will be given an opportunity to indicate your preference(s). While efforts are made to take preferences into account this may or may not be possible. You are strongly encouraged to accept the job offer as declining it can eliminate you from further consideration. Those not placed within three years will no longer be considered for posts and will have to re-sit the YPP examination if they wish to be reconsidered.

What happens once I receive the formal written offer from the respective Human Resources Office?

You will receive detailed information about the practical details of the offer. You will also be given further explanation about the specific instructions relating to the duty station. You will then go through the pre-formalities such as confirmation of reference checks and medical clearance.

When can I expect to start my new job?

The placement of Young Professionals is conducted on a quarterly basis or four times a year. This is a coordinated effort between the Hiring Manager, Headquarters Staffing Section in the Office of Human Resources Management and the respective human resources office in the duty station for which you are selected. The official start date of your new job will depend on the needs of the hiring manager and/or your availability; however, you do have up to 90 days to assume your functions from the date an official offer was made to you.

When should I expect the results of the YPP examination and how will I be notified?

The marking of the written examination is usually completed within 3-4 months of the examination. The status of each job family is updated on the UN Careers Portal. All examinees are notified via email to their last updated email address. Please inform us of any change in your email address during the examination process so that a notification can be sent to your current email. The application numbers of examinees invited to the interview are also published. The interview usually takes place 1-2 months after the written examination has been marked. This means that you should be prepared to wait up to five months after the written examination for an interview.

Will staff members who pass the YPP examination have any choice about where they are placed (in terms of department and duty station)? Will they have to take the first position offered to them?

Whilst preferences made at the time of application will be taken into account where possible for all YPP recruits, all successful candidates must be prepared to accept the first position offered to them. Failure to do so will mean that they are removed from the list of successful candidates and made no further offers.

If you have passed the G to P it’s not mandatory that you accept to move to another duty station for the first assignment but possible if you so wish. However, as a G to P candidate you will have to accept the first position offered if it is in the same duty station.

Candidates who join the YPP through the G to N route (via a Job Opening marked ‘for UN Secretariat Staff G to N’) will have to take the first position offered to them (regardless of department or duty station). They will also be subject to mandatory rotation to a different duty station after their first two-year posting.

A staff member who applies and passes the examination both as an external (‘G to N’) and as an internal (‘G to P’) applicant and thus competes for the 90% of positions made available to external recruits will also be required to accept the first position offered to him or her (regardless of location) and be subject to mandatory rotation to a different duty station after the first two-year posting.

Health / Medical

Medical clearance

When do staff require medical clearance? Specifically, when is a medical examination required, especially for those staff working in a field mission?

Medical clearance is required for initial appointment and for travel purposes normally every two years. In addition to travel, to maintain medical clearance for the purposes of transfer and/or, reassignment travel medical evaluation will be required every two years, irrespective of age.

However, when a staff member travels on official business or is assigned to certain “hardship” duty stations, a peacekeeping, humanitarian or political mission, or redeployed or assigned from one mission to another, the Medical Director shall decide whether a new medical evaluation is necessary. Please refer to ST/AI/2011/3 entitled Medical clearance for more information.

Inspira

Inspira

Can I update information in an application that I have already submitted?

The substantive part of an inspira application, including the Cover Letter and work experience and education details, cannot be edited after an application is submitted. However, you may change the contact information in your profile at any time, including your e-mail address or phone number, even after submitting an application. To do this, log-in to inspira, click on the relevant section of ‘View/ Change Personal Information’, edit and save. Recruiters and Hiring Managers will see up-to-date profile information when they view applicants. On Galaxy, it is not possible to edit any aspect of your application after it has been submitted.

Do I have to fill out the whole application at once or can I pause and then come back to work on it later?

It is possible to complete the application in several sessions. However, within the application, individual sections have to be finished in one single session in order for the system to save your entries. In other words, you cannot pause and save in the middle of a section without having completed the required fields.
It is recommended that you hit “Save” regularly, ideally after completing all the mandatory fields within a section.
The system times out after 60 minutes, which means you lose any data you entered since the last time you clicked “Save”.

I am applying for a job opening. The deadline states the application is due on a particular date. As we are a worldwide Organization, which time zone determines the date and time of the deadline?

Inspira uses GMT-5 which is five hours behind the Greenwich Mean Time. Job openings are taken offline at midnight (GMT-5) on the specified closing date.
You are encouraged to apply well before the deadline. Staff should be mindful that hiring offices and departments may start reviewing the applications during the posting period.

I am in the Education and Work Experience section. How do I add several Work Experiences?

If you have multiple work experiences, you use the +Add Work Experience link on the Complete Application page to continue adding your work experiences until you have added them all. Use the “Save” button to save your entry and return to the main “Education and Work Experience” section of your Application (the page says Complete Application on top). Each entry for Work Experience has to be fully completed and saved in one session. You will not be able to save an incomplete entry for work experience.

I entered my employment history into the Work Experience section but it did not save the information. What happened?

There are two things to look out for to make sure you save your data correctly in the Work Experience section.
First you have to make sure that all required fields (marked with an *) have been entered correctly. If any required fields are missing, a message will appear after you click on “Save” and the empty required fields will appear in red. Please look through all the fields again and make sure that you have completed them all. Even if you don’t have the correct information, use your best judgment and/or just enter “not available”. After you have entered all the information, you have to click “Save”.
In addition, please note that after 60 minutes of inactivity the system times out, which means you lose any data you entered since the last time you clicked “Save”. Please note that typing alone does not register as activity, only clicking on the tool (eg the save button), so it is important to remember to save regularly.

I have a question on how to use inspira. Who can I contact?

If you cannot log in to inspira, or if you have a question on how to use inspira, please contact the Inspira Support Centre:
Use the Contact us link on the inspira home page or Contact us on the Careers Portal (careers.un.org): http://careers.un.org/support.aspx . Please include your index number in the request.
Please read the How to get started with inspira guide available in both English and French. For more details and guidance on how to apply for a job in inspira please read the Guide: ‘How to Apply for a Job opening using inspira’.

I have seen a number of different status messages in inspira. What do they all mean?

For those applying to a standard job opening, the following terms are currently in use:
Status shown to applicant What it means
Draft An application is being worked on by an applicant but has not been submitted. It is visible only to the applicant at this stage
Applied An application form has been submitted via inspira, but the pre-screening process (which checks candidates’ eligibility for a post) has not yet begun.
Under consideration The recruitment process is underway but no candidate has yet been selected. This status will display to all applicants throughout the shortlisting, interview and recommendation process, until a candidate has been selected.
Recruitment completed A candidate has been selected for the post and the recruitment process has been completed.
Rostered The applicant has been placed on a roster but they have not been offered the post. The applicant may be called upon in the future and – without further assessment – offered the position they originally applied for, or another that they are deemed qualified for.

I started entering my data in the Profile section but it does not save the information?

When you enter the information in My Profile you have to fill in all the required fields at once in order to be able to save. Once you have completed all mandatory fields please click “Save” in order to save your entries. In order not to lose data, it is recommended that you save your entries regularly, ideally after completion of each profile section.

I understand that inspira and Galaxy will run parallel for a while. Does that mean I have to keep updating the information in both systems?

When you apply to jobs posted in Galaxy you have to enter your data and send in your PHP in Galaxy, and when you apply to jobs posted in inspira you have to enter your data and send in your application in inspira.

I want to apply to a job that is posted in Galaxy. Which system do I use now, inspira or Galaxy?

When you apply to a job in inspira you should fill out and submit your application in inspira. When you apply to a job in Galaxy you should fill out your PHP and submit it in Galaxy. Jobs posted in inspira are processed in inspira; jobs posted in Galaxy are processed in Galaxy. However, all job openings are published on the Careers Portal (careers.un.org) and when you apply for a job you will automatically be directed to the appropriate system.

Is an applicant automatically rejected if he or she answers no to a pre-screening question?

For each screening question the Hiring Manager determines one answer as satisfactory – this may not be the “yes” or “true” option. Applicants are expected to provide accurate answers and may be asked for clarification or justification during later stages of the application process.
While an applicant is expected to provide satisfactory answers to all questions, inspira accepts a small margin of unsatisfactory answers. However, every applicant has to pass the 80% threshold of satisfactory answers for a particular job opening or his/her application will not be eligible for further review.

Is there a manual on how to fill out the Profile and Application Form?

Yes, there is a How to get started with inspira guide available in both English and French as well as Quick Tips on Application process and How to Apply for a Job Opening Using inspira.
There are also Instructional Manuals for all participants and parties with a role in the Staff Selection System which are now available online in inspira – please click the ‘Documents’ tab on the upper right hand side of the browser.

Is there any way to import my data in Galaxy to inspira without typing all the information again?

No, as the systems are based on different software, the information cannot be transferred from one system to another. When it comes to employment history, a tip is to copy and paste from Galaxy into the fields in inspira. You may also want to save the PHP in Galaxy in a word document for easy reference.

What is inspira?

Inspira is the new IT system that was introduced in March 2010 to support Talent Management. Inspira is built on an Oracle PeopleSoft software platform but has been adapted by developers to meet the Organization’s special needs.
Inspira will integrate processes that have so far been supported by different and separate systems into one platform. E.g. Galaxy, Nucleus and e-PAS will all be replaced by Inspira. It will also provide a strong linkage to IMIS and to the new ERP system “Umoja” that is being developed.

Why the name ‘inspira’?

The name Inspira is unique to the United Nations. It was suggested by our colleague Saiful Ridwan, from the United Nations Environment Programme in Paris, and was selected through the world-wide contest conducted through iSeek.
Inspira comes from the Latin root ‘inspiro’ and means ‘animated, or imbued with the spirit to do something, by or as if by supernatural influence’, which captures the essence of the vision for Talent Management: the Organization’s mandates can only be achieved through the efforts and inspiration of our current and future staff.

Performing For Results

Performing for Results

Can a missing performance appraisal be substituted by a note from the supervisor indicating that performance has been satisfactory for the continuing appointments review?

Performance appraisals cannot be substituted by a note written by a supervisor. A duly completed performance evaluation for one year or more is required.

Can I access my completed e-PAS documents now that the system is no longer available?

To access completed e-PAS documents, all staff and managers have to write to the HR Help Desk [ hrhelpdesk@un.org ] to obtain a copy. All e-PAS documents will be migrated to inspira in due course.

How is performance management linked to development in inspira?

One of the new features of performance management is that it will link to staff development and learning management to allow for better career planning. The improved learning management system in Inspira will make it easier to enroll, track and keep records of learning programmes, including the mandatory courses in which you have you have participated. Moreover, the skills portal provides anytime, anywhere access to online learning programmes.

I am a temporary appointment; can I create my work-plan in e-Performance?

No, a manual form (P.333 -available on iSeek) has been designed for use by staff members with temporary appointments. You may refer to the provisions of the administrative instructions on temporary appointments (ST/AI/2010/4).

I have a performance evaluation report for 2012-13. Since the review is starting in 2013, can I use this one as part of the four required reports?

Yes. Performance reports that have been finalized before the eligibility date can be considered. For this review exercise, the eligibility date is 1 July 2013.

I have unfinished e-PAS documents from previous cycles. How can I complete them?

The e-Pas system will remain available until 31 December 2012 to complete documents from previous cycles. Staff members and managers must complete all documents by this deadline. e-PAS cannot be used to create new documents from 1 April 2010 onwards.

If I haven’t yet started my work-plan for the 10-11, and or the 11-12 cycles do I use e-PAS or e-Performance?

e-Performance.

In the previous version of inspira, I was required to create a performance document as well as a development document. Is this still the case?

No, in the new version the development document has been merged with the performance document.

Is the second reporting officer required to make comments in my e-Performance document?

The second reporting officer is not required to make comments on the e-Performance/e-PAS document. The role of the second reporting officer is to ensure that the evaluation is completed in a timely manner and that it is fair (i.e. there is consistency between competency ratings, value ratings, comments, and the overall rating). The second reporting officer’s approval, without comments, is an endorsement of the first reporting officer’s evaluation of the staff member. The second reporting officer may, however, choose to make comments on the e-PAS/e-Performance document to highlight certain aspects of the evaluation, such as a particular achievement. Often, this depends on the second reporting officer’s familiarity with the staff member’s work.

My office was part of the e-Performance pilot that began on 1 April 2010. What changes can I expect on 1 April 2012?

Based on pilot user feedback and experiences, the functionality of the new tool has been significantly streamlined and improved. It is now more user-friendly and follows the same basic workflow as e-PAS (establishing a work-plan, mid-point review, and end-of-cycle evaluation).

What are the differences between e-PAS and e-Performance?

e-Performance follows the same basic workflow of e-PAS (i.e., the Work-plan, Mid-Point Review, and End-of-Cycle stages). The interface of the new system is flexible, modern and user-friendly but, most importantly, much more stable than e-Pas.

What kind of training materials are available for e-Performance?

The following training tools have been developed to meet the needs of different learning styles.
• e-Performance Quick Guide: A three-page reference tool with step-by-step instructions for each phase of the process. This guide will address the needs of most users who need minimal guidance.
• e-Performance Handbook: A comprehensive 33-page manual with step-by-step instructions, screenshots, navigation tips, process overview and guidelines for all actions. This guide will address the needs of novice users as well as more experienced ones.
• e-Performance Videos: Eight interactive videos on each step of the process. These videos have been broken down by role and activity (e.g. Second Reporting Officer Approves Evaluation). Each video contains engaging audio and ‘see-it’ and ‘try-it’ interactions. Easy access and succinct messages between 2 and 5 minutes in length make this resource practical and convenient for all staff.
• Power Point Presentation: Used to train PM focal points, this provides a general overview of the process and highlights of key learning points.
• Recorded WebEx sessions: On-line training sessions have been conducted for all focal points. These 1 ½ hour workshops have been recorded for your convenience.

When will I receive training for the new e-Performance tool?

The training strategy is self-paced learning by users through the use of training materials that provide step-by-step instructions for e-Performance.

Where can I find the e-Performance training materials?

The training materials can be found under the ‘Training Materials’ section of inspira.

Who should I contact if I need help with e-Performance?

The following three-point support network has been established in order to ensure that users will be able to obtain all the help they need.
• Focal Points: A comprehensive focal point network has been established at all duty stations and offices. Contact your local administrative/human resources/executive office for colleagues who have been trained locally.
• Help desk: A dedicated 24-hour help desk located inBangkok,Thailandis available for all system or technical related issues. They can be reached by clicking on the ‘Contact Us’ link located on every Inspira page.
• The Performance Management and Development team: The team in NY is available for focal point support, training materials, guidance on policy and substantive matters. They can be reached via e-mail at performancemanagement@un.org

Who should use the e-Performance tool in inspira?

All UN Secretariat staff will use e-Performance for the 2012-13 performance cycle which begins on 1 April 2012 and ends on 31 March 2013.

Will I be able to use the multi-rater functionality to receive feedback from my peers and supervisees in e-Performance?

Not for the time being. The multi-rater processes are currently being evaluated based on pilot experiences, and industry best practices. The Organization is examining how to best implement this process globally. Stay tuned for more information on this. However, those who started multi-rater processes will be able to complete them.

Separation

Retirement

Can I be rehired on a temporary appointment (TA) after separating at 60/62 on retirement, or at 55/58 on early retirement if I am still under 65 years of age?

Staff members who have retired from the Organization are only eligible for reemployment under a temporary appointment in accordance with the provisions of ST/AI/2010/4/Rev.1.

Can my appointment be extended beyond mandatory age of separation (MAS)?

The General Assembly on several occasions has recalled the necessity for organizations to comply with Staff Regulation 9.2 on mandatory age of separation. Exceptions allowing retention of service beyond the mandatory age of separation (MAS) for a limited period of time should be rare and are monitored.

Exceptional retention beyond MAS are discretionary subject to meeting conditions specified in ST/AI/2003/8, or as amended, and may be considered when there may be disruption of operations due to unavoidable delay, that is, when a properly planned replacement of a retiree is unavoidably delayed and the departure of the retiring staff member would cause significant disruptions to operations, delivery, representation or the safety and well-being of staff.

Extensions beyond retirement age for up to 6 months need to be submitted by the programme manager to the Head of Department explaining why the staff member could not be replaced in a timely manner.   

 

I joined before 1 January 1990/2014 and will reach 60/62 years old on or after 1 January 2018. What do I need to do if I want to leave before reaching 65 years of age and can this right be exercised any time after 1 January 2018?

Staff members who wish to leave before reaching 65 years old are required, at a minimum, to provide employing organizations a written notice period of:

  • one month for fixed term appointments (FTA)
  • three months for permanent or continuing appointment holders (PA/CA)
I joined before 1 January 1990/2014 and will reach 60/62 years old on or before 31 December 2017, will my mandatory age of separation (MAS) change to 65 if my contract is extended beyond 31 December 2017?

Staff members who have reached the mandatory age of separation on or before 31 December 2017 and are exceptionally retained in service beyond their mandatory age of separation will not have their MAS changed to 65. Their MAS will remain the same (60/62 years). At the end of the exceptional extension beyond retirement, they will be separated.

I joined before 1 January 1990/2014. If I exercise my right to retire before the age of 65, will it be considered as early retirement?

No. It will not be considered early retirement because the staff member has reached normal retirement age (NRA).

I joined before 1 January 21990/2014 and will reach 60/62 years old after 1 January 2018, do I need to take any action?

No action is required, i.e. the staff members do not need to “opt in” or “opt out”.

On 1 January 2018, all staff members who joined before 1 January 1990/2014 and who will reach 60/62 years on or after 1 January 2018 will have their mandatory age of separation (MAS) automatically changed to 65 years. As a result, all staff members will have their mandatory retirement date changed to the last day of the month in which they will turn 65.  The expected contract end date for permanent/continuing appointment holders in these categories will also be changed to the last day of the month in which they reach 65 years.

I joined the organization on or after 1 January 2014. What will be considered to be my early retirement date?

The early retirement age for staff members who commenced or recommenced in the Fund on or after 1 January 2014 is 58.

If I separate at the age of 63 and my normal retirement age (NRA) for pension purposes is 60/62 years, would I be eligible to a withdrawal settlement?

In accordance with article 31 of the UNJSPF Regulations, a withdrawal settlement is only payable to a participant whose age on separation is less than the normal retirement age (NRA), or if the participant is the normal retirement age or more on separation but is not entitled to a retirement benefit. Simply, you would be entitled to a withdrawal settlement if you are not entitled to a retirement benefit at the age of 60/62  when your contributory service was less than five years.

Is there any change to After-Service Health Insurance (ASHI) eligibility?

No, there is no change to After Service Health Insurance (ASHI) eligibility. Details on ASHI can be found at: http://www.un.org/insurance/faq/who-eligible-after-service-health-insurance

My fixed-term appointment was due to expire on reaching mandatory retirement age at 60/62. Now that my mandatory retirement age has been extended, what should i expect?

Now that the mandatory retirement age has been extended to 65 for all staff, there is no longer a requirement for you to cease employment with the Organization at age 60/62. Your renewal/extension may be approved subject to meeting other conditions for renewal/extension specified in ST/AI/2013/1

What are my rights as a staff member under the new mandatory age of separation (MAS)?

To preserve the rights of all staff members, staff members who, after 1 January 2018, were eligible to separate upon reaching their MAS at age 60 or 62 years may still do so at that age or any time thereafter until the month before reaching 65 years.

What are the differences between the mandatory age of separation (MAS) and the normal retirement age (NRA)?

The differences are summarized in the following table:

MANDATORY AGE OF SEPARATION

NORMAL RETIREMENT AGE

  • The mandatory Age of Separation is set by the Staff Regulations of the employing Organization.
  • It is the age at which a staff member MUST be separated from the service of the employing organization
  • The employing organization pursuant to its governing body decision, not the pension Fund, regulates the age at which a staff member MUST be separated from service.
  • The Normal Retirement Age for Pension Fund purpose is set by the UNJSPF Regulations and Rules
  • The normal age of retirement is the age at which a retiring participant would be entitled to a retirement benefit unreduced on account of age.
  • For the UNJSPF, Normal Retirement Age is either:
    • 60 years for participants who entered or reentered the Pension Fund on or before
      31 December 1989;
    • 62 years for participants who entered or reentered the Pension Fund between
      1 January 1990 and
      31 December 2013; or
    • 65 years for participants who entered or reentered the Pension Fund on or after
      1 January 2014.
What is a withdrawal settlement?

In accordance with article 31 of the UNJSPF Regulations, a withdrawal settlement is payable to a participant whose age on separation is less than the normal retirement age (NRA), or if the participant is the normal retirement age or more on separation but is not entitled to a retirement benefit.

The withdrawal settlement consists of:

  1. The participant’s own contributions, if the contributory service of the participant was less than five years; or
  2. The participant’s own contributions increased by 10 per cent for each year in excess of five up to a maximum of 100 per cent, if the contributory service of the participant was more than five years.

It should be noted that a withdrawal settlement extinguishes all other rights to any other future benefits.

What is the mandatory age of separation (MAS)?

The mandatory age of separation (MAS) is the age at which staff members must be separated from the service of their employing UN organization as set by its Staff Regulations.

The General Assembly (GA) decided in the main part of its 72nd session to operationalized its decision in its 70th session (A/RES/70/244) to reset the MAS for all staff members to 65 years of age, effective 1 January 2018.

Following the decision of the GA under resolution 72/254 (A/RES/72/254), UN Staff Regulation 9.2 (ST/SGB/2018/1) has been revised to reflect the new MSA for all staff members as 65 years.

What is the normal retirement age (NRA)?

The normal retirement age (NRA) is the age at which a United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF) participant can retire with a full retirement benefit unreduced on account of age, in accordance with Article 28 of the UNJSPF Regulations and Rules, as follows:

  • 60 years of participants who entered or reentered the Pension Fund on or before 31 December 1989;
  • 62 years of participants who entered or reentered the Pension Fund between 1 January 1990 and 31 December 2013; or
  • 65 years of participants who entered or reentered the Pension Fund on or after 1 January 2014.

 

When is a retirement benefit payable?

As per Article 28 (a) of the UNJSPF Regulations a retirement benefit is payable to a participant whose age on separation is the normal retirement age (NRA) or more and whose contributory service was five years or longer.

When is an early retirement benefit payable?

As per Article 29 of the UNJSPF Regulations and Rules, for staff members who commenced or recommenced participation in the Fund:

  • prior to 1 January 2014, an early retirement benefit shall be payable to a participant whose age on separation is at least 55 but less than the normal retirement age and whose contributory service was five years or longer; and.
  • on or after 1 January 2014, an early retirement benefit shall be payable to a participant whose age on separation is at least 58 but less than the normal retirement age and whose contributory service was five years or longer.
Where can I find more information on retirement and pension benefits?
Staffing

Careers Portal

I am looking for a job. Which website do I use to see all the available vacancies in the UN Secretariat?

All job openings in the UN Secretariat are published on the Careers Portal (careers.un.org), in English and French. Depending on your preference you may switch between languages at the main home page by clicking on the link available in the top right hand corner. The languages are listed as “EN” for English or “FR” for French.
The human resources management IT system, inspira, is replacing a number of the HR systems including Galaxy. However, the transition from Galaxy to inspira is gradual, which means that there will be a period when the two systems run in parallel.
During the transition period, both inspira and Galaxy are being utilized. Previously job openings in peace operations were posted in Galaxy while job openings at headquarters locations and the regional commissions were posted on Inspira. Today, as part of the inspira roll out in the field many of the field missions have now been trained and are posting their job openings in Inspira. All job openings, both in inspira and Galaxy, are searchable through the Careers Portal. When you apply for a job, you will be automatically directed to the appropriate system.
Note: the Organization is transitioning to inspira which will run in tandem with Galaxy until this legacy system is decommissioned in early 2014.

inspira

How do I know if I have been placed on the roster?

Following the endorsement of a central review body, candidates who are placed on a roster are informed in an e-mail of such placement after the selection decision has been made(for position specific job openings), or following the endorsement of the central review body (for generic job openings).
Candidates can see the rosters they are on in inspira. Candidates can view their roster membership on the inspira landing page, under “My Career Tools”.
If you think that your roster status is being reflected incorrectly in inspira you should seek the assistance of the Inspira Support Team by clicking on the link titled “Contact us” on inspira and raising a ticket.

How do managers access inspira and the module relating to posting job openings?

In order to obtain the necessary access rights and to attend a training session on how to build a job opening in inspira, Hiring Managers should consult with their respective Human Resources or Executive Office.

I have two inspira accounts, one is from when I was an external candidate which includes my rostered details and the second is the account I opened as an internal candidate with my index number. Which account should I use to apply for job openings?

For now, staff members are advised to apply with the account which is associated with the roster. If you apply with an external account, please ensure your index number and active staff status is included in your application. This will inform the hiring manager that you are a current staff member. If you want to confirm that your application has been submitted properly, please click on the “Contact us” link on the upper right side of the inspira screen, explain your situation, and request confirmation that your application has been submitted. Similarly, if you are concerned that your roster status may not be properly reflected for a job opening that you have already applied for, please click on the “Contact us” link on inspira explaining your situation and request for confirmation of your application status.

Mobility

Are there provisions for exceptional circumstances under the new mobility and career development framework?

There will be a Special Constraints Panel composed of senior managers. If a staff member is recommended for a position in a location for which they have medical constraints or other compelling personal circumstances, they can submit an exceptional request for an exemption to a “Special Constraints Panel”. The panel will review all requests and make recommendations to the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management. Staff and their supervisors can also jointly request that a staff member remains in his or her position if the staff member is essential to a project and its success could be hindered by a change in position at that time.

A staff representatives will serve as an observer on the Special Constraints Panel.

Does everyone have to move geographically under the new mobility and career development framework?

A change in position does not need to be geographic. However, one geographic move (a change in country of one year or longer) is required to be eligible to apply for positions at the P-5 and higher levels.

How will managed mobility work?

Staff will be subject to minimum and maximum position occupancy limits that depend on the hardship level of the duty station in which they serve. The minimum position occupancy limit, which is the minimum time a staff member has to be in a position before being able to apply to vacant positions or participate in the lateral reassignment exercise, is two years in H through C duty stations and one year in D and E duty stations.[1] The maximum position occupancy limit in H and A duty stations is seven years; in B and C duty stations four years; and in D and E duty stations three years. Staff will be expected to change position by the end of their maximum position occupancy limit. If this has not been possible by that time, the Organization will assist in finding a suitable lateral reassignment for them. The calculation for position occupancy limits will include time served in the staff member’s current position; however staff members who have reached the maximum position occupancy limit when managed mobility comes into effect for their Job Network (see below for information on the implementation timeline) will not be subject to reassignment in the first year of operationalization in that Job Network.

 


[1] The International Civil Service Commission has placed each duty station in one of six categories. H duty stations are headquarters and similarly designated locations, where the United Nations has no development or humanitarian assistance programmes, or locations in countries which are members of the European Union. A to E duty stations are field duty stations. Duty stations are categorized on a scale of hardship from A to E, with A being the least difficult.

How will selection decisions be made under the new mobility and career development framework?

Selection recommendations for both vacant positions and reassignment options will be made by “Job Network Boards”[1]. These will be composed of senior managers in the respective Job Networks. The Boards will be supported by Network Staffing Teams, which will include both human resources staff and staff with expertise in that Network.

The Boards’ recommendations will be guided by organizational priorities, such as moving staff from non-family duty stations to family duty stations; moving staff between duty stations; moving staff amongst Departments and Offices.. As is the case today, due consideration will be given to gender, geographical status, and representation of troop- and police-contributing countries.

Staff representatives will serve as observers on the Job Network Boards.


[1] A Job Network is a grouping of job families with closely linked mandates or programmes of work and which require similar skill sets.

What is considered a change in position under the new mobility and career development framework?

A change in position can involve one or more of the following: a change of role, function, Department, duty station, or a move from the Secretariat to and from a UN agency, fund or programme.

Staff can change position by applying to a vacant position or by participating in a lateral reassignment exercise. Staff will be eligible to apply for different positions after reaching their minimum position occupancy limit and can apply to a vacant position at their current level or higher, or they can opt for lateral reassignment at the same level, within their current Job Network.

What is the lateral reassignment exercise under the new mobility and career development framework?

Staffing exercises will take place twice a year and will include vacant positions (open to staff and external applicants) as well as a lateral reassignment exercise for serving staff. Staff members who have reached their maximum position occupancy will be required to participate in a lateral reassignment exercise. A staff member can choose to “opt in” and participate in the lateral reassignment exercise earlier, if preferred.

Staff will be able to indicate their interest in positions announced via a compendium. This compendium will contain lateral positions that will only be open to currently serving staff. Although Staff participating in the lateral reassignment exercise will indicate their preferences, they could also be reassigned to a different position for which they are qualified.

When will the new mobility and career development framework be implemented?

Mobility will be phased in by Job Network. Commencing in 2016, the first Job Network will be open to mobility, followed by another Job Network in 2017, and thereafter, two Job Networks will be subject to mobility annually. This gradual approach to deployment will provide both the Organization and its staff with a two year preparation period, which also gives time for our human resources systems to be operationally ready by the time managed mobility takes effect. Certain transitional measures will also be put in place, which, for example, recognize lateral moves already made by staff under the current staff selection system and will allow staff to carry over, until 2019, their eligibility for P-5 positions.

Who will the managed mobility and career development framework apply to?

The new framework will apply to all internationally-recruited staff in the Field Service, Professional and Director categories who are on fixed term, continuing and permanent appointments, have been recruited through a competitive process, and whose appointments are not limited to service within a specific Department/Office or mission. Staff on a limited number of “non-rotational” posts will be exempted.

Recruitment

Are there any restrictions when consultants from UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes apply for Secretariat positions? As a consultant, do I need a break of 6 months before applying for a position?

Consultants at non-Secretariat United Nations Agencies, Funds and Programmes may apply for any position and at any level they consider themselves qualified, and are screened for eligibility according to the same criteria as any other external applicant.

Consultants at the United Nations Secretariat (as well as interns, individual contractors and gratis personnel) may not apply for any position in the Professional or above categories and for positions at the FS-6 and FS-7 levels in the Field Service category within six months of the end of their current or most recent service. This restriction does not apply to Associate Experts (Junior Professional Officers).

How soon are candidates selected for a position expected to take up their new functions?

Staff members should be released as soon as possible and no later than one month after the date on which the releasing office is notified of the selection decision, if the move is within the same duty station.  If the new position is in another duty station, including  peacekeeping or special political missions, then the release shall be no later than two months. Please refer to ST/AI/2010/3  for more information.

Is there a difference if I was cleared by a Central Review Body (CRB) or a Field Central Review Body (FCRB)?

No.  There is no difference if you were rostered by either the CRB or FCRB

Secondments and transfers

How is my employment security affected if I go on secondment and maintain a lien on my post?

Staff on secondment who maintain a lien on their post have certain “return rights” as stated below in the Administrative Issuance on Staff Selection (ST/AI/2010/3 – section 6.7). Please note that OHRM is revising this issuance which will address the issue of “return rights”.

6.7 A staff member who is considered an internal applicant and who is on secondment to a separately administered United Nations fund or programme, specialized agency or organization of the United Nations common system shall be granted a lien against a specific post for up to two years. If the staff member, while on secondment, applies for positions in the Secretariat he/she will be considered an internal applicant and is eligible to apply for a position one level higher than the one he/she currently has in the receiving organization in which the staff member is on secondment. After two years should the staff member wish to remain on secondment, the lien on the specific position shall be surrendered but the staff member retains return rights to the Secretariat up to a maximum of five years. At the end of the five years, a transfer to the receiving organization shall be initiated unless the staff member indicates that he/she would like to return to the Secretariat. In order to return to the Secretariat, the staff member is eligible to apply for positions at the level he/she had at the receiving organization or one level above. If the staff member is unsuccessful in his/her applications, he/she will have the right to return to the Secretariat at his/her level at the time of his/her release on secondment.

Umoja

Umoja

I am staff member with supervisory/managerial responsibilities. What is my role in Umoja?
Friday, May 29, 2015

Your role and responsibilities as a supervisor/manager will not change. The process to approve or initiate various managerial transactions, such as leave, will change with the implementation of the new system. Managers will be able to log into the Umoja Manager Self-Service (MSS) and access information, approve requests from their staff as well as perform tasks (initiate contract renewal) that will automatically send notifications or trigger workflows to other colleagues such as HR Partners.

I understand my accrued annual leave will not be available until 5 June 2015 (for duty stations deploying Umoja in June). How do I apply for leave during that period?
Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Leave Balances:  On Day 1, staff members are able to check all leave balances, with the exception of Annual Leave, and apply for various leave, again with the exception of Annual Leave, from the Portal.

Annual Leave balances as of 31 May will be loaded in Umoja on 4 June 2015.  Therefore, staff members must note that their Annual Leave balances and the ability to request Annual Leave will not be available until 5 June 2015.

Between 1 June and 4 June 2015, staff members must apply for leave offline, with approval of their Time Manager.  Once the Annual Leave balances are loaded on 4 June 2015, staff members will be able to enter all leave taken from 1 June 2015 forward.

 

What are the Key Changes in Human Resources? How will HR and related processes be handled online through Umoja?
Friday, May 29, 2015
  • Employee Self-Service portal will allow staff to:
    • View and update their HR information and profile
    • Initiate and track requests for leave requests, benefits and entitlements
    • Make travel requests directly and submit claims electronically
    • Own and be accountable for their information and entitlements
  • UN staff data will be stored centrally and shared across the organization
  • Transfer of staff across duty stations will be seamless, no more script transfer and delays in processing payroll
  • Managers will have access to up-to-date staff information, work schedule, calendar and organizational structures for pro-active planning, and to efficiently perform many tasks related to the administration of their staff.
What are the most common/typical Umoja transactions?
Friday, May 29, 2015

The deployment of the first extension of Umoja deals with transactions related to personnel administration, entitlements, benefits, time management, payroll, and travel

Example 1:

All staff will be responsible for entering their leave in Umoja. If a staff member is out of the office (e.g. sick leave or annual leave), the staff member must record the absence through the Employee Self-Service (ESS) portal.  The supervisor will be notified of the entry and will need to review and it will be routed to the right person for approval.

Example 2:

If a staff member’s family situation changes (e.g. new spouse or new baby), he/she will need to initiate action through the ESS portal in order to add a dependent and to enroll the new dependent in medical insurance.

Guidance, tutorials and additional material including the Umoja User Manual is available on the Umoja website and the Umoja Resource Center on Unite Connections.

What information should I check on day 1 of Umoja deployment at my duty station?
Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Prior to Day 1, staff members are encouraged to activate their Unite Identity Account and set up a permanent password.  They are also strongly encouraged (and sometimes required) to familiarize themselves with Umoja Self-Service functionality by taking Umoja Self-Service tutorials, which are available on Umoja website.

Day 1:  Refer to "Umoja Login User Quick Guide", which describes step by step what to do to get access to the Self-Service Portal, and login to Umoja Employee Self-Service Access at https://selfservice.umoja.un.org/https://selfservice.umoja.un.org

Once logged-in, please check the following personal information. 

Address and Beneficiaries:  If your address or beneficiaries are not correct or up to date, please update the information on-line using the Umoja Portal. 

Dependency Status:  Please check the accuracy of dependency records.  If you have a new dependant (spouse, child or secondary dependant), you can make a request to add them using the Umoja Portal.  However, please contact your HR Partner for any modification of existing dependants or discontinuation of dependency status.

Rental Subsidy:  Staff Members can also use the Umoja Portal to apply for rental subsidy.  The existing rental subsidy data is converted from IMIS to Umoja and therefore staff members do not need to reapply for existing rental subsidy.

However, staff members can submit a new rental subsidy application through the portal.  Before actually submitting the new request, please familiarize yourself with the process using the Self-Service tutorials and simulation, which are available on Umoja website. 

Banking Information:  Check the correctness of the banking information.

Salary Statement:  Once June salary is disbursed at the end of June 2015, staff members will receive pay-slip via email but can also check  the salary statement in the Portal.

What is Umoja and what does it mean to staff as the end user?
Friday, May 29, 2015

Umoja is an initiative for the United Nations Secretariat that includes a thorough streamlining of UN business processes. It is an implementation of SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. The system changes the way we do a wide variety of administrative and management activities and puts the focus on the staff member to be responsible for initiating actions and managing their own personal information.   It will transform the way staff and managers work, which will require a change in behaviours.

All staff (as end users) regardless of where they are working in the world will use the new Umoja Employee Self-Service portal. Umoja will simplify the way we process HR transactions and will reduce the amount of manual paper based processes that we currently have.

By having a single way of delivering administrative services using a single source of data, there will be more coherence and increased consistency across the Organization and in various duty stations. With Umoja staff members can focus on strategic work and spend less time on routine, fragmented administrative tasks.
 

What training do I need to take to get ready for Umoja?
Friday, May 29, 2015
  • All staff will require some training to use the new system. How much training is needed depends on your role and responsibilities.  All UN staff are advised to review general Umoja self-study training materials/tutorials/computer-based training.
  • Training to carry out transactions with the new system is available through the Umoja website and on inspira.  A variety of learning approaches are used to deliver training to accommodate different learning requirements and facilitate knowledge transfer which depend on the role of the staff member/user. The Umoja training programme integrates: computer-based training, instructor-led courses, simulation learning, job aids and hands-on practice sessions.
     
  • Staff members who have been identified with a higher official Enterprise Role in Umoja must complete Level 1, 2 and 3 Umoja Training courses through the e-learning platform on inspira in order to be certified.  Other staff will be trained in areas related to their functional responsibilities.
When will Umoja be implemented in my duty station?
Friday, May 29, 2015
  • Since 2013, Umoja has been gradually deployed to various duty stations.
  • HR, Payroll, Benefits, Organization Management and Travel are within the scope of Umoja Extension 1. Deployment of this functionality began in July 2014 in MINUSTAH, and continues in June 2015 in OCHA, UNON, UNEP, UN Habitat, UNAKRT and ESCAP, and November 2015 for the remaining of the Secretariat, except local staff in Peacekeeping missions. Full roll-out will be completed in March 2016.
  • An interactive deployment timeline detailing when will Umoja be implemented in organizations and duty stations can be found on the Umoja website
    (https://www.unumoja.net/display/public/Interactive+Deployment+Timeline)
Where do I go to get more information/help on using Umoja?
Friday, May 29, 2015

There are numerous training materials and guides available to help staff and managers navigate the system and can be accessed on the Umoja website (https://www.unumoja.net/display/public/Umoja+Employee+Self-Service+Tutor...). Specialized training is provided to transactional users (HR, travel, finance, procurement, etc.)

If you need help and support, please contact the Employee Self-Service (ESS) or Manager Self-Service (MSS) focal point (HR Office) in your duty station. You may also visit the Umoja Resource Center to search the Umoja User Manual and ask questions in the Forum. If encountering a serious technical issue, work with you Umoja LPE or focal point to open a service ticket via the iNeed Self Service by emailing esc@un.org or contact your local help desk.

Where does the data from Umoja come from? What should I do after logging in?
Friday, May 29, 2015

Personal and financial Information about staff will be converted from the current system, IMIS.  There will be a “blackout” period where no changes will be permitted in IMIS during this conversion.

In addition, personal addresses and emergency contact information are converted from Inspira, if available and if no data is found in Inspira the IMIS data is converted.  The last day for a staff member to make changes to address and emergency contact information in Inspira that will be transferred to Umoja is 15 May 2015 (for duty stations deploying Umoja in June 2015).

Once a staff member logs in to Umoja, they should check their personal details, contractual status and review the current list of entitlements/allowances to ensure this information matches what they are currently receiving.  In order to get paid, staff should also double check their banking details to ensure their salaries are properly deposited.

Where is Umoja and how do I log into Umoja for the first time?
Friday, May 29, 2015

Umoja is an on-line web based system that can be accessed from any location.

If Umoja is being deployed to your duty station, the Umoja/SAP password will be provided to you by email 2 days prior to the go live/deployment date.  The User Quick Guide on the Umoja website for step by step instructions on logging in to Umoja (https://www.unumoja.net/display/public/Resources#Resources-User-quick-guide).

To log into the Umoja Production Systems (Enterprise Central Component (ECC), Supplier Relationship Management (SRM), Business Intelligence (BI), Manager Self-Service) (MSS)) at http://login.umoja.un.org (Umoja Dashboard).

To access the Employee Self-Service ONLY log in at http://selfservice.umoja.un.org (ESS Portal)

Which processes will not be handled in Employee Self-Service?
Friday, May 29, 2015

Business processes related to education grant will not yet be available through the Umoja Employee Self-Service Portal. Staff will still be required to submit hard copy applications to their HR Partner.

Who has access to employee self-service in Umoja?
Tuesday, June 2, 2015

All staff members (international or national staff) who are working in C3 entities (UNEP, UN Habitat, UNON, OCHA, ESCAP and UNAKRT) as well as MINUSTAH, regardless of their duty station, have access to employee self-service in Umoja.  All non-staff (Consultants, Individual Contractors, UNVs, Interns, etc.) will not be given access to self-service functionality at this time.

Who should I contact if my Employee Self-Service (ESS) information in Umoja is incorrect?
Tuesday, June 2, 2015

If staff members notice any discrepancies in their data in Umoja, they must contact HR Partners (i.e. HR Assistants or Officers) of their Department/Office.  The relevant HR Partner will find out where issues are and make arrangements to have the discrepancies corrected. 

 

Your Career

Career Development

I am interested in having a mentor. Do we have a mentoring programme?
Monday, January 11, 2016

There is a facilitated mentoring programme for staff members who entered the Organization through the Young Professionals Programme (YPP). For all other staff members, mentoring is an informal learning option. Read more about mentoring and how to find a mentor.

Who can I talk to about my career development?
Monday, January 11, 2016

Your supervisor is a great resource for you when it comes to career development. If you wish to speak to someone else, mentoring might be an option for you. Click here for more information on mentoring, including tips on how to find a mentor. Alternatively, you may book a career coaching session. Career coaching is offered by trained career coaches and is entirely confidential. Read more about career coaching and how to book a career coaching session.

Career Path

How can I create a development plan?
Monday, January 11, 2016

Once you have gone through the planning steps above, your next step is to identify learning activities that help you acquire the knowledge, skills and competencies required to help you achieve your goals. You may discuss suitable learning activities with your supervisor or the Learning Focal Point in your department/office. You can capture your development goals in your action plan.

How can I plan my career?
Monday, January 11, 2016

As a start, reviewing the resources provided in the career path section on the HR portal can help inform your choices. Use the Career workbook  to reflect on your career.  The career workbook is designed to help you identify your strengths, skills, and work preferences. It contains tools for determining your career goals and developing an action plan.

The workbook consists of three parts divided into eleven chapters called “activities”. You can either work on the activities sequentially, or just choose the ones most relevant to you. You may wish to discuss your plan with your supervisor or a career coach. Click here to read more about career coaching and how to book a career coaching session.

I am not sure what the best next career move is – how can I find out about what my options are?
Monday, January 11, 2016

Review the information on the “Your Career” tab on the HR portal. You might want to consider going through the career workbook, then have a conversation with your supervisor or book a career coaching session. Click here for more information on career coaching.

I need time off to finish my studies, what are my options?
Monday, January 11, 2016

Find out more about flexible working arrangements that can be used to support external learning activities if approved by your supervisor. There is also a provision of special leave with full pay for up to 20 working days, pending approval by your supervisor and by your head of department/office. See section 6.3 of ST/AI/2010/10, the policy of upgrading of substantive and technical skills, for more information.

What are career paths?
Monday, January 11, 2016

A career path is the pattern of moves completed by a staff member, be it laterally/vertically, within the same or across job families, geographically or within the same duty station. Career paths within the Organization are unique and reflect each staff member’s professional aspirations, background and experiences. Click here for more information on actual career paths taken by UN staff members.

What career paths are available to me?
Monday, January 11, 2016

This depends on your professional aspirations, background and experiences. It might be useful for you to look at the information on career path on the HR portal, including actual career paths taken by UN staff members. You might also want to consider going through the career workbook, then have a conversation with your supervisor or book a career coaching session. Click here for more information on career coaching.

Where can I find examples of how other UN staff members have moved in their careers?
Monday, January 11, 2016

Each staff member has a unique career path. Click here for more information on actual career paths taken by UN staff members.

Career Support

What kind of career support is available to me?
Monday, January 11, 2016

The “Your career” section of the HR portal is a good place to start: it contains information on a range of career support– both in terms of career development and career path. You can also talk with your supervisor about your action plan career development plan, or Use the career workbook to find out more about your values, strengths, skills and work preferences and create an action plan for our career goals. You can also talk with your supervisor about your career aspirations and your action plan.

Sabbatical Leave Programme

Are weekends and official holidays counted in the four months sabbatical leave?
Friday, January 8, 2016

Yes, the sabbatical leave is for 120 calendar days including travel days, weekends and official holidays.

Does the Organization provide any additional financial payment during the sabbatical leave?
Friday, January 8, 2016

Selected staff members are placed on special leave with full pay for the sabbatical leave period. Staff members on sabbatical leave continue to receive their salary, post adjustment and all related entitlements, such as rental subsidy and education grant, applicable to their regular duty station. No additional payments are made by the United Nations to the staff member during sabbatical leave. Staff members may receive scholarships or stipends for room, board or travel expenses to support their sabbatical leave from an entity other than the United Nations with the pre-approval of the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management.

 

How do I select my sabbatical institution?
Friday, January 8, 2016

Interested staff members are responsible for identifying the institution or organization in which they propose to carry out their study or research project.

In addition to universities and independent institutions worldwide, including participating research and training centres of the United Nations University and institutions that are members of the Academic Council on the United Nations System, research or study projects may also be pursued in other relevant organizations and institutions.

Staff members are also responsible for securing their acceptance by the selected institution and for ascertaining the type of support services and facilities that the institution is willing to provide. This information has to be included in the application.

I am a staff member under General Service category, am I eligible to apply for the sabbatical leave programme?
Friday, January 8, 2016

Yes. The sabbatical leave programme is open to all staff members who meet the eligibility requirements.

If I am selected, can I defer my sabbatical leave to the following year?
Friday, January 8, 2016

Under exceptional circumstances, such as exigencies of service or illness, the Office of Human Resources Management may authorize the deferral of sabbatical leave to the following year. A request for deferral has to be submitted by staff in writing with the endorsement of the head of department or office.

What do I need in order to apply for the sabbatical?
Friday, January 8, 2016

ST/IC/2015/28 describes the details of the application process. The application includes:

  1. An application form, contained in annex I to ST/IC/2015/28;
  2. Proposal form, contained in annex II to ST/IC/2015/28;
  3. Endorsement form, contained in annex III to ST/IC/2015/28 completed by the head of department/office/mission or Director/Chief of Mission Support responsible for the work of the applicant during the proposed research or study project;
  4. Written correspondence between the applicant and the proposed sabbatical institution confirming acceptance;
  5.  The signed declaration contained in the annex to ST/AI/2015/5;

Application checklist contained in annex VII to ST/IC/2015/28

What is the sabbatical leave programme?
Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Sabbatical Programme is an opportunity for staff members to:

  • add value to their contribution to the Organization and enhance their intellectual growth through research on issues relating to the work of the UN;
  • enhance dialogue and contacts between the UN and other organizations and institutions engaged in related work worldwide; and
  • gain exposure to state-of-the-art research and practices on issues on the international agenda.

The sabbatical leave programme is leave with full pay that can be approved for up to four months, subject to release of the staff member by the head of department or office. It is one of the career development tools that the Organization provides.

When do I have to submit the report on the research conducted during the sabbatical?
Friday, January 8, 2016

All sabbatical participants are required to submit a report within two months of the end of their sabbatical leave. The report must follow the format provided in ST/IC/2015/28.

Who is eligible to apply for the sabbatical leave?
Friday, January 8, 2016

Staff members with at least five years of service with the United Nations Secretariat under continuing, permanent or fixed-term appointments, and who are expected to serve for at least two years after the completion of the sabbatical leave are eligible to apply.