Repatriation Grant

(1) At the 12th session (April 1952: CO-ORDINATION/R.124), in order to provide a basis for uniformity in administration of the repatriation grant, the Committee worked out a series of principles enumerated on pages 6-9 of CO-ORDINATION/R.124. At the 13th session (September 1952: CO-ORDINATION/R.132, paras. 23-25) the Committee made certain further proposals on the subject.

(2) At the 15th session (April 1954: CO-ORDINATION/R.162, para. 24) CCAQ agreed that the words "after two years" meant that entitlement to repatriation grant should exist on completion of two years of continuous service. At the 18th session (March 1957: CO-ORDINATION/R.245, para. 7) it agreed that account should be taken of "completed months"

(3) At the 19th session (March 1958: CO-ORDINATION/R.264, paras. 36-61) it was agreed that General Service staff were eligible on the same footing as Professional staff.

(4) At the first part of the 21st session (April 1960: CO-ORDINATION/R.325, Annex I) the Committee recorded that General Service staff were eligible for repatriation travel and repatriation grant if also eligible for home leave.

(5) At the first part of the 22nd session (January and March 1961: CO-ORDINATION/R.351, para. 61) CCAQ felt unable to accept without further study an ICAO proposal that where both spouses were officials and eligible for the grant (or where one had already received it) the second spouse should be entitled to payment at the dependency rate if, at the date of separation, he had a dependent child, unless the other spouse had received the grant at the dependency rate.

(6) At the 23rd session (March 1962: CO-ORDINATION/R.391, para. 21) the Committee expressed the view that the long-term solution to certain difficulties with the service benefit (see section 5.5 below) might be to have a single allowance to take the place of both service benefit and repatriation grant. This might involve changes in repatriation grant conditions (see CO-ORDINATION/CC.24/9 and Add. l, and CC/SO/6).

(7) At the 24th session (March 1963: CO-ORDINATION/R.430, paras. 21-26) CCAQ agreed that service benefit could be abolished and repatriation grant extended to fixed-term staff. The Committee agreed that in this event it would be necessary to introduce an entitlement for one year's service (the present minimum being for two years' service), and that it would be desirable to eliminate the dollar maxima for the grant, or at least to increase the amounts which had remained fixed since 1951. The Staff Office was requested to prepare a draft ACC report to the General Assembly. Consideration was also given to the treatment of accrued repatriation grant entitlement when an expatriate official was posted back to his own country: (a) temporarily, returning to expatriate status before retirement, or (b) permanently, remaining there until retirement. The Committee felt that present practices were not satisfactory but that further study was desirable before an alternative was suggested. The matter should therefore be considered at the twenty-fifth session, if possible on the basis of a prior Staff Office study.

(8) At its 25th session (April 1964: CO-ORDINATION/R.451, paras. 32-34) CCAQ noted that the UN General Assembly had approved the revision of the system proposed by ACC (see resolution 1929 (XVIII)). With respect to the problem of entitlement in the event of a posting to the home country, the Committee agreed that: (a) accrued entitlement in years (up to the maximum of twelve) should be reduced by one year in respect of each completed six months of service in the home country; (b) in the event of re-posting abroad, credit should be restored at the rate of one year for each complete six months' service abroad until such time as the full previous credit was restored. Thereafter, entitlement should increase at the normal rate.

(9) At its 29th session (March 1968: CO-ORDINATION/R.669, paras. 72-73) CCAQ again took up the question referred to in para. (5) above. It agreed that where both husband and wife were officials in any UN organizations, payment of repatriation grant at dependency rates should not be made to both officials in respect of the same dependants. This would mean, in the case of an official whose spouse worked in a UN organization, that where there were no children in respect of whom a family allowance was paid at the time of separation, under no circumstances would two grants at the dependency rate, or one grant at the dependency and one grant at the single rate, be paid. Practices of organizations in this matter should be covered during a study which Staff Office was requested to make, to formulate a uniform rule for the determination of entitlements to the grant (A/33/45, resolution 33/119, IV, 5).

(10) At its 31st session (March 1970: CO-ORDINATION/R.798, para. 66) CCAQ was unable to reach agreement on this question, feeling that further study was needed of the implications of certain proposals drawn up by a working party. These were to be circulated by the CCAQ Secretariat.

(11) The Special Committee for the Salary Review (see section 2.2, paras. (4) to (7)) recommended that repatriation grant should be further studied by an International Civil Service Commission. At its 37th session CCAQ noted (March 1973: CO-ORDINATION/R.984, para. 90) that so much of remuneration was now in the form of post adjustment that the net base pay basis for repatriation grant should be revised, but that it was not feasible to make proposals to governing bodies because of the position regarding the Special Committee report (A/8728).

(12)As part of an overall study of the repatriation grant undertaken by CCAQ in 1974/75, (see CO-ORDINATION/R.1031, paras. 56 and 74 and CCAQ/SEC/336(PER), para. 13) it decided to remove the distinction based on the sex of the spouse in determining eligibility for the grant at the dependency rate by removing the requirement that a male spouse must be dependent on the staff member (see also section 2.8, para. (22)).

(13) At its 41st session (March 1975), CCAQ examined a report prepared by the Secretary at its request on the subject of the repatriation grant. It was recognized that no action could be taken on the subject except as a part of the general review of salaries and allowances to be undertaken by ICSC. CCAQ, nevertheless, gave responses to the issues raised so that the study could be closed for the time being and held in readiness for the ICSC inquiry (CO-ORDINATION/R.1087, paras. 31 and 32).

(14) At the same session, CCAQ, with a reservation by UN, decided that eligibility for the grant should be determined on the basis of the place of assignment, not residence, in circumstances such as those of Geneva where one may work in Geneva but reside in France (CO-ORDINATION/R.1087, para. 33).

(15) At its 43rd session (March 1976: CO-ORDINATION/R.1145, para. 15), CCAQ considered an FAO proposal that accrued entitlements to repatriation grant be frozen on posting to the home country, until separation or posting abroad. It agreed to defer action to a future session.

(16) In its second annual report (1976: UN document A/31/30, paras. 65, 220-225 and 247), and on the basis of its review of the UN salary system, ICSC recommended that those terminal payments at present expressed in terms of base pay (including repatriation grant) should be expressed in terms of pensionable remuneration less staff assessment. The General Assembly adopted this recommendation in resolution 31/141 of 17 December 1976. The Commission concluded (ibid., paras. 73 and 265-270) that the amount of the repatriation grant for staff in the Professional and higher categories called for no change; however, in view of its recommendation to differentiate between staff members with and without dependants through the staff assessment system, it recommended revised scales for the grant from 1 January 1977 (but no change for the General Service category). The new scales were approved by the General Assembly in resolution 31/141 of 17 December 1976. The Assembly, however, asked the Commission to re-examine, in the light of views expressed in the Fifth Committee, the conditions for the provision of terminal payments (including repatriation grant), in particular on retirement, and the possibility of establishing a ceiling for the maximum aggregate entitlements to such payments.

(17) At its 48th session (January 1978: CO-ORDINATION/R.1263, paras. 9-11 and Addendum 3) CCAQ approved a paper concerning entitlements upon cessation of service, including repatriation grant, for submission to ICSC, in which it concluded that the definition of the purposes of the different entitlements called for no change and precluded the possibility of duplication among them. That being so, the introduction of maximum aggregates for all payments would be inconsistent with the basic concept of the payments and could in some cases lead to inequitable treatment of expatriate staff.

(18) CCAQ further agreed that the existing provisions governing payment of the repatriation grant in cases where a husband and wife were both staff members entitled to it should be reviewed at a future session.

(19) ICSC endorsed CCAQ's conclusion on cumulation of entitlements in its fourth annual report to the General Assembly (1978: UN document A/33/30, para. 202).

(20) In adopting ICSC's recommendations on entitlements upon cessation of service (resolution 33/119 of 19 December 1978), the General Assembly decided that repatriation grant should be payable only if a staff member provided evidence of actual relocation. At its 50th session (January 1979: ACC/1979/R.2, para. 22), CCAQ agreed on the terms for giving effect to the General Assembly resolution which it would recommend to ICSC.

(21) At its 9th session (February 1979) ICSC decided on the following terms: (a) With effect from 1 July 1979 payment of the repatriation grant should be subject to the provision by the former staff member of evidence of relocation away from the country of the last duty station; (b) Evidence of relocation should be constituted by documentary evidence that the former staff member had established residence in a country other than that of the last duty station, such as a declaration by the immigration, police, tax or other authorities of the country, by the senior United Nations official in the country or by the former staff member's new employer; (c) Payment of the grant may be claimed by the former staff member within two years of the effective date of separation; (d) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) above, staff members already in service before 1 July 1979 should retain the entitlement to repatriation grant proportionate to the years and service qualifying for the grant which they already had accrued at that date without the necessity of production of evidence of relocation; the exercise of any additional entitlement accrued after that date would, however, be subject to the conditions set out in paragraphs (a) to (c) above.

(22) By resolution 34/165 of 17 December 1979, the General Assembly decided that effective 1 January 1980 no staff member would be entitled to any part of the repatriation grant unless evidence of relocation away from the country of the last duty station was provided. This decision was challenged before the Administrative Tribunal of the United Nations (Mortished vs the Secretary-General). The Tribunal found in favour of the complainant. The General Assembly requested an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice, which upheld the decision of the Tribunal (AT/DEC/273 dated 15 May 1981).

(23) On the basis of its comprehensive review in 1989 of the conditions of service of staff in the Professional and higher categories, ICSC recommended (A/44/30, vol. II, paras. 73 (b) and (c), 434-438 and 453 (b) and (c)) that the repatriation grant entitlement for staff without a spouse or dependent child at the time of separation should be a uniform 75 per cent of the existing entitlement at the dependency rate. This recommendation had not been supported by CCAQ (71st session, July-August 1989: ACC/1989/14, para. 87). Nor did the General Assembly accept it; it resolved that the terms and conditions of payment of the grant should remain unchanged in all respects (resolution 44/198).

(24) At its 73rd session (July 1990: ACC/1990/10, paras. 12, 13) CCAQ concluded that it could not take a stand, without further reflection and analysis of the consequences, on the payment of expatriate entitlements to staff members living in their home countries while working at duty stations located in another country (see General Assembly resolution 44/198, section IG). For its part ICSC noted that in practice this issue concerned essentially Geneva, where 115 staff employed by six organizations enjoyed such entitlements. It agreed with CCAQ that the issue was complex and decided to study it further (A/45/30, paras. 100-102, 104 and 107-109).

(25) For determination of the level of repatriation grant, see also section 5.1.

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