General Service and related categories
Staff falling within the 'General Service' (GS) or related categories carry out support functions, including administrative, secretarial and clerical work. They are largely recruited from the area of the office's location but can be of any nationality. As a result, they are not expected to relocate to other duty stations. While moving from a 'GS' to a 'P' level position is possible, it rarely happens.
There are three types of staff contracts:
- Temporary Appointments (TA) for less than a year, seasonal or peak workloads, and specific short-term requirements. They cannot be renewed beyond 2 years, but staff with TAs may apply for a subsequent FTA.
- Fixed-Term Appointments (FTA), usually for 1 or 2 years with possibility of renewal
- Continuing Appointments for an unlimited period of time
The UN system rarely offers long-term employment with open-ended contracts (Continuing Appointments). Most UN staff serve on FTAs or TAs, which provide opportunities for interesting assignments and movement across the globe.
Salaries and benefits
The pay level for staff of professional and higher categories is based in accordance with the highest paying national civil service. The base salary is supplemented by a post adjustment that varies according to the cost of living in the duty station and the US dollar exchange rate.
Staff may be entitled to other allowances and benefits such as education grants for their children, rental subsidy, medical insurance, and relocation expenses, which may add up quite substantively to the base salary. UN salaries, grants and allowances are income tax exempt.
To calculate the estimated salaries and benefits of international UN staff members, use UNDP’s salary estimation tool.
Expatriating and/or leaving a national employer for a multilateral organisation such as the UN means that you quit the national social security system. While the UN provides for a pension scheme and health/life insurance, it does not offer unemployment insurance. Below please find a couple of useful links on the topic:
- Social legislation for Swiss civil servants (FDFA)
- UN Joint Pension Fund: Stopping work or Separating
- Services for Swiss nationals abroad (FDFA)
- Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA)
- Rights and obligations of Swiss citizens living abroad (OSA)
Please note that cinfo does not have the competence to further advice on social security matters pertaining to Swiss staff working in multilateral organisations.