Classification of duty stations according to conditions of life and work - hazard pay - mobility and hardship allowance
(1) At its 51st session (August 1979: ACC/1979/R.55, para. 19), CCAQ agreed to collaborate with ICSC in its projected study of criteria for the classification of duty stations according to living conditions in them.
(2) At its 11th session (March 1980), ICSC established a questionnaire designed to elicit information from duty stations as regards the factors of health, climate, education, housing, isolation and local conditions (A/35/30, para. 215).
(3) At its 53rd session (July 1980: ACC/1980/17, para. 31), CCAQ agreed on a methodology for classifying duty stations according to conditions of life and work (ICSC/R.237). At its 12th session (July 1980), ICSC approved, with effect from 1 January 1981, the following entitlements:
(a) Accelerated home leave cycles of 18 or 12 months for staff serving in difficult or very difficult duty stations.
(b) Additional education grant travel, in the form of travel of eligible dependent children between the duty station and the place of schooling in the year in which the parent was not entitled to home leave.
In connection with the introduction of accelerated home leave cycles, the Commission decided to abolish the existing rest and recuperation leave entitlement (see section 3.5). (For details, see ICSC's sixth annual report: A/35/30, paras. 223-228).
(4) At its 54th session (March 1981), CCAQ proposed procedures for the review of the entitlements (ACC/1986/7, para. 69), as well as for calculating eligibility for them (ibid., para. 70 and Annex III). At its 13th session (March 1981), ICSC approved:
(a) The criteria and system of marking for the scheme.
(b) Payment with retroactive effect from 1 January 1981 of a financialincentive of $2,400/year for staff assigned to a qualifying duty station outside the home country with an accompanying dependent spouse and $1,200/year for staff without, to be paid in the form of an increased rate of assignment allowance (A/36/30, para. 154).
(5) At its 55th session (July 1981: ACC/1981/31, paras. 87-92), CCAQ agreed on further details of application of the new entitlements.
(6) At its 14th session (July 1981), ICSC reviewed certain aspects of the scheme and decided that:
(a) Eligibility for the financial incentive in the amount of $2,400/year should be extended to staff accompanied by a dependent child.
(b) The ICSC Chairman should be delegated authority immediately to designate duty stations, in which the Secretary-General had ordered the evacuation of dependants, as qualifying for 12-month home leave, and to reinstate the original classification for the duty station when the evacuation order was withdrawn.
(c) The Chairman should be delegated authority to promulgate classification entitlements for newly-established duty stations (A/36/30, para. 161).
(7) At its 19th session (March 1984), ICSC decided, on the basis of a report by the review group, which had reviewed the operation of the scheme in December 1983, to establish two levels of financial incentive, at the following annual rates:
3,600 (effective 1 July 1984)
4,800 (effective 1 January 1985)
ICSC further agreed to review the levels of the financial incentives every 3 years. It also approved certain changes recommended by the working group in respect of the questionnaire and the marking scheme, and the consequent derivation of entitlements. In the context of these improvements, ICSC also recommended that the greatest amount of flexibility should be exercised with respect to the use of the 18-month home leave entitlement; that consideration be given to offering staff members the option of exercising a 12-month leave and a 24-month leave when they were posted for 3 years or more in duty stations where they qualified for 18-month home leave, or to the introduction of comparable flexible home leave arrangements, in terms of timing. ICSC recalled that the additional travel entitlement might be used for destinations other than the place of home leave, the cost limitations being, however, those of that place (ICSC/19/R.22, paras. 182-198).
(8) At the same session, ICSC approved arrangements whereby, in duty stations where very hazardous conditions prevailed, and where the evacuation of families and non-essential staff had been decided, the Chairman of ICSC might take exceptional measures, including the temporary reclassification of a duty station so that staff required to remain could receive up to the highest level of the financial incentive. Staff not eligible for benefits under the classification scheme, and who were required to remain in the duty station, could be granted a bonus of up to 10 percent of the staff member's basic remuneration (ibid., para. 199).
(9) At its 61st session (July 1984: ACC/1984/16, para. 99), the Committee agreed in principle that the financial incentive could, on request, be paid to eligible staff on a lump sum basis.
(10) At its 63rd session (July 1985), CCAQ proposed to ICSC exceptional financial arrangements for staff serving in the Lebanon (ACC/1985/14, paras. 99-101). The Commission approved these arrangements at its 22nd session (A/40/30, para. 200). (See also section 14.5, para. 19).
(11) At its 65th session (July 1986: ACC/1986/10, paras. 74-75), CCAQ agreed to recommend to ICSC that a number of proposals by FICSA for improvements in the hardship scheme should be referred to the tripartite working group for review. At its 24th session (July 1986), ICSC agreed to review the recommendations of the working group at its 25th session (Spring 1987).
(12) At its 25th session (A/42/30, paras. 229-230), ICSC approved the following measures on the basis of the report of the tripartite working group:
(a) Establishment of the following new financial incentive levels, with effect from 1 July 1987:
(b) The levels of the financial incentive should be reviewed whenever there was a change in net salary in New York.
(c) Changes to the hardship questionnaire and to the thresholds for determining entitlements.
(d) Accelerated home leave entitlements for staff experiencing temporary housing shortages (see also 14.4 (29)).
(13) In approving these changes, ICSC decided to retain existing accelerated home leave entitlements. It agreed, however, that a matter raised by CCAQ (i.e. removal of existing restrictions on additional education grant travel in 12-month home leave cycle duty stations) should be reviewed in two years' time on the basis of experience with the operation of the scheme.
(14) Also at its 25th session, ICSC approved a proposal developed by CCAQ at its 66th session (see ACC/1987/4, paras. 63-65) for an increase in the exceptional financial incentive for Beirut, effective 1 April 1987. This revised rate of the financial incentive would be payable in Beirut only; staff serving at other locations in the Lebanon would continue to receive the financial incentive at the current rates (see para. (10) above). The situation should be reviewed by the ICSC Chairman every six months, or sooner if appropriate (A/42/30, para. 224).
(15) At its 69th session (July 1988: ACC/1988/12, para. 67) CCAQ agreed to inform ICSC that the organizations were not able to provide the information on additional reimbursement of boarding expenses requested by the General Assembly in resolution 42/221 (see also A/43/30, para. 88). It concurred in a conclusion of the tripartite hardship working group that the guidelines for determining which duty stations were eligible for additional reimbursement of boarding costs under resolution 42/221 should be the same as those used to determine entitlement to additional education grant travel (ibid., paras. 71-74, see also ACC/1988/4, para. 116). ICSC at its 28th session took note of the guidelines and decided to report them to the Assembly, as it had requested (A/43/30, para. 87). The Commission also approved revisions to the scoring scheme for reviewing entitlements at field duty stations, as proposed by the tripartite working group (A/43/30, paras. 84, 85; ACC/1988/4, paras. 113, 114).
(16) Following discussions at both its 69th and 70th sessions (July 1988 and March 1989: ACC/1988/12, paras. 63-66; ACC/1989/6, paras. 32-42), CCAQ agreed to communicate to the Chairman of ICSC the results of a CCAQ review of the actual cost to organizations of entitlements under the hardship scheme. These suggested that such costs were roughly comparable to those which had been estimated by the Commission and communicated to the General Assembly.
(17) In the light of the non-promulgation by the Chairman of ICSC of four of the recommendations for hardship classification recommended by the tripartite working group in November 1988, CCAQ expressed concern that the credibility of the hardship scheme might be jeopardized by making its provisions subject to a financial ceiling. Following representations by the Committee, ICSC concluded that the matter should be resolved through consultations between its Chairman and that of the working group (ACC/1989/2, para. 18; ACC/1989/6, paras. 43-48).
(18) At its 70th session (March 1989: ACC/1989/6, paras. 49-51) CCAQ referred to the UN Security Co-ordinator proposed entitlements under the hardship scheme arising from the hazardous situations in Burma and Teheran.
(19) On the basis of its comprehensive review in 1989 of the conditions of service of staff in the Professional and higher categories (see section 2.2), ICSC recommended, with broad CCAQ support (ACC/1989/14, paras. 7-107), a new mobility and hardship package (summarized in paras. 54-65 of its report: A/44/30, vol. II; background material is provided in paras. 270-333). The existing financial incentive, assignment allowance for field staff, field installation grant (DSA and lump-sum elements), 18-month home leave entitlement and pre-departure allowance would cease as such to exist; the corresponding entitlements would henceforth be subsumed into just two entitlements: a mobility and hardship allowance and a field assignment grant. The existing 12-month home leave entitlement for designated duty stations would continue, but the previous entitlement to time off for medical check-ups would be abolished. With one minor amendment, the package was accepted by the General Assembly and became effective on 1 July 1990 (resolution 44/198). The mobility and hardship allowance is payable under certain conditions to staff at headquarters' locations - as it was primarily designed to enhance service in the field, the main details of the allowance have been included here.
(20) At its 72nd session (February-March 1990: ACC/1990/4, paras. 36-60 and 116, 117) CCAQ agreed to modalities for implementing the mobility and hardship package referred to above. Its secretariat also circulated suggested revised texts of staff regulations and rules relevant to the package (ACC/1990/4, annex III, part B; see also ACC/1991/5, paras. 116, 117). At the same session the Committee agreed that pending a review by ICSC of a separate remuneration system for Professional staff hired for limited periods of time, the package should apply to them. It should also apply to Junior Professional Officers (JPOs)/Associate Professional Officers (APOs)/Associate Experts. Expressing the view that the DSA portion of the assignment grant should normally be payable in local currency and the lump sum in convertible currency, the Committee nevertheless agreed to invite CCAQ(FB) to reconsider existing currency-of-payment arrangements as a whole, in consultation with CCAQ(PER) (see also section 18.1). Additionally, it decided on transitional measures to compensate staff whose entitlements under the new package were lower than under previous counterpart entitlements (for text, see ACC/1990/4/Add.1, part D). The Committee referred to the Medical Directors three proposals to facilitate proper medical attention at duty stations where staff would no longer qualify for time-off for medical check-ups (ACC/1990/4, para. 57). Finally, it agreed that existing arrangements for reimbursing medical examinations for the family members of staff assigned to designated duty stations should remain in place, as should, for the time being, the rental subsidy arrangements currently in effect; the practice of providing credit towards accelerated home leave for staff with temporary housing problems should cease as from 1 July 1990 (ibid., para. 60).
(21) Also at its 72nd session (ibid., paras. 149-154) CCAQ endorsed recommendations by the tripartite hardship working group for a number of measures, including an additional meeting every year (if necessary) to enable it to respond flexibly to volatile situations.
(22) In 1990 ICSC decided that the mobility and hardship matrix approved for the Professional and higher categories, as well as the assignment grant, would be applied to the Field Service (see section 10.1).
(23) At its 73rd session (July 1990) CCAQ recommended to ICSC the application to internationally-recruited General Service staff of all elements of the mobility and hardship matrix already approved for staff in the Professional and higher categories, with effect from 1 July 1990 (ACC/1990/10, paras. 52-56; see also A/1990/4, paras. 40-42). The Commission agreed (A/45/30, paras. 224-235), but with certain provisos different from those which had been proposed by CCAQ (ibid., para. 235 (b)). The Commission also agreed with CCAQ that the assignment grant should be applied to this category of staff from 1 July 1990 (ibid., para. 235 (c)). The modalities for implementing the new arrangements were issued as annex I of ACC/1990/PER/CM/26 of 14 December 1990.
(24) In connection with its consideration of the above issues, CCAQ decided that as a matter of priority its secretariat should devise arrangements for ensuring the correct relationship between the mobility and hardship allowance and the non-resident's allowance. The Committee would also undertake an early review of the latter as a whole (ACC/1990/10, para. 55).
(25) At its following (74th) session (March 1991: ACC/1991/5, paras. 85-91) CCAQ agreed to present to ICSC proposals for the temporary reclassification of duty stations, for the purpose of the mobility and hardship allowance, in situations which fell short of the evacuation or temporary relocation of staff.
(26) Also at its 74th session, CCAQ recommended a number of administrative actions to reduce the possible health impact on staff of continuous, severe air pollution at certain duty stations. The specific duty stations involved would be determined later when more information was available. The Committee asked the Medical Directors to take up this issue at their next meeting (ACC/1991/5, paras. 107-114).
(27) The annual amounts of the mobility and hardship allowance for Professional and higher-level staff were revised effective 1 March 1991 and 1 March 1992 to take into account the new base/floor salary scale that took effect from those dates. The new amounts were issued as ACC/1991/PER/CM/4 (20 February 1991) and ACC/1992/PER/CM/2 (10 February 1992).
(28) At its 77th session (July 1992: ACC/1992/23, paras. 70-74) CCAQ considered an evaluation by the ICSC secretariat of the functioning of the mobility and hardship schemes and the assignment allowance, in accordance with the request of the General Assembly (resolution 44/198). It included a cost-benefit analysis, showing the cost to be within the cost structure foreseen at its introduction. CCAQ supported the conclusions and recommendations in the report and re-emphasized the importance of maintaining the scheme's linkage with the base/floor salary scale. The Committee felt that it would be inappropriate to make any changes in the scheme in view of the short time it had been in operation. ICSC decided to take note of the scheme and to review it again in 1995 (A/47/30, para. 282-283).
(29) At the same session the Committee, at the request of CCAQ(FB), discussed whether the organizations should facilitate access by their staff to coverage, under the inter-organization insurance scheme for staff required to work at hazardous duty stations, for the dependants of staff at those duty stations and agreed there would be no objection to organizations doing so at duty stations not declared to be "non-family" duty stations (ACC/1992/23, paras. 129-130).
(30) At its 81st session (June 1994: ACC/1994/14, paras. 168-169) CCAQ expressed appreciation for the way in which ICSC had responded to the needs of staff in particularly hazardous conditions and concurred with proposals that, while evacuation would normally be the precondition for hazard pay, in exceptional cases this might not be required and that the period for hazard pay could be extended for up to three months at a time. ICSC reaffirmed its earlier decision regarding hazard pay and restated the arrangements for its grant, which would go into effect when hazard pay was approved at a new location or renewed at an existing location (A/49/30, paras. 288-291).
(31) At its 84th session (April 1996: CCAQ(PER)/84/Rev.1, annex IV) CCAQ considered the mobility and hardship allowance one of the most successful innovations in the remuneration package of the common system in recent years. The allowance was not only cost-effective but had resulted in productivity gains, reduced administrative overhead and other streamlined procedures. CCAQ recommended the introduction of an additional hardship level in the matrix between levels A and B to follow more precisely that of the comparator and to smooth and equalize the differences between each hardship level and obviate inconsistencies that arose. ICSC decided to leave the matrix unchanged (A/51/30, para 288).
(32) Also at the 84th session CCAQ proposed that the mobility element at headquarters should be limited to staff of organizations with a significant field structure and the practice of moving staff between and among their headquarters and field duty stations but that the restriction, that payment of the allowance at H duty stations should be limited to staff who had served previously in two field duty stations, should be eliminated. CCAQ suggested the level of the allowance at these duty stations should either remain the same or an allowance for mobility as of the third assignment of, for example, two per cent should be introduced. There should be no change for other duty stations. The non-removal element should remain until the study of entitlement to removal and shipment of personal effects was complete. CCAQ also supported the continued adjustment of the allowance at the same time as the base/floor was adjusted. Hazard pay should not be so linked but reviewed regularly every two years (CCAQ(PER)/84/CRP.1/Rev.1, annex IV). ICSC decided to maintain all elements of the scheme except that it introduced limits on the payment of the non-removal element as of 1 January 1997 and decided to delink hazard pay from the base/floor salary for staff in the Professional and higher categories and to review the amounts every two years (A/51/30, paras. 304-305).
(33) At its 88th session (April 1998: ACC/1998/5, paras. 31-32) CCAQ drew the attention of ICSC to the increasingly difficult and dangerous circumstances under which agencies and their staff were required to work and the increasing trend whereby central authorities were unable to guarantee the safety of agency staff. CCAQ recommended to ICSC that hazard pay for international staff be increased to $1,000 per month and be reviewed again in two years time. ICSC agreed to the increase with effect from 1 June 1998 but set the next review for 2002 (A/53/30, para. 236). The General Assembly by resolution 53/209 II C took note of ICSC's decisions.
(34) At its April 2002 meeting (CEB/2002/HLCM/8, para. 11) the HR Network endorsed proposals for increasing the amounts of hazard pay. It noted that a review of the criteria for the payment of hazard pay had been requested by the United Nations but considered that it was not appropriate to change the criteria at the present time because the current criteria met the needs of the majority of organizations. It also noted that UNHCR would be submitting proposals to the Inter-Agency Network on Security Management in regard to measures applicable to national staff in situations where international staff had been evacuated from a location/country. The proposals would subsequently be considered by the HR Network during its summer session with a view to seeking the endorsement of HLCM for an amendment to the Field Security Handbook. The proposals concerned the contractual status of national staff in such cases and the payment of Special Post Allowances to national staff when international staff were on security evacuation status. The Commission decided to reiterate its commitment to the principle of hazard pay and to reconfirm that the present criteria for the granting of hazard pay should remain unchanged. It also decided to maintain the level of hazard pay for international staff, but it requested its secretariat to solicit the views of organizations with regard to the adjustment of the levels of hazard pay for locally recruited staff and to submit recommendations to its 55th session (ICSC/54/R.12, para. 111).
(35) At its July 2002 meeting (CEB/2002/HLCM/14, para. 9) the HR Network recalled that at the Commission's 54th session the organizations had supported in principle an increase of hazard pay to locally-recruited staff but needed some time to consult amongst themselves on the parameters of the increase. It agreed that the level of hazard pay of locally-recruited staff should be adjusted by a factor of 50 per cent (i.e. from 20 to 30 per cent of the mid point of the local salary scale) and continued to support the view that the level of hazard pay of internationally recruited staff should be updated. It reiterated the position that the current criteria for the granting of hazard pay should remain unchanged and that the linkage between hazard pay and local salary scales was the only equitable means of ensuring a uniform relativity between base salary and hazard pay. The Commission confirmed its decisions at its 54th session and in addition decided that the level of hazard pay granted to locally-recruited staff should be increased to 30 per cent of the mid-point of local base salary scales with effect from 1 January 2003. After considering the situation with regard to UNRWA area staff and the legal opinions of the UN Legal Counsel and the General Counsel of UNRWA, ICSC concluded that the Commissioner-General of UNRWA had full authority to deal with this matter by applying the relevant procedures in place for area staff (A/57/30, para. 123).
(36) By resolution 57/285 I D, the General Assembly requested ICSC to reconsider its decision on hazard pay. By the same resolution 57/285 II A, para. 7, the Assembly requested the Commission to review, in the context of the review of the pay and benefits system, the existing linkage between the base/floor salary scale and the mobility and hardship allowance. In that context the Commission decided (A/58/30, paras. 126) to review the mobility and hardship scheme in order to assess its effectiveness in meeting the organizations' needs and to make alternative proposals to enhance mobility.
(37) At its July 2003 meeting (CEB/2003/HLCM/20, para. 7) the HR Network recalled that the mobility and hardship scheme had been introduced as part of the 1989/1990 Comprehensive Review of the Conditions of Service of the Staff of the Professional and Higher Categories. That remained a key consideration to the extent that the creation of the allowance and its linkage to the base/floor salary scale were part of a carefully crafted package which, through the efforts of the Commission and others, had gained recognition and approval of the General Assembly. To look only at just one piece of that package, as currently proposed, was not valid. A holistic approach was necessary as had been emphasized in the Framework for HR Management, which the Commission had adopted in 2000. The Network reiterated the importance that organizations, especially those which were field-based, attached to the allowance in helping to meet their operational needs. It also recalled HLCM's June 2003 statement on inter-agency mobility (see section 9.7, para. (23)) and that at ICSC's 56th session, the Commission had emphasized the need (a) to update the comparison of UN versus USA allowances – at least as far as hardship was concerned – and (b) to undertake "client" surveys of the impact of the mobility and hardship scheme on the work of the organizations, as well as in respect of recruitment and mobility of the staff of the organizations.
(38) In this connection, the Network noted that the first of these analyses, namely the relationship of the UN and USA allowances and the issues surrounding the creation of the mobility and hardship scheme and its regular review had been provided (ICSC/57/R.5). The client surveys were still to be carried out and were crucial to any discussion of any change to the matrix or to any of its constituent elements. It was clear to organizations that the matrix provided a big boost to mobility and that any change in that element could have a serious negative impact on morale and mobility itself. Changes to the matrix would also have implications for administrative overhead in terms of re-tooling organizations' IT systems and adding staff time to administer less transparent arrangements.
(39) The HR Network further recalled that in the context of the analysis between the UN and USA allowances, the 1989 comparisons had not required a total compensation approach (in other words, a comparison that would take housing and other elements into account) because the United States package was so significantly ahead of the potential UN package. As the USA did not provide a mobility incentive like the UN incentive, the comparison in Annex III of ICSC/57/R.5 did not compare like with like. At the same time it was evident from Tables 2 and 3 of the document that, strictly in terms of hardship, the number of duty stations at the highest levels were very different indeed; the USA had 30 per cent of all duty stations at its highest hardship level, the UN had only 4 per cent and noted that the United States Congress was currently considering the addition of more hardship categories at 30 and 35 per cent rates, which would clearly increase the overall costs of the US scheme. The five mobility levels on the UN side were decided upon as a result of the 1988-1989 survey which had shown that – for the field based organizations – 5 moves were the average at that time. Many organizations now reported that the number of staff moves far exceeded that number.
(40) While the HR Network could not support the final conclusion to delink the allowance from the base/floor salary scale, it did agree with a number of assertions, namely: (a) the statement that the ICSC secretariat was "of the view that the reasons advanced for the linkage with the base/floor salary scale preserve their validity even today;" (b) its statement that "one of the problems with the former allowances, which the mobility and hardship scheme replaces, was the irregular adjustment periods. These allowances experienced long periods of neglect followed by substantial increases." This was one of the main reasons for linking the UN allowance to the base/floor as the comparator still did. The procedure was modeled on that of the comparator; and (c) the statement that the conclusion of the 1996 review of the scheme was that "there was therefore no technical reason at that time to depart from the current adjustment procedure, which was simple, logical and transparent." It remained so and the Network therefore questioned why a change to the adjustment procedures should be contemplated.
(41) The HR Network recalled the agreement which had been reached at the 56th session of ICSC to revert to the procedure used from 1989 to 1994 and adjust the UN base/floor by reference to the US nationwide scale which excluded locality pay. This would mean a freeze in the current base/floor scale for at least one year and more likely two to bring it back to parity with the US. It also meant that the mobility/hardship matrix would be frozen for the same period of time. Although the General Assembly had referred to the question of the linkage of the mobility and hardship allowance to the base/floor salary scale on a number of occasions, the most recent reference in resolution 57/285 (see para. (36) above) requested that this issue be reviewed in the context of the review of the pay and benefits system. The part of the review targeting allowances – starting with education grant – was planned for 2004. Preparation for the review of the mobility and hardship allowance should ensure that the analyses were robust. The review should also move towards a more total compensation approach as well as provide details of the extent to which staff were mobile or not on the USA side – and crucially include the client surveys requested by organizations.
(42) The Commission requested its secretariat to proceed with a review of the current mobility and hardship allowance and the presentation of alternative approaches to compensation for mobility and hardship in the context of the ongoing review of pay and benefits and to present its findings to the Commission at its fifty-ninth session (A/58/30, para. 211). It also decided (ibid., para.212) to report to the Assembly that its recommendation concerning the procedure with regard to the base/floor salary scale would result in payments under the mobility and hardship scheme being maintained at their current levels for the time being. In the meantime, the Commission would continue to keep the matter under close review and would present a final report to the Assembly at its 59th session with regard to compensating staff at hardship locations and encouraging mobility. At that time it would also report on the linkage between the mobility and hardship allowance and the base/floor salary scale.
(43) Also at its July 2003 meeting (CEB/2003/HLCM/20, para. 12) the HR Network agreed to urge ICSC to maintain the decision it had taken in 2002 to increase the level of hazard pay for locally recruited staff and to recall that at both the 55th and 56th sessions it had also supported the updating of the level of hazard pay for internationally recruited staff. This was even more important since the UN System workforce was increasingly placed in situations of serious danger. The ICSC understood resolution 57/285 I D (see para. (36) above) as a request to the Commission to reconsider only its decision on increasing the level of hazard pay given to locally recruited staff. The Commission decided by a majority to uphold its previous decision that the level of hazard pay granted to locally recruited staff should be increased to 30 per cent of the midpoint of the local base salary scales and that this decision would be implemented with effect from 1 January 2004 (A/58/30, para. 142). The General Assembly in its resolution 58/251 I D recalled that hazard pay was a payment of a symbolic nature and requested the ICSC to reconsider and decide on a smaller increase in the level of hazard pay for local staff, taking into account the views expressed by Member States, and to report to the Assembly at its 59th session.
(44) At the same session (CEB/2003/HLCM/20, para. 33) the HR Network took note of the outcome of the one day ICSC Mobility and Hardship Working Group and agreed that organizations should provide their comments on the questionnaire speedily in view of the fact that the next round would begin in August. It considered that UNSECOORD and the Medical Directors should play a greater role in the determination of hardship ratings and reiterated the importance it attached to consultation between the ICSC and CEB secretariats to ensure the effectiveness of inter-agency working groups.
(45) At its March 2004 meeting (CEB/2004/HLCM/14, para. 8) the HR Network reiterated its concern that the lack of a comprehensive and holistic review that took account of a strategic view of organization's business needs would risk eroding an effective incentive that facilitated movement, precisely at a time when it was most needed. The mobility and hardship allowance was increasingly relevant in light of changing demographics, the deteriorating security and public health situations in many countries and the fact that more organizations required mobility. Reform should, therefore, be realigned with this goal and not perceived simply as a cost containment exercise. Rotation and mobility were core behaviours of UN staff and should be rewarded as part of the basic pay package. The CEB had adopted a policy statement on mobility that demonstrated the commitment of Executive Heads to enhancing the mobility of staff in order to better meet the goals of the UN System. Allowances should be viewed as tools that enabled staff to achieve their objectives. The mobility and hardship allowance was an important incentive at a time when staff were increasingly expected to uproot their lives and move their families repeatedly to a new country. Social policy had to be considered as well as remuneration policy. Consideration had also to be given to social benefits and other issues that impacted staff mobility, such as spouse employment (in particular, issues of work permit restrictions), children's education, security, availability of medical facilities. The UN system's operational environment had changed dramatically since the introduction of these allowances. Staff were required to serve in more dangerous countries and often in locales far from capital cities. Public health issues were becoming far more of a factor (e.g. the two recent outbreaks of Avian Influenza and SARS). The world and the demographics of the workforce had changed and management required financial tools as incentives to foster desired behaviours, particularly with regard to mobility.
(46) The Network noted that the document prepared by the ICSC secretariat on the Mobility and Hardship Allowance (ICSC/58/R.3/Add.2) did not provide information on the comparator's policies and practices, which were often more generous, such as hardship ratings and the advantages which years of service at certain locations brought. More often than not the comparator did not require its staff to serve in those locations where UN staff were expected to operate. Contrary to the comparator, staff of the UN system were in a state of permanent expatriation and the mobility and hardship allowance, in its current form, reflected this fact, including its linkage to base pay. The Network (a) agreed to express to ICSC that, at a time when organizations required staff to be more mobile and work in situations of greater instability, it was not acceptable to see an erosion in those incentives - they should be enhanced rather than reduced; (b) confirmed that the automatic adjustment mechanism should remain in place - it had been instituted specifically in order to overcome the difficulties that had been experienced with an erratic, irregular adjustment procedure; (c) noted that the issue of the automatic adjustment mechanism might have been made contentious due to budgetary policies that required the financial implications of adjustments to be reported for those duty stations where increases in the base floor salary scale could not be incorporated into post adjustment - yet, the policy not to operate a negative post adjustment system was in line with that of the comparator and was intrinsically linked to the application of the Noblemaire Principle. ICSC decided to request its secretariat to develop further two approaches that would delink the mobility and hardship scheme from the annual adjustment procedure applied to the base/floor salary scale, namely: (i) the establishment of a flat amount for each level of hardship identified in the scheme i.e. from B to E; and (ii) the establishment of a percentage amount related to each staff member's base/floor salary. ICSC decided that in either case a regular review cycle would be appropriate to adjust the amount of the payment and requested that its secretariat provide the cost implications of each of the proposed approaches. ICSC further decided on five specific considerations that its secretariat should take into account in developing its proposals on the review of the scheme for its next session (ICSC/58/R.12, para. 61).
(47) At the same session (CEB/2004/HLCM/14, para. 9) the HR Network noted with appreciation a progress report from ORC on the results of the initial analysis of the replies from the survey on the Staff Attitude Survey on the Mobility and Hardship Allowance and requested the secretariat to work with ORC to undertake analyses by organization, by level of hardship of the duty station and by frequency of assignment. It also noted that other areas respondents identified as affecting decisions to accept a move, in addition to the compensation package, were career opportunities (87%), security related issues (62%), assignment location issues (50%), children's education (47%), dual career related issues (33%), ageing parents (33%) and other family issues (60%).
(48) At the same session (ibid., para. 11) the Network agreed, with regard to the issue of the classification of duty stations in the ten countries due to join the European Union on 1 May 2004 for the mobility and hardship scheme and the post-adjustment system, to recommend to the ICSC that the existing ICSC criteria be followed and that, in monitoring the countries in question, attention should be paid to reviewing those classification variables that affected the post adjustment system and taking action as necessary and that the trigger for any such individual country review should be the entry of that particular country into the single European currency. ICSC decided that: (a) for post adjustment purposes, the 10 countries joining the European Union on 1 May 2004 (Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) should be considered as Group I duty stations, starting with the implementation of new place to place surveys; (b) new place to place surveys should be scheduled and conducted in 2004 for all 10 "enlargement" countries. The cost of living data should be processed using the methodology for Group I duty stations and implemented not later than May 2005; (c) organizations should start paying salaries for staff in the Professional and higher categories in local currency, starting with the implementation of new place to place surveys for respective duty stations; (d) a modification of the rental subsidy scheme corresponding to Group I duty stations should be introduced at the time of the implementation of new place to place surveys; and (e) the change from "A" to "H" in the classification of these duty stations under the mobility and hardship scheme should be applied with effect from 1 January 2005 (A/59/30, para. 78).
(49) At the same meeting (CEB/2004/HLCM/14, para. 19) the HR Network supported the progress made on hazard pay for locally recruited staff and the tenacity with which the ICSC had pursued the issue and looked forward to continuing to work in partnership with ICSC towards a successful conclusion. The Commission decided that the level of hazard pay granted to locally recruited staff should be increased to 25 per cent of the midpoint of the local salary scale with effect from 1 June 2004 (A/59/30, para. 147). The General Assembly took note of the decision (resolution 59/268 I D)
(50) At its July 2004 meeting (CEB/2004/HLCM/25, para. 2) the HR Network reiterated its position as stated in para. (45) above. Any change to the system should be premised on a comprehensive review of the Noblemaire principle and should not result in the erosion of allowances paid to staff. The Network expressed appreciation for the information provided by the ICSC secretariat on conditions of non diplomatic expatriate staff in the comparator civil service, the European Union, the World Bank and the Canadian and German civil services and requested organizations to examine carefully their personnel statistics sent to the CEB secretariat as errors would lead ultimately to poor recommendations being made to the Commission on the need for, and levels of, common system benefits and entitlements.
(51) With regard to the proposals of the ICSC secretariat, the Network agreed to a number of specific positions. The Network also agreed that the Commission should be encouraged to look at the overall terms and conditions offered by the comparator to its staff at difficult duty stations, including the provision of fully furnished housing (including utilities), dedicated security services and other benefits which motivate staff to go to such duty stations, rather than a one off financial incentive scheme. The review needed to be seen in the context of the bigger picture and its social, not just financial, implications needed to be considered. Any changes to the allowance should only involve enhancements, such as the extension of the number of assignments beyond 5.
(52) ICSC decided to: (a) separate the mobility element from the hardship element; (b) delink both the mobility and hardship allowances from the base/floor salary scale; (c) defer the implementation of the decisions contained in (a) and (b) above until a new system had been put into place; and (d) establish a working group, comprising members of the Commission, its secretariat, organizations and staff, to develop various options for compensating staff for service in hardship duty stations and encouraging mobility, to estimate the cost of those options, and to submit its recommendations to the Commission at its 60th (spring 2005) session (A/59/30, para. 137). The General Assembly took note of the decision (resolution 59/268 I A).
(53) At its October 2004 meeting (CEB/2004/HLCM/26, paras. 12-15) the Network established a Working Group on Entitlements for Non Family Duty Stations, the purpose of which was to review currently existing entitlements with a view to their streamlining and harmonization. It was noted that some of the existing entitlements were in fact already very similar if not identical and that harmonization would be more a matter of a change in nomenclature than a change of policy. On the other hand, it was pointed out that there remained some very significant differences in policy which would need to be addressed. It was also recognized that certain entitlements, such as the SOLA, were not considered negotiable, given their importance for the business model of some organizations. The Network agreed that the Working Group would be chaired by UNCTAD and membership of the Working Group would be open to all interested organizations.
(54) In response to the General Assembly’s deferral of a decision on agenda item 131 in 2005, the HR Network, at its meeting of March 2006 (CEB/2006/HLCM/12, para.14), emphasised to the ICSC the importance of there being sufficient preparation time for the implementation of the new Mobility and Hardship allowance. Should it be approved by the General Assembly, organisations would need six months to prepare for the implementation. It was important that mobility payments be maintained for staff occupying ‘H’ and ‘A’ stations. There was also a need to broaden the criteria for eligibility for Hazard Pay to include also non-medical personnel. The Commission noted the decisions that had been taken by the General Assembly.
(55) At its meeting of July 2006 (CEB/2006/HLCM/17), following a presentation from the UNDP, the HR Network agreed: to the lump summing approach to the Extended Monthly Evacuation Allowance (EMEA); to look at the selection criteria for counties where the EMEA would apply, the amounts and the calculation methods; to review the evacuation allowance itself.
(56) At a videoconference of the HR Network in October 2006 (CEB/2006/HLCM/35, para.4), it was announced that a working group on the conditions of service at non family duty stations had been established by the ICSC; it would work in accordance with the terms of reference established at the ICSC’s 63rd session. Its report would be considered at ICSC’s session in March 2007. It was expect that the Working Group would meet the week beginning 13 November 2006 and during January 2007. The HR Network decided the following organisations should participate in the Working Group: UN (OHRM and DPKO), UNICEF, UNDP, UNHCR, WHO and WFP.
(57) At the thirteenth session of the HR Network (CEB/2007/HR/8, paras. 53-55), the ICSC decided to recommend that all common system organizations harmonize the designation of duty stations in accordance with the security phase decided by the Department of Safety and Security and the approach as applied by the Inter-agency Committee on Field Duty Stations of the HR Network of the CEB.
(58) At the thirteenth session of the HR Network (CEB/2007/HR/8, para. 58), the Commission decided that: (a) For post adjustment purposes, the two countries which joined the European Union on 1 January 2007 (Bulgaria and Romania) should be considered Group I duty stations, starting with the implementation of new place-to-place surveys; (b) New place-to-place surveys should be scheduled and conducted in 2007 for both “enlargement” countries. The cost-of-living data should be processed using the methodology for Group I duty stations and implemented not later than May 2008; (c) Organizations should start paying salaries for staff in the Professional and higher categories in local currency, starting with the implementation of new place-to-place surveys for respective duty stations; (d) A modification of the rental subsidy scheme corresponding to Group I duty stations should be introduced at the time of the implementation of new place-to-place surveys; (e) The change from “A” to “H” in the classification of those duty stations under the mobility and hardship scheme should be applied with effect from 1 January 2008.
(59) At its 15h session in Rome (CEB/2008/HLCM/HR/17, paras. 31-34), the HR Network endorsed the recommendations of the Working Group on Mobility and Hardship that agreed to an overall 5 percent increase in the amounts of the scheme as of 1 January 2008. On the issue of implementation of adjustments, the Working Group recommended that the provisions contained in Annex II of the ICSC Annual Report (paragraphs A.9, B.6, and C.7) be revised to permit the personal status of a staff member as well as changes to the hardship classification levels of duty stations to continue to be reflected in the mobility, hardship, and non-removal amounts.
(60) At the HR Network’s sixteenth session (CEB/2008/HLCM/HR/35, paras. 9-10), the Commission decided: (a) To recommend that a 5 per cent increase be granted for the hardship allowance, the mobility allowance, and the non-removal allowance, respectively, for implementation on 1 January 2009; (b) To request its secretariat to suggest options for alternative adjustment factors or weightings for establishing the level of future amounts, for consideration in time before the planned 2010 methodological review; (c) To recommend that, with effect from 1 January 2009 the amounts of the mobility, hardship, and non-removal elements continue to be adjusted according to changes in the personal status of the staff member or in the hardship classification of the duty station, as they were under the previous scheme, in the following circumstances only:
(i) when the staff member changes duty station; (ii) when the hardship classification of a staff member’s current duty station changes; (iii) when a staff member has a change in dependency status from single to dependency, or from dependency to single; (iv) when a staff member is promoted from P-3 or equivalent to P-4 or equivalent, and from P-5 or equivalent to D-1 or equivalent; (v) during periods of special leave or separation. (d) To include among factors for consideration during the 2010 review of the scheme: (i) An overall evaluation of the scheme and its operation to determine whether it continues to achieve its purpose and intent; (ii) An examination of the effectiveness and impact of the revised scheme on mobility; (iii) The rationale for payment of a mobility allowance in category H and A duty stations; (iv) A review of the relativities between the amounts of the grade-level groupings in order to ensure that the mobility of more senior staff, in particular, is adequately incentivized; (v) An examination of the need for a revision of the five-year ceiling on the payment of the hardship and the non-removal elements;
A re-examination of the three adjustment factors, and any weighting of them or their replacements.
(61) At the same session of the HR Network (CEB/2008/HLCM/HR/35, paras. 42-43), the Commission decided that a 5 per cent increase should be granted for the hazard pay for internationally-recruited staff and as a result, to establish the level of hazard pay for internationally-recruited staff at US$ 1,365 per month as of 1 January 2009 and to request a report from CEB/HR Network on the results of its review on the harmonization of hazard pay. UNDP presented an update on its proposal for the Resident Coordinator Band (CEB/2008/HLCM/HR/35, paras. 46-47 and 96-98). The details of the scheme on the proposed approach are provided below:
A new salary band structure will be created by combining the current D1 and D2 salary scales. This new Band will be called the “Resident Coordinator Band” (RC-Band).
An Incentive and Rewards scheme will be created with the following overall features:
• With a view to increase the recruitment of the right talent mix for Resident Coordinator posts, in order to attract individuals whose skills, qualifications and competencies are critical and required for these assignments, a new incentives scheme called “Recruitment Bonus Scheme” will be established. The “Recruitment Bonus” will replace the current Hazard and the Mobility and Hardship schemes will be paid as a one (1) time payment; • In addition staff will be eligible for a performance-based “Retention Bonus” for continued assignment; • A comprehensive performance-based reward scheme will be developed; combining the within grade salary increases, one-time performance bonus, and salary scale revisions.
The New “Resident Coordinator Band” for the Resident Coordinators:
The new “Resident Coordinator Band” (RC - Band) will be created using the salary scale for international professionals, effective 1 January 2009 and by merging the D1 and D2 scales. The minimum net remuneration of the RC Band will be equivalent to the Net Single rate of D1 – Step 1 of this salary scale and the maximum net remuneration of the RC Band will be equivalent to the Net Dependency Rate of D2 – Step 6.
Placement of First-time RCs in the RC Band:
There will be two main entry points for the first-time RCs, depending on the country office typology that the RC is assigned to, and, based on individual skills, qualifications, required competencies and critical business needs; i.e. entry to RC-Band at steps between 1 – 5 (small offices, middle income countries, large / complex offices), and at steps between 4 - 9 (large/complex offices, One UN Pilots, Crisis / post-crisis offices & offices in special development situations). In addition to the country office typology as explained above, the determination will also be made based on the skills, qualifications, required competencies and critical business needs of the duty station.
The new Incentives and Rewards System
The new “incentives and rewards” system consists of the following features: 1) Recruitment Bonus Scheme; 2) Performance-based Retention Bonus Scheme 3) Performance-based Rewards scheme combining within grade salary increments, one-time performance based bonus and salary revisions.).
The New Recruitment Bonus Scheme:
The Recruitment Bonus will be non pensionable and are de-linked from basic pay. The Recruitment Bonus Scheme will replace the current Hazard and the Mobility and Hardship scheme, which includes the following elements - Mobility Allowance, Hardship Allowance and the Non-removable allowance. In establishing the Recruitment Bonus Scheme, a variable percentage scheme will be established on the basis of the following criteria: 1. The current ICSC duty station classification (A- E); 2. Recommended duration of “Tour of Duty”; and 3. A range of Minimum/Maximum Percentage which will be calculated as a percentage of the Net Base Salary of the RC-Band
Performance-based Retention Bonus Scheme
A comprehensive performance –based reward scheme will be developed combining within grade salary increment, one-time performance-based bonus payments and salary revisions. The reward scheme will be closely interfaced with the resident coordinator appraisal system. The performance of the resident coordinators is reviewed by the Regional Directors’ Team (RDT) composed of the regional senior managers of the relevant UN system Agencies. The recommendations for performance rewards will be established by the RDT, and will be approved by the United Nations Development Group (UNDG).
The Resident Coordinator Band project is based on:
• the alignment and consistency of system-wide coherence, • the ownership and the management operated by the entire system, • talent management and succession planning, • focus on the result based management and accountability.
(62) At the same session (ibid.), the Commission decided: (i) that it could not endorse UNDP’s proposal as it currently stood; (ii) to welcome any further proposals to facilitate the process at arriving at an outcome which would meet the stated objectives of UNDP’s proposal, and offered the services of its Secretariat to UNDP and other interested parties to assist in any way they could. (from ICSC/67/CRP.4/Add.11).
The document was also discussed during the ICSC session. In that context, the Commission decided to discontinue the broad banding/pay-for-performance pilot as it was originally conceived. (from ICSC/67/CRP.4/Add.11)
(63) At its seventeenth session (CEB/2009/HLCM/HR/27, para.4), the HR Network welcomed the adoption of Resolution 63/251 by the General Assembly, in particular the increase of the levels of the hardship, mobility and non-removal allowances and the increase of the Hazard Pay for internationally recruited staff.
(64) At its seventeenth session (CEB/2009/HLCM/HR/27, paras. 57-59), concerning the Security Evaluation Allowance (SEA), the HR Network considered the first option of US$220 too high given the present financial crisis and agreed to present the second option of US$200 to the Finance & Budget Network. The Network also agreed that the amount of SEA should be reviewed every two years.
(65) At its eleventh session (CEB/2009/HLCM/FB/11, paras.15-17), the FB Network endorsed the HR Network proposal to set the Security Evacuation Allowance to USD 200 for staff and USD 100 for dependents, also in consideration of the relatively limited financial impact of this proposal at the system level.
(66) At its eighteenth session (CEB/2009/HLCM/HR/46/Rev.1, paras.22-23), the HR Network thanked the Secretariat for the document (ICSC/69/R.10) and the proactive approach to conduct the planned 2010 methodology review of the mobility and hardship scheme. A comprehensive review of the procedures for the classification of duty stations according to the conditions of life and work was also suggested as a second phase of the methodology review. The HR Network supported the suggested consultative approach to the work ahead, but expressed concern at the large amount of work to be completed in a short time-frame and stressed that both the ICSC secretariat and the HR Network would need to dedicate adequate time and resources to this review, as accurate and timely organizational data are crucial to a good outcome.
(67) At its eighteenth session (CEB/2009/HLCM/HR/46/Rev.1, paras.54-56), the HR Network proposed that the new SEA lump-sum be implemented as of 1 July 2009, which was agreed.
(68) During the HR Network’s videoconference in October (CEB/2009/HLCM/HR/48, paras.14-16), the WG on a Methodology Review of Mobility and Hardship Scheme informed that it will consider the following main issues: (i) evaluation of the scheme to determine if it continues to meet its purpose; (ii) the effectiveness and impact on mobility; (iii) payment of mobility allowance in category H and A duty stations; (iv) the relativeness between amounts especially at the senior levels; (v) the five year ceiling on the payment of mobility allowance. The CEB Secretariat will circulate the Terms of Reference and if organizations have any issues of concern these should be communicated to Marta Leichner-Boyce before the end of November 2009.
(69) At its nineteenth session (CEB/2010/HLCM/HR/18, paras.56-58), the HR Network agreed that hazard pay for NPOs should be payable on the basis of the General Service salary scale. The Commission specified that hazard pay for NPOs should be paid on the same basis of 25 percent of the mid-point of the relevant General Service salary scale.
(70) At its twentieth session (CEB/2010/HLCM/HR/35, paras.37-40), the HR Network noted the report of the Working Group on the mobility/hardship scheme (including additional board for education grant) and supported this work in progress; Further supported the recommendations that the WG made at its two meetings held in 2010. There were: 1) on the review of the relationship between hazard pay and the security factor under the hardship classification; 2) determination of relative levels of hardship for the classification of duty stations; 3) fourth assignment requirement for Mobility at “H” duty stations; 4) additional boarding costs at designated duty stations. The Network also supported the proposed timeline for completing the review of the recommendations.
(71) At its twentieth session (CEB/2010/HLCM/HR/35, paras.81-83), the HR Network agreed that the new Hazard pay criteria would be circulated in mid September and members should send further comments on this and other topics to the Working Group by August 30th 2010.
(72) At its twenty first session (CEB/2011/HLCM/HR/9, paras.23-25) the HR Network: o Supported the recommendations of the working group on mobility/hardship and hazard pay (ICSC/72/R.3) o Emphasized the importance of this allowance for the geographic rotation of staff, both from Headquarters to the field and from the field to Headquarters and among all duty stations. The commission decided: (a) To request its secretariat at its seventy-third session to provide an updated report, of the comparison of the package of benefits paid to staff in field locations, for the United Nations and the comparator civil service; (b) To request its secretariat to provide a report at its seventy-third session on the estimated financial implications of the approved changes to the hardship classification system.
(73) At the HR Network’s same session (CEB/2011/HLCM/HR/9, paras.46-50), the ICSC Secretariat presented a discussion paper on the designation of non-family duty stations. The discussion paper presented a tentative definition: It is further proposed that non-family duty stations be defined as those duty stations where the medium or longer term presence of non-essential staff and/or recognized spouses and/or dependent children is deemed dangerous or unsuitable for reasons of their safety and security.
The Network agreed that the Chairs of the Task force on the SLS and the Field Group should discuss and clarify the terms non-family and restricted duty stations. The two groups should ensure that there is no overlap and reach agreement on definitions before interacting with ICSC.
(74) At its twenty second session (CEB/2011/HLCM/HR/19, paras. 34-36), the HR Network: - Expressed that payments of danger pay would preferably be streamlined and - requested further clarification on the methodology for fixing the level of danger pay.
The Commission decided: Hazard pay and danger pay
To discontinue hazard pay and introduce danger pay on the basis of the revised criteria as set out in annex II (see attached hereto), effective 1 January 2012, in order to allow for a timely transition from hazard pay to danger pay. Danger pay (a) To establish, effective 1 January 2012, the level of danger pay for internationally recruited staff at $1,600 per month; (b) To apply, effective 1 January 2012, the payment modalities set out in annex II to the ICSC Report (A/66/30). Danger pay, unlike hazard pay, would be paid for time away from the duty station on rest and recuperation travel and official duty travel up to a maximum of seven consecutive calendar days; (c) To request its secretariat to conduct a study of the methodology for establishing the level of danger pay for locally recruited staff and report thereon at its seventy-fifth session in the 2012; (d) To review the levels of danger pay for internationally recruited staff every three years; (e) To establish, pending a review and as an interim measure, the level of danger pay at the rate of 25 per cent of the net midpoint of the applicable local General Service salary scale and adjustments would continue to be made as the salary scales were revised.
(75) At the same session of the HR Network (CEB/2011/HLCM/HR/19, para. 46), the Commission decided:
(a) That each organization should determine how it can best administer the payment of the mobility and hardship elements; (b) To request its secretariat to conduct a further assessment of the impact of the revised scheme on mobility once it has been in place for a period longer than a typical assignment length, that is, no earlier than at the time of the third review of the amounts, in 2015; (c) In accordance with General Assembly resolution 65/248, the Commission requested the organizations and the secretariat of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination to work closely with the ICSC secretariat to systematically collect and report on data. This collaborative effort would allow for a more meaningful analysis of the use and impact of specific allowances and other cross-cutting initiatives, such as the harmonization of conditions of service in non family duty stations; (d) To define “H” category duty stations as headquarters and similarly designated locations where the United Nations has no developmental or humanitarian assistance programmes for that country, or locations in countries that are members of the European Union; (e) To request its secretariat, in consultation with the organizations of the United Nations common system, to conduct a formal review of all “H” category duty stations and all field duty stations in which organizations of the common system continue to maintain humanitarian or developmental activities for that country, with a view to determining the correct classification of those countries and duty stations, and to report thereon to the Commission at its seventy-fourth session; (f) Not to change the current modalities for payment of mobility allowance for service in “H” and “A” duty stations, at this point in time; (g) To maintain, for the time being, the current relativities between the amounts applicable to the grade-level groupings in the mobility/hardship scheme; (h) To maintain the current relativities for single and dependency rates in the mobility/hardship scheme; (i) To maintain the current five-year ceiling on the payment of the mobility allowance but to permit, in the exceptional case of staff members who remained at the same duty station at the explicit request of the Organization or for compelling humanitarian reasons, the payment of the full mobility allowance for a maximum period of one additional year; (j) To maintain a pragmatic approach to reviewing the amounts payable under the mobility/hardship scheme every three years, using inter alia the three adjustment factors as a reference. The Commission noted that the movement of the base/floor salary scale was the most stable factor over time.
(76) At the same session the HR Network further agreed (CEB/2011/HLCM/HR/19, para. 46) that the final decision on which methodology to use would be left to the Commission. However, it urged the Commission to use a methodology that includes the three indicators recommended in 2005 by the Working Group on Mobility and Hardship. The Commission decided: (a) To grant a 2.5 per cent increase for the hardship allowance, the mobility allowance and the non-removal allowance, respectively, for implementation on 1 January 2012 (see annex III of A/66/30 for revised amounts of allowances under the mobility and hardship scheme); (b) That the additional non-family hardship element for staff serving in non family duty stations should be adjusted by the same percentage as the hardship, mobility and non-removal allowances, for implementation on 1 January 2012.
(77) At the same session in Geneva (CEB/2011/HLCM/HR/19, paras. 60-62) the HR Network also thanked the ICSC Secretariat for sharing this approach at its same It suggested to change the reference to an APA in paragraph 3 to ‘location of assignment’, and proposed that the Field Group also be included in the consultation process. The Network supported the establishment of a unified SOLA and committed to engaging fully in the consultative process. The Commission decided: (a) To approve the list of unified special operations living allowance rates for non-family duty stations (see annex IX of A/66/30), effective 1 January 2012 for staff assigned to a new administrative place of assignment between 1 January 2012 and 30 June 2012. For existing staff, the new unified rates will become effective 1 July 2012; (b) To delegate the decision on the location-specific special operations living allowance amounts for new non-family duty stations and their promulgation to the Chair of the Commission during the transitional period (that is, until 30 June 2016); (c) To request organizations to consult the Chair on all policy issues relating to special operations living allowance rates.
(78) At the HR Network’s twenty second session (CEB/2011/HLCM/HR/19, paras. 65-67), the Commission decided: (a) To adopt the following for the designation of non-family duty stations: The Chair of the International Civil Service Commission may designate a duty station as a non-family duty station for the purposes of the additional hardship allowance for service in non-family duty stations. This will apply to those duty stations where the United Nations Department of Safety and Security decides that for reasons of safety and security all eligible dependents are restricted from being present at the duty station for a period of six months or longer. The additional hardship allowance is payable to internationally recruited staff assigned to non-family duty stations; (b) To delegate to the Chair of the Commission the authority to decide when to declare a duty station non-family, after consultation with the ICSC Working Group for the Review of Conditions of Life and Work in Field Duty Stations.
(79) At its twenty second session in Washington D.C. (CEB/2011/5, paras.104-111), HLCM:
o Thanked the Human Resource Network for the information and took note of the decisions of the International Civil Service Commission at its 73rd session. o Decided to request the International Civil Service Commission to revisit its recommendation on the level of danger pay. ICSC decided that the term “hazard pay” be changed to “danger pay” and established new criteria, based on which danger pay would apply only in extraordinary situations. The intention of the Commission was for the transition from hazard pay to danger pay to be cost neutral. The danger pay was set at $1,600 per month as of 1 January 2012, an amount judged as insufficient by the HR Network, also considering the few countries that would receive danger pay based on the revised criteria. o and to revise further the definition of non-family duty stations, taking into account the views expressed