Compensation, benefits and wellbeing
Delivering for children starts with delivering for our staff
At UNICEF, we understand that our people are the driving force behind everything we do. That’s why our contracts, benefits and wellbeing policies and initiatives ensure that they are well equipped to effectively deliver for children.
Fixed-Term Appointments are typically issued for a period of two years, renewable subject to the needs of the organization. They are issued to International Professionals, National Officers and General Service staff, and include a range of benefits. Learn more about our job
Temporary Appointments are time-limited appointments issued for less than one year to meet specific short-term requirements, including in response to emergencies. They are issued to International Professionals, National Officers and General Service staff, and include several benefits.
Consultants and Individual Contractors
Contracts issued to consultants and individual contractors are limited to a maximum cumulative duration of 11.5 months in a 12-month period and up to a maximum cumulative duration of 46 months in a 48-month period. Once the maximum cumulative contract duration of 46 months has been reached, a mandatory 12-month break must be observed.
UNICEF offers an attractive remuneration package with competitive pay and benefits, in accordance with United Nations-wide salary scales, policies and practices.
UNICEF’s three staff categories – International Professional, National Officer and General Service – offer Fixed-Term Appointment (FTA) and Temporary Appointment (TA) contracts. FTA and TA staff receive the same base salaries, in accordance with the salary scale of the respective staff category, while TA staff receive slightly reduced benefits.
International Professional (IP) staff are paid on the basis of salary scales applied worldwide, and established by the General Assembly of the United Nations on the recommendation of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC). The level of pay is set by reference to the highest paying national civil service, and the entire salary and benefits package takes into account dependents and the cost of living at the duty station. Download the 2019 IP salary scale
National Officer (NO) staff are paid according to a local salary scale. Salary scales are reviewed periodically on the basis of comprehensive surveys of the best prevailing conditions of employment in the locality.
General Service (GS) staff are paid according to a local salary scale. Salary scales are reviewed periodically on the basis of comprehensive surveys of the best prevailing conditions of employment in the locality. Download the 2019 GS salary scale
As an IP, NO or GS staff member, you may be entitled to several benefits, depending on your duty station, type of assignment and other contextual factors. Upon acceptance of a job offer, UNICEF staff receive consolidated, up-to-date information about their benefits and entitlements under their contract. Benefits can include:
Salaries, grants and allowances paid by the United Nations to staff are normally exempt from income tax.
Depending on your contract type, you may be entitled to family allowances, including dependency allowances if you have an eligible dependent spouse and/or child(ren) and, under certain conditions, an education grant if you have eligible children in school.
IP staff may qualify for a rental subsidy if they are newly arrived at the duty station and their rent represents too high a proportion of their total remuneration.
IP staff may have their travel and shipping expenses covered when moving from one duty station to another. An assignment grant may also be provided to IPs, to assist them in meeting initial extraordinary costs when arriving at or relocating to a new duty station.
At emergency and high-risk duty stations, a hardship allowance linked to living and working conditions is paid to IPs, and where there are restrictions on bringing family members, a non-family hardship allowance is also paid. IPs may also receive hazard pay and a rest and recuperation break when you serve in locations where the conditions are particularly hazardous, stressful and difficult. Read more about working in emergency settings, non-family duty stations and duty station categories.
Holidays and leave
Depending on your contract type, you will be entitled to 18 to 30 days of vacation per year. In addition, the United Nations also observes 10 paid holidays per year; these differ from duty station to duty station. IPs may also be eligible for home leave travel to renew social, cultural and family ties in their home country. The frequency of home leave depends on the duty station you are assigned to.
Maternity, paternity, adoption
Staff members of any gender or sex can benefit from parental leave entitlements, regardless of how they become parents. This includes mothers, fathers, parents via surrogacy or adoption, and primary and secondary caregivers.
Staff are eligible to participate in one of the United Nations-sponsored medical insurance plans, which include dental insurance. The monthly premiums are co-shared by yourself and the Organization.
If you have a staff appointment of six months or more or complete six months of service without an interruption, you become a participant in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund. A compulsory contribution will be deducted from your monthly salary.
Our career management, learning, performance management and mobility prorgammes ensure that staff are well equipped to advance in their careers.
At UNICEF, we invest in a range of initiatives, resources and tools to fulfill our duty of care to all staff, promote wellbeing and flexible work arrangements, support the families of our staff and ensure that we are living our values across the organization.
Our staff wellbeing programme is focused on the psychosocial wellbeing of all staff. Staff Counsellors and Peer Support Volunteers – staff members trained in active listening – are available at several UNICEF locations around the world. Online resources and tools are also available, including booklets covering key wellbeing themes, and free access to Headspace, the award-winning mindfulness meditation app.
The programme incorporates evidence-based and best practice techniques to build personal resilience, lessen traumatic stress, prevent burnout and improve mental health.
Flexible working arrangements allow staff to balance their professional and personal lives, making them healthier and happier, resulting in higher productivity and retention rates. Through a range of tools and an organization-wide policy, we are ingraining flexible work across UNICEF, which includes flexible working hours, compressed work schedules, teleworking, part-time work and job sharing.
In addition to family-friendly allowances and policies, we are increasing our efforts to provide work opportunities to spouses through consultancies and temporary assignments. We are also working to provide career support services to spouses of International Professional (IP) staff, which includes access to a UNICEF-sponsored career coach that can help with writing CVs and cover letters, as well as with mapping out career plans. In addition, through our membership in several local chapters of the International Dual Career Network (IDCN), IP staff spouses can also be supported with their job searches.