Orientation Hub


First month

As you finish your first month in your new post with the UN, we hope you are feeling comfortable and confident in your new role, and actively contributing to UN mandatesAs a new hire, you bring a new perspective and experience that can greatly benefit your team and the larger UN. 

Is there anything you still need to know?  Please don’t hesitate to ask. For example, if you are a staff member, is your work plan now added and approved in Inspira? If not, please ask your supervisor for support in getting that done. 

Non-staff: With your supervisor, update your work plan and timeline, noting what you have already accomplished, and any changes. 

Staff:  All new staff are expected to have completed workplans approved in Inspira within two months of starting a new position - and even sooner, if possible. Read Performance Management and Work Planning for further information on the Organization’s approach to performance management. 

When you receive your first salary statement, you will notice that “staff assessment” is one of the deductions.  Below is a brief overview, and more information can be found on the US Taxes page of the Knowledge Gateway. 

Staff assessment is an amount deducted from all UN staff members' gross pay according to the UN Staff Regulations and Rules, regardless of their nationality.  

  • As staff assessment is not a withholding tax, it cannot be reimbursed to staff members under any circumstances and it cannot be claimed as a deduction on United States income tax returns.  
  • Staff assessment deductions are credited to the Tax Equalization Fund. Those Member States that do not impose income tax on UN earnings receive a portion of the Tax Equalization Fund as an offset against their assessments for the UN regular budget, peacekeeping and tribunal budgets. (That is, if your home country does not impose taxes on your UN earnings, your home country will pay a lesser amount in annual payments to the UN). 
  • When staff members have to pay national income taxes on their UN earnings (such as US citizens), they are reimbursed from the Tax Equalization Fund irrespective of the total amount of staff assessment deducted from their salaries.

US citizens and permanent residents who have signed the “Waiver of rights, privileges, exemptions and immunities” (the waiver) are subject to US income tax on their UN earnings (see latest tax circular sect.I, para.1). In addition, US citizens serving in the US are also subject to self-employment tax on their UN earnings. The UN reimburses those staff members who have to pay the US income taxes due on their UN earnings as well as 6.2 per cent out of a total 12.4 per cent of the Social Security tax portion and 1.45 per cent out of a total 2.9 per cent of the Medicare tax portion of the related self-employment taxes payable by US citizens. 

All UN personnel are expected to “demonstrate commitment to zero tolerance of any prohibited conduct and treat all people in the workplace courteously and with dignity and respect, as well as with an awareness of their own behaviour and how it may be perceived and/or received by others” (ST/SGB/2019/8). 

Search the United to Respect Toolkit (available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic) - for one action you can take to do this. 

You may also want to: 

1) Check out the United against Racism page on iSeek 
2) Join a workshop led by the UN Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services ​
3) Attend the United to Respect Dialogues. Ask your Executive Officer (EO) or Conduct and Discipline Focal Point to ask how you can join the next training for your entity. 

Medical For vaccinations and health concerns, visit your duty station's Medical Service 
Psychological To discuss what is causing you stress or anxiety or build resilience Visit he Staff Counsellor in your duty station; See list of UN Staff Counsellors 
Sexual Harassment To report such behaviour you experience or witness Use the Speak up Helpline 
Office Conflicts or system questions To help with addressing interpersonal concerns or office dynamics, and/or addressing systemic issues Consult the UN Ombudsman and Mediation Services for guidance 
Ethics For confidential advice on ethics and integrity (e.g. conflicts of interests) and/or to seek protection against retaliation for reporting misconduct or cooperating with duty authorized audits or investigations.  Consult the Ethics Office
Wrongdoing To report prohibited conduct such as discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment or abuse of authority Report to the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) 
Legal For legal questions Consult the Office of Staff Legal Assistance (OSLA) 
  • Young UN  - open to all personnel throughout the UN system –regardless of age! 
  • UN Innovation Network – for anyone interested in redesigning processes and policies so they better meet the need of all our clients at the United Nations. 
  • NewWork – open to all in the UN Secretariat who want to contribute to enhancing our work environment 

[Link to document]

Young UN members understand that there are many common challenges across the UN system and are proactive in addressing them to create a positive change. Young UN created a survey, receiving 859 respondents from 34 UN entities, 91 countries, and across different contract types and time at the UN. UN employees answered questions about their experiences and expectations at the workplace and how the UN needs to adapt for the future of work.

The United Nations Editorial Manual in English is an authoritative statement of the style and spelling conventions to use when drafting or editing United Nations documents, publications, and other written material in English. Although based mainly on the practices and policies that have evolved at Headquarters, the present manual provides editorial guidance for all parts of the Secretariat.