Contracts, Grades and Levels

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This topic contains 38 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Asjadkhan 4 days, 13 hours ago.

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  • #1816

    Please discuss contract types, grades and levels here

  • #1872


    Can we pose questions at this forum plz?

  • #1873

    Absolutely – ask away!

  • #1879


    Hello, Rottmair Sebastian!

    Could you please explain to me what would the rate of MSA for a “Field Language Assistant GL-5” in Yemen (NJO) be?

    • #1886

      Sorry, I wouldn’t know this one. But it is an interesting question – does anybody else know?

  • #1880


    Hello Sebastian, I have found a post at L-4 level for a professional position (similar to P-4) advertised by UNICEF. Do you know this category? Where can I find more information about it?

    • #1887

      Do you have the link to that? If it really is similar to a P4, I think a good starting point would be the information that is out there on P4s. Do you have any specific questions on that contract type?

      Anybody from UNICEF reading this? What are the details of a L4 contract?

  • #1884


    Hello! good to be here
    Does the retirement age applies to SC contract holders? an SC service contract holder (contract renewable every year) has been working for UNDP for many years in one of his country’s public institution; he is now being told that he has reached the retirement age. Since he joined this matter was never raised or mentioned before. any other case such as this one, has been heard of?

    • #1888

      I always assumed that SCs are also subject to the mandatory age of retirement. However, if I were in that situation I would try to get a hold of the UNDP policy on that. You would be amazed how many things are assumptions in peoples heads and few bother to check the latest policy.

      So that would definitely be step 1.

      If he has to stop working as SC, I would try to see if there is a possibility for a follow-on SSA?

    • #1943


      dear Sebastian
      many thanks for your answer. i checked the guidelines and conditions of employment under SC contract to help government development. the SC contract as you know is a yearly renewable contract. no where in the guidelines or other documents about SC published by UN on google is there any mention of retirement. fact is that they give SC contract to UN staff after retirement so that they continue necessary work. the SC contract that i am describing had contract renewed passed the retirement age several years and had no reason to believe that retirement conditions apply. other staff colleagues had SC contracts past the age of 70. is there a way to claim compensation because of the sudden change of UN policy which puts the SC contract holder in dire situation. which courts are competent to sue UN and could this be considered as a breach of contract.i know that you can’t sue the UN whatsoever.
      thanks and best regards

  • #1912

    Dear Sebastian,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to create this resource. My question is this: how common is it to enter permanent UN service by starting in a contract position? I have been contacted re: a three-month contract/ consultancy for IOM and would love to eventually build a career with either IOM or UNHCHR. However, in taking this short opportunity, I would be turning down a full time/ full benefits/ great salaried position in an unrelated field. How likely is it that I could either extend the contract I hope to be offered into a longer position, or move directly into another (and another, and another, over time?)

    Hope this makes sense. Thanks again for any insight you may have. All the best.

    • #1913

      Hi there,

      that’s a good question – and I think the answer is coloured by personal experiences – so anybody else, please feel free to jump in!

      I would say the following: if you can “afford” it, a short-term contract is a great way to start. It gives you time to figure out if you landet in the right place, you gain knowledge and expertise and you learn what is important in the job. This will help you in future applications a lot.

      However, a 3 months contract often misses important benefits and there is no guarantee that there is any successor contract.

      I personally know people who decided both ways: take the job and decline such a job. In the end it often boils down to your living circumstances. If you have to support a huge family / pay-off your mortgage / other financial obligations a 3 months contract is a bit of a risk. If you are free to do whatever you want, I personally would probably give it a go.

      Either way, let us know what you did? Cheers & good luck!

  • #1914


    Hello Sebastian,
    If you wouldn’t mind I would like to ask you “what does Professional staff, Grade : UG ungraded mean?” Vacancy been asked to work for IOM for 6 months. What does this level equivalent to?

    • #1915

      Hi Manika, that’s an interesting one – ungraded means that it has not been further graded beyond the job being professional staff. Does it say how many years of experience you need? Because that would be a hint as to what kind of job we are talking about…

  • #1934


    Hello..Good day..
    I would like to know how much is the salary for a contract level LICA-5??
    Its a job vacancy for Administrative Assistant in Manila, Philippines. (Link below)

    I’ve tried googling it but i can’t find the exact answer.
    Thank you..

    • #1935

      Hi there,

      the LICA fees are pretty similar to the equivalent G-Level salaries. (In practice some of the benefits of the G-Contracts are paid in cash – so LICAs may seem to get a bit more money but a few less other benefits).

      The G-Level salaries are here:

      Cheers, Sebastian

  • #1936


    Hi, Sebastian..
    Thank you very much..
    That link was very helpful.. Finally, now i know..

    If you wont mind, another question please..Stated under duration is as follows:

    “Duration : 6 months, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and funding availability.”

    Let us say performance is satisfactory, but what if the funding stops due to some inevitable circumstances, does that mean contract will be terminated immediately? Are there any chance of being absorbed with other Agencies under UN?? or is there anyway to continue employment under UN?

    Thank you very much..

    Cheers, Yhani

    • #1937

      If the funding stops, then contracts will not be renewed – that’s quite usual in all UN contracts that I have seen. However, often there is sufficient warning if funding is likely to stop.

      If in doubt, I would ask about these things in the interview. I would ask something like this: “I know you say subject to available funding – do you expect that to continue or is this funding a one-off?”.

      As to continuing in other UN organisations: I don’t think there is a guarantee. However, I do think the chance of getting something else is higher: for one you know the system and have a network and for two UN organisations often appreciate UN experience.

      Good luck!

  • #1938


    I see.
    Yes, right, questions can be raised during interview.. (if i get that far..hahaha..Just kidding)

    Thanks a lot for the insights.

    Keep safe..


  • #1946


    I have two questions regarding contracts.
    In the past i have applied to some P-level vacancies without success. I was thinking about to participate in a competition for a G-level vacancy as an entry door. Do you think this would be a good idea? Would working at a G-level position help so as to reach a P-level position in the future?. The problem is that at present I have a good senior job, and I feel it is risky to take a low level position with a low level salary.

    The second question is that the vacancy I am interested in only indicates GS-6 level (multiple positions), but not state if it is a permanent, temporal of fixed term contract. Is there any way to find out any information about that?

    Thanks in advance for your help!.

    • #1953

      If you have a senior stable job right now, I would be careful to apply to G-Level posts. There is limited room to grow and it is not a given you will easily make the jump to the P-Level. There are stories of people that got “stuck” and there are stories of people who made the jump. But typically, I would advise to go for the right job at the right level, rather than trying to be too strategic about the application. But of course your individual case may be different so I can’t really tell you.

      On the contract types? I would ask during the interview, if you get that far.

    • #1974


      Thank you Sebastian for your very useful comments.

  • #1957


    Dear Mr. Rottmair,

    I constantly encounter the folowwing statement on Job Lists:

    “This vacancy is subject to availability of post. Availability of the post is subject to approval by the General Assembly. Extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and/or the availability of the funds. ”

    Could you give me your interpretation to that?
    Does it mean that the appointment might not be constantly renewed? How often does a GA cancel a post? “How common” is a post to be cancelled due to lack of financial resources?

    Thank you very much indeed!!!

    • #1958

      Essentially, the UN is a bit in a double bind here: on the one hand, they would like to plan long-term have a great workforce and be able to respond effectively to any need. On the other hand, member states want to have ultimate power over funding and UN activities. So the statement reflects that notion.

      Typically, the GA extends mandates of e.g. Peace Keeping missions twice a year and in the majority of cases (I would say) things work out just fine. Just be aware that these posts are not guaranteed for life.

      Good luck!

  • #1970


    Hi Sebastian,

    I’m planning to apply for a position in UNOPS as a LICA-9 in Jakarta, Indonesia. I want to know the title equivalence, whether it’s a GS or NO level. UNOPS salary calculator does not enlist LICA on its grade options. Please enlighten.


    • #1971

      Hi there, yes, LICA9 is at national officer level

    • #1972


      Thanks Sebastian. You’ve been very helpful.

      Do you know which NO grade is LICA-9 equivalent to: NO-A or NO-B?


    • #1975

      As far as I know – so please take this with a grain of salt! The LICA scales follow exactly the ICS levesl. So LICA6 = ICS6 = GS6; LICA7 = G7 = ICS7; LICA8 = ICS8 = NOA; LICA9 = ICS9 = NOB

      But I would check with them in the interview, just to be 100% certain. Good luck!

  • #1973


    Hi Sebastian,

    I have concern as below.

    I left UNDP Global Shared Service Center Kuala Lumpur last June 2017 (after serving 2.5 years). My level before leaving is G6.

    Do you have any idea what is the chances for me to be under UN system again? I am currently qualified accountant by ACCA and also completed master program.

    • #1976

      Hi there,

      I don’t think it is possible to say “your chances are X%”. But I would say that if you are flexible to move where the UN has jobs, emphasize the good experience you got from working with UNDP and keep applying to relevant jobs, I think you should be able to find something.

      Good luck and all my best!

  • #1983


    dear Sebastian
    great website. the question is about SC contracts (service contracts): does UNDP pays the salaries/fees to SC contract holders in a host country? or does the host country pays the salaries of SC holders? Or maybe it differs from one country to another?
    with appreciations

    • #1984

      Hi Andre,

      I only know the model where UNDP issues the contract and also does the payment. I’m not aware of any model where the government pays directly. I only know the other way round: it is possible that people in a ministry working on UN projects are UN service contract holders being issued a contract and being paid from the UN organisation.

      May I ask why you are asking?


    • #1985


      dear Sebastian
      many thanks! yes it is a case of a undp sc contract holder working for the government. the UNDP pays his salary but the government says that they are the ones who pay the UNDP back. i am told that fact is, that the government transfers the salaries in advance to UNDP to pay the salaries of SC holders. also being told that all sc holders salaries of staff working in government in undp projects such as governance, are paid by the respective government, and UNDP only dispense the money. also told that it is the same all over the world. how true is this?

    • #1986


      yes, that could be the case: Essentially any UNDP programme can have either international or national donors. And it is possible, that a national donor/source of fund is used to fund activities in a government agency. As far as I’m aware this can happen all over the world, correct.
      May I ask why this question came up?

  • #1989


    many thanks ! the question came up in a conversation over a report which mentions that the UN by creating the SC contract type was able to save 35 percent of salaries then if it were to hire permanent staff. the counter argument was that the UN all over the world does not fund SC contracts but the host countries are the funding source. i wanted to make sure what is correct. do you know of countries where SC contracts are funded by the UN and NOT by the host country?
    thanks a lot for your valuable reply

    • #1996

      Thanks – yea makes sense. Honestly I don’t know which countries use which contract types where exactly. Overall, I think this is a bigger challenge: many projects / programmes of the UN are very limited in time which makes it very hard to give permanent contracts (as you are promising the individual things that the donors haven’t granted yet).

  • #1995


    Dear Sir, on 5th of December, a friend of mine had received a test reminder which was about a test link that he was supposed to receive on 7th of December this month by 10AM and the test link for the position of SO FS-5 would be active till 10AM on 8th of December but he miscalculated and mistook the time of receiving the test link with 10AM December, 8th instead of 10AM December, 7th. To cut it short he did not receive the link at all and could not send them email in time rather after 10AM 8th of December which actually was the expiry time of the test but after about an hour he sent 3 emails requesting them to reconsider. What are the chances? Would they reconsider in any way possible?



    • #1997

      Oh – that’s a pity. Honestly, I don’t know exactly what will be the next steps from here. Would you be able to tell us what happens next? Thanks!

    • #2001


      Yes Sir sure if something really happens. Sending them requests if they even entertain. Shall update you with the result. I do not think they would reconsider but who knows. Future holds many surprises.

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