Human Resources - Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
For your JPO/SDP assignment
Throughout your JPO/SDP assignment, you will encounter milestones and situations where it is natural that questions will arise on entitlements, eligibility and procedures. This page is a collection of the most common issues which you may encounter, and hopefully, you will be able to find the answer to your queries here.
Additionally, you are as always welcome to contact your HRA in TAPP/JPOSC directly for any further clarifications you may need.
General introduction to monetized entitlement travel (hire, reassignment, separation, travel to join):
In UNDP, Appointment travel, Reassignment travel, Home Leave in conjunction with Reassignment, Travel to Join, and Separation travel are paid as lump sum payments (monetized) based on a 75% of a travel quote for an unrestricted fare. The payment will also include terminal expenses and universal stop over DSA, if applicable. The payment will be made in advance of travel and when paid a lump sum, staff members are responsible for arranging their own travel.
Initial Appointment Travel
Once the necessary clearances (medical clearance and visa clearance as applicable) have been obtained, and the Offer Letter has been accepted, the travel payment can be made so that you can purchase your ticket(s). For this purpose, JPOSC will need to receive the vendor form specifying your bank information. The payment is normally made approx. one month before your travel date.
You will be responsible for arranging your own travel and will not be requested to submit any payment receipts at a later stage. Please kindly ensure that your ticket is flexible and refundable, should there be a need for any changes.
You will receive a monetized lump sum based on a ticket quote. The quotation is equivalent to 75% of a one-way economy ticket by the least costly, flexible, and unrestricted economy fare on the most direct route and requested for the date you expect to travel to the duty station. The quotation is provided by the travel agent serving our office. We will need to know the expected travel dates for you and your dependants, as applicable, for our office to request a lump sum airfare quote. In addition to the ticket lump sum, you are also entitled to terminals to cover your cost of transportation to and from the airport at the respective UN rate.
If you are not travelling by air but instead by own car, bus or train, you are obligated to inform our office in advance, enabling us to issue the necessary authorization for such alternate mode of travel.
The monetized lump sum will be in such a case be based on mileage if travelling by car and submission of F10 form if travelling by bus or train. A reimbursement will be made based on mileages.
You are expected to travel by the most direct route from your place of recruitment to your duty station. Any private deviations would need to be borne by yourself.
Kindly note that the travel entitlements for your dependents is from your place of recruitment directly to your duty station.
You are normally not allowed to deviate from your travel route or from expected travel dates. Should such situation be necessary, please consult with your HR focal point in advance to guide you.
The travel lumpsum for your family members will be based a 75% lump sum quote for a one-way economy ticket by the least costly, flexible, and unrestricted economy fare from your place of recruitment directly to your duty station. Your family members are also entitled to terminal allowances to cover the cost of transportation to and from the airport at the respective UN rate.
A relocation grant at dependent rate to facilitate the shipment of your and your family’s personal belongings to the duty station is also included.
Travel to Join
Travel to join is a separate payment made when any eligible dependents are travelling independently from yourself following your own initial appointment or reassignment travel to duty station.
Provided you are serving in a family duty station, your spouse and children can join you at a later stage, but no later than six months before the end of your contract.
You will get a lump sum payment for travel and terminal expenses for your spouse and children, and you should arrange the travel yourself.
You will need to inform your HR focal point of the planned travel dates of your family, and a monetized payment will hereafter be made based on the planned travel dates.
Your HRA will request a travel quote from the Travel Unit for the most direct economy, full fare and flexible ticket from place of recruitment to the duty station, and you will be entitled to 75% of the quote for each of your family members. In addition to payment for the tickets, you will also get paid terminal expenses for each family member to cover costs related to travel to/from the airport, airport fees
Provided you have only received the single rate of the relocation shipment amount, you will thus be entitled to the balance up to the dependency rate of the relocation shipment on behalf of your family.
Upon arrival of your family to duty station, you will equally be paid the DSA portion in respect of dependent family members; 30 days DSA at half rate.
If you are serving in a family duty station and if your baby is born outside the duty station, you are entitled to get paid for travel and terminals for your new-born baby , provided that you have minimum 6 months left of your contract at the time of the travel. You are also entitled to 30 days DSA at half rate on behalf of the new-born child upon arrival.
JPOSC will process the payment to the account on your vendor form. If you want it paid to a different account, you should submit another vendor form.
You should buy the tickets for yourself and your dependents as applicable.
Once you have been medically cleared and obtained visa (if applicable) you may purchase your ticket.
Your HRA will obtain a travel quote from the Travel Unit based on your planned travel dates for you and eligible dependents and you will get paid 75% of the quote.
You are entitled to 75% of the cost for the most direct economy, full fare and flexible ticket.
Yes, but your entitlement will be based on the quote specified above. We recommend that you to buy a flexible ticket in case of any changes to the planned travel.
The lump sum covers the most direct route from your former duty station to your new duty station.
If you are entitled to home leave, you can take home leave in conjunction with reassignment, so you travel from your current duty station to your place of home leave and finally to your new duty station. In this case, please consult with your HR focal point who can guide you.
Please consult with your HR focal point who can guide you on the process.
You submit a request for home leave in Atlas e-Services and request your HRA in JPOSC to approve it. You should also inform your HRA by email that you would like to take home leave in conjunction with reassignment and your planned travel dates.
If your new duty station is a family duty station, your spouse and children can travel with you provided you have minimum 6 months remaining of your contract at the time of their arrival.
Dependency Status/Dependency Allowances
Dependency allowance consists of the following categories:
- Spouse Allowance
- Child Allowance
- Single Parent Allowance
- Secondary Dependency Allowance
The purpose of the dependency allowances is to provide financial support to staff members that have a dependent spouse, child(ren) or secondary dependent. The allowances are paid on a monthly basis through payroll/together with salary as an additional remuneration component.
Payment of dependency allowance is not automatic. It is the responsibility of each staff member to claim dependency allowance for which he or she believes that he or she may be entitled to.
Subject to meeting the eligibility criteria, staff may be entitled to receive allowances in respect of a dependant spouse, dependant child(ren), a secondary dependant or if being a single parent. In order for the dependency status to be determined, the spouse, child(ren) or secondary dependent must be recognized by UNDP under UN Staff Rule 3.6 and the criteria set out in POPP/Dependency
Please refer to each category of dependency allowance for further information of eligibility criteria and how to apply for the allowance.
On annual basis the staff member is obligated to declare any changes in dependency status which may have occurred – incidents which triggers an obligation to report a change are typically ex.;
- Change in marital status; marriage, divorce, legal separation, death of spouse
- Change in Spouse annual earnings (subject to the annual threshold applicable)
- Change in family e.g. birth or adoption of child.
- Change in child dependency ex. no longer financially dependent, married and/or no longer residing with you.
- Change in full time school attendance status for children between 18-21 years of age. (Children between age of 18-21 are required to be in full time school attendance to be considered eligible dependents).
- Report amount and/or change in Government Grant received in respect of a dependent children.
- For international staff: Report amount of financial assistance received on behalf of a child (if eligible for single parent allowance).
Review of eligibility for secondary dependency allowance where you provide main and continuous support (only considered if you do not claim a dependent spouse)If changes occur but are not duly reported, a retroactive recovery of the fully paid amount will be due.
A spouse is considered recognized by the UN based on:
- Legal marriage
- Common law, domestic partnership, or similar unions as well as same-sex marriage when the status is considered valid in the country where it is recorded
- Legal separation (when official divorce is not yet obtained) where staff member can provide proof of continued financial support to the spouse
For dependency benefits, the UN recognizes only one spouse. Where more than one spouse is legally recognized, the staff member may elect which spouse to designate for dependency purposes for the duration of the appointment.
In order for your recognized spouse to be considered an eligible dependant, his or her full occupational earnings may not exceed a certain threshold for the calendar year in question. The threshold is equivalent to the lowest entry level of the General Service gross salary scales (i.e. G2, step 1) for New York, USA, link available here.
You will be required to submit the Questionnaire of Dependency Status (P.84 form) (online form available here, and paper form available here) together with proof of your spouse’s gross annual earnings to your JPOSC HR focal point for verification and processing.
If the gross annual earnings are below the maximum threshold, you will then receive a spouse allowance in respect of your dependent spouse on a monthly basis together with your salary.
It is important that you notify your JPOSC HR focal point of any subsequent change in your spouse’s earnings to ensure timely adjustment of spouse allowance, as applicable.
A recognized dependent child is any of the following children under the age of 18 years or, if the child is in full-time attendance at a school or university (or similar educational institution), up to the age of 21 for whom the staff member provides main and continuing support:
a) A staff member's natural child
b) A staff member's legally adopted child; and
c) A staff member's stepchild, if residing with the staff member
For each recognized eligible dependent child, a Dependent Child Allowance is payable on a monthly basis together with payroll.
Should you have a child with a disability which is recognized by the UN Medical Services, a higher Child allowance is payable (double rate). If you have a child which may be considered for disability status please consult with your HR focal point on the procedure for a due certification on the child disability by UN Medical Services.
In order to claim the Child allowance on behalf of your child(ren) you will be required to submit a Questionnaire of Dependency Status (P.84 form) (online form available here, and paper form available here) to your JPOSC HR focal point for verification and processing. In addition, you are required to submit a birth certificate of the child verifying that you are the legal parent. In case of adoption, a copy of the legal adoption documents is also required. For cases of step children, please consult your HR focal point.
If you or the other parent of the child(ren) are in receipt of government grant on behalf of your child(ren), this must be clearly stated in P84 form, and the Child Allowance will be adjusted accordingly. This includes if you are divorced and the other parent is in receipt of the government grant on behalf of the child. Any subsidies received on behalf of such child are to be reported and off-set against the Child Allowance amount.
Any subsequent changes must be reported to your JPOSC HR focal point to ensure correct adjustment of the Child allowance, as applicable.
Internationally recruited professional staff members shall receive a Single parent allowance in respect of a first dependent child (eldest eligible child) when the following conditions are met:
a) The staff member’s status, is recognized as single by UNDP
b) The staff member is divorced or widowed or legally separated from a spouse
c) The staff member does not reside with the other custodial parent
d) The staff member has a dependent child recognised by UNDP under UN Staff Rule 3.6 (a) (iii) and the criteria set out in the present policy.
You will be required to submit a Questionnaire of Dependency Status (P.84 form) (online form available here, and paper form available here) to your JPOSC HR focal point for verification and processing of the allowance.
If you are in receipt of a government grant or any additional financial support on behalf of the child, you will be required to state this in the P84 form and the amount(s) will be deducted from the Single Parent Allowance.
Any subsequent changes of personal status resulting that you may no longer considered a single parent must be reported to your JPOSC HR focal point to ensure correct adjustment of the Single Parent allowance. A single parent allowance is only applicable for the first dependent child, for any additional dependent children, you will receive a Dependent Child Allowance.
Staff members who do not have a recognized dependent spouse, and who is providing continuous financial support to a parent or sibling equivalent to a least twice the amount of the secondary dependency allowance (USD1,025 p.a.), may claim the secondary dependent allowance.
You will be required to submit a Questionnaire of Dependency Status (P.84 form) to your JPOSC HR focal point for verification and processing of the allowance.
Please also note that for secondary dependents that do not reside with the staff member, JPOSC would need the following additional documents:
- The staff members should provide proof of continuous financial support from at minimum period of three months . Alternatively, proof of payment needs to demonstrate a pattern of continuous support, e.g. on quarterly/annual basis etc. This can be from various sources such as:
- bank transfers/statements in the name of the secondary dependent
- cancelled cheques
- bank drafts
- money orders
- mobile pay transfers
- Copy of passport or national identity card and, for siblings only, the birth certificate
- A notarized statement from the secondary dependent (reflecting dependent's income, place of residence, and amount/frequencyreceived from the staff member)
Any subsequent changes must be reported to your JPOSC HR focal point to ensure verification of the secondary dependent allowance.
Contract Extension and Funding
All JPOs get a Letter of Appointment (contract) for the duration of one year upon initial appointment. Subsequently contract extensions are subject to satisfactory performance and donor confirmation on availability of funds. Beyond the second year of assignment, different conditions apply depending on the donor policies, as well as priorities and budget availability in the hiring unit, of needed for example through a co-funded arrangement.
Here you can read more about who is responsible and when the process will be initiated for each year of extension.
2nd year extension
2-3 months before the end of first year of your assignment, your HRA will send an annual evaluation form to you and your supervisor. You are thus expected to engage in a dialogue with your supervisor on your achievements the past year, and document this by completing the evaluation form. Hereafter, this is returned to our office which equally serves as you and your hiring unit confirmation and interest in extending your JPO contract. Please return the evaluation form and request for extension to your HRA focal point who will liaise directly with your donor for a final confirmation of your contract extension.
No. You will receive an Extension PA (Personal Action Form) with the new date for the end of your contract (COB). The original Letter of Appointment remains in force supplemented by a new end date in your Extension PA. You are encouraged to at all times maintain own records of LOA and supplementary PA.
3rd year extension
It depends on your donor country. Some donors only fully fund a maximum of 2 years, others may co-fund a 3rd year and some fully fund the 3rd year. Finally, a few donors fully fund the 3rd year if the organisation commits to fully fund the 4th year.
You can always ask your HRA what are the options to you and conditions under your donor agreement.
The procedure is the same as for a 2nd year contract extension. You will thus be contacted by your JPOSC HR focal point 2-3 months prior to your COB date, and you and your supervisor will be requested to complete the annual evaluation form which will be shared with the donor to seek the final approval of the extension.
- Yes. But your duty station will have to fully fund the extension beyond your second year. We can support in providing a cost estimate for such a fully funded 3rd year for the duty station to have an estimate of the cost implications.
- Your duty station may fully fund up to a maximum of 12 months beyond the donor funded period. This includes any period of co-funding.
- Your duty station must fully confirm funding commitment and COA to charge before we can implement the contract extension request.
It depends on many factors, so your HRA will be able to provide your duty station with a cost estimate for their review.
- It means that your donor country and duty station/hiring unit share the costs for your position, usually with 50% each.
- Your JPOSC HRA focal point can provide your duty station with a cost estimate of the organization share of the costs for their consideration.
- The duty station must fully confirm the funding commitment and COA to charge.
- For co-funded extensions, we will need you and your supervisor to complete the annual evaluation form which will be sent to the donor to seek their final approval of the co-funded extension.
- The co-funded extension will count towards the maximum of 12 months beyond the fully donor funded period you may be extended under your JPO/SDP assignment.
- Unfortunately, in most cases, it will not be possible to process the extension, as the prerequisite for a co-funded extension is that both the duty station and donor co-fund the costs.
- Your duty station may consider funding part of your 3rd year if there are insufficient funds for a full year.
The following should be provided to your HRA in JPOSC:
- Your own duty station shall provide a Chart of Accounts (COA) for charging the costs for your position.
- The annual evaluation form should be submitted (unless fully funded by the hiring unit).
- A message/letter from your duty station in support of your contract extension
Your HRA will send the annual evaluation, support letter and cost estimate to your donor country for final review and approval, upon which the extension PA will be processed.
4th year extension
The procedure is the same as for the 3rd year co-funded contract extension.
- If your contract was fully funded by your duty station in your 3rd year, you have spent the maximum amount of allowable organisational funding which is 12 months. You can therefore not get any further extension on your JPO contract.
- If your contract was co-funded in your 3rd year at 50/50, your duty station can fully fund a maximum of additional 6 months extension of your JPO contract.
- If your contract was fully funded by your donor country in your 3rd year, your duty station can fully fund a maximum of 12 months extension of your JPO contract.
No. It can be less, but the maximum period is 12 months.
No. It is not allowed to keep JPOs on organisational funding for more than 12 months. The only time it may be possible, is if you are in the last stages of a recruitment process for a regular FTA contract with the organisation where the extension is merely to bridge the gap while awaiting the finalisation of the recruitment process. An exceptional approval will have to be granted, and you should therefore contact your HRA focal point in JPOSC to advise you on this matter.
Separation from service for JPOs and SDPs
A separation means that you will be ending your contract with the organization and your JPO assignment will come to an end. This will require various different administrative /HR procedures to facilitate your off-boarding.
Your contract will naturally lapse and expire following the funded period of appointment. If you will end your appointment at the end of your contract expiration date (COB, Close of Business), you should inform your office and HR focal point in JPOSC, as soon as possible and preferably at least 3 months before COB. We will send you a separation letter with information on the separation procedure outlining the entitlements and required administrative steps/forms.
Your contract will prematurely be ended due to an action from your end. If you want to end your appointment before your regular contract expiration date (COB, Close of Business), you will need to formally submit a written resignation to the organization. You should resign with at least 30 days notice according to the Staff Rules, by submitting a resignation letter to your supervisor and head of office. There is no form or template for this, an e-mail is sufficient. Upon acknowledgement of receipt and acceptance by the head of your office, you should share both the letter and acknowledgement with your HR focal point in JPOSC. This will enable us to start the separation procedure and send you the separation letter outlining the entitlements and required administrative steps/forms.
We would normally advise that you consult with your HR focal point before submitting your resignation, enabling we can duly guide you in advance.
Your contract will be ended as you have been offered a new appointment with a UN Agency. If you have been offered another contract within the UN system, or if you are in a recruitment process for a position within the UN, it is important that you inform your HR focal point in JPOSC, as the transition between the two contracts may have an impact on your entitlements. The HR Focal point can guide you on the best avenue forward on transitioning from your JPO/SDP assignment to a new assignment/contract under UN. This depends on contract modalities as well as transition within or between agencies.
We do encourage you to take annual leave on a regular basis throughout your assignment to support your wellbeing. However, should you have a positive annual leave days that you would like to take just before your COB (Close of Business), you should obtain approval from your supervisor, and inform your office and your HR focal point in JPOSC.
Should you have a positive AL balance at the time of ending your contract, a positive balance up to maximum 60 days may be monetized and will be included as part of final salary payments.
Depending on your individual situation, you may be entitled to one or more of the following:
- Repatriation travel. A lump sum payment for travel for yourself and eligible dependents from your duty station to your place of repatriation (place of recruitment or place of Home Leave)
- Relocation shipment. A lump sum payment for shipment (USD 7,800 single rate or USD 10,800 dependent rate)
- Annual Leave. Unspent annual leave days will be paid to you up to a maximum of 60 days.
- Education grant. Any residual payment (or recovery) with be processed as part of your final pay
You should refer to the tailored separation letter which will outline the details of your entitlements in due course.
Payment for travel and relocation grant is normally released 1-2 months before COB (Close of Business), or soon after we have received confirmation of your separation and last day of service including planned return travel date
Payment for unspent annual leave and/or education grant will be released as part of what we call final payments which is no earlier than the month after your COB. E.g. if your COB is in March, you will receive your last salary at the end of March and your final pay at the earliest at the end of April. The Final Payments are released only after a number of internal clearances have been completed.
If you have been issued a UNLP, it must be submitted for cancelation. You can either submit it to your office or directly to your HR focal point in JPOSC.
If you need the LP for your repatriation travel, you must submit it for cancelation upon return to your place of repatriation.
If you need the UNLP for your appointment with another UN agency, the agency should confirm that they will take over the responsibility of the LP and you can keep it. This will need to be kept on record.
It is important to mention that we cannot finalize the separation before you have submitted your UNLP, and the final payments will be withheld until such UNLP is returned. The UNLP is a property of the United Nations
You are covered by health and life insurance until the end of the month of your COB even if your last day of service is during the month. Ex if your COB is 16 May, you are covered by insurance until 31 May
If you have contributed to UNJSPF for less than 5 years, you can either opt to receive payment of your own contributions or you can choose to defer the release of such payment for up to 36 months. Deferring the release of the payment of your accrued pension benefits is normally an option if you anticipate you will pursue or be re-hired in the UN System (i.e. Also re-join the UNJSPF). If you request a release of your own pension contribution, this will be released by UNJSPF when all separation formalities have been completed by UNDP and UN Payroll. On average, the pension contribution is released 3-4 months after your COB, last day of service.