Staff regulations - common pattern

(1)     At its 3rd and 4th sessions (October 1948 and January 1949: CO-ORDINATION-PREP/87 and 98) CCAQ discussed certain questions affecting the development of a common pattern of staff regulations. At the 9th session (July 1950: CC/A.9/CO-ORDINATION/R.83) it discussed draft common staff regulations. Subject to some changes, the Committee agreed to submit this to ACC, it being understood that the agreement did not affect the constitutional position relating to the competence of each agency to approve and amend its own staff regulations.

(2)     ACABQ suggested certain amendments to the draft staff regulations approved by ACC, and at its 11th session (1951: CO-ORDINATION/R.93) CCAQ considered a new draft and decided to submit to ACC its comments thereon. They are summarized in CO-ORDINATION/R.93, section D.IX.

(3)     At the 18th session (1957: CO-ORDINATION/R.245, paras. 26-27) CCAQ noted certain minor changes made by UN and UNESCO in their staff regulations. The two agencies undertook to consult with the other organizations before reporting to their legislative bodies on the regulations as a whole.

(4)     At its 46th session (January 1976: CO-ORDINATION/R.1203, paras. 24 and 25) CCAQ agreed that an analysis should be made of the issues arising in each of the organizations, as a preliminary step to the assumption by the ICSC of its function of making recommendations on the development of common staff regulations. At its 5th session (February-March 1977), ICSC agreed that CCAQ should first examine divergencies of substance and agree on a common solution for as many of them as possible; it would then proceed to the drafting of common texts (UN document A/32/30, paras. 231-234).

(5)     At its 48th session (January-February 1978: CO-ORDINATION/R.1263, paras. 17-20) CCAQ examined a comparative analysis of the regulations and rules of the organizations. It singled out four areas where divergencies of substance existed in order to try to resolve those differences: (1) definition of dependants; (2) merit and long-service increments; (3) sick leave; (4) maternity leave.

(6)     At its 51st session (August 1979: ACC/1979/R.55) CCAQ was able to resolve the issues relating to sick leave (see section 3.2, para. (9)) and maternity leave (see section 3.3, para. (4)). It deferred consideration of merit and long-service increments until ICSC took up these issues, and of the definition of dependants until the 52nd session.

(7)     At its 52nd session (Part II, March 1980: ACC/1980/10, paras. 29-31) CCAQ agreed that it would revert to consideration of the divergency caused by the decision of the United Nations General Assembly not to apply the decision of the ICSC on repatriation grant at its 53rd session (see section 5.1, para. (22)). With regard to the death grant, CCAQ considered that the question of whether it was or was not paid to secondary dependants was of extremely limited scope.

(8)     At its 22nd session (July 1985), ICSC decided to request the executive heads of ILO, WHO and UPU to consider ways of harmonizing their practices concerning long-service steps with those of other organizations of the UN common system (A/40/30, para. 174) (see also section 2.14, para. (14)).

(9)     By resolution 40/250 of December 1985, the General Assembly invited ICSC, in co-operation with the Pension Board and other appropriate bodies of the UN common system, to pursue its efforts to achieve greater co-ordination of staff rules. At its 64th session (March 1986), CCAQ took note of this request. It concluded that the harmonization of entitlements should logically precede the development of common staff regulations; a first step might be to update the earlier comparative analysis of staff regulations carried out by the CCAQ secretariat (see para. (5) above) (ACC/1986/3, paras. 122-123 refer).

(10)     At its 24th session (July 1986: A/41/30, para. 225), the Commission decided to assume its functions under article 15 of its statute. It requested its secretariat to conduct a study on the harmonization of the staff regulations of organizations and to report to it at its 26th (July 1987) session. The views of ACC on this matter were transmitted to the General Assembly at its 41st session, which deferred consideration of the issue to a later session.

(11)     At its 25th and 26th sessions (1987), ICSC began substantive consideration of the issue of common staff regulations. CCAQ provided the Commission at its 25th session with a draft update of the comparative analysis of staff regulations and rules referred to in paragraph (5) above.

(12)     In its resolution 42/221 (December 1987) the General Assembly urged executive heads, in consultation with the Commission, to revise their organizations' rules and regulations so that they might conform with Commission decisions.

(13)     During 1988, in response to directives from the Assembly, ICSC continued its work to achieve greater co-ordination of staff regulations. While it took no decisions on this question, aspects of its work were discussed in CCAQ. In particular, the Committee called attention to the difficulty of establishing recommended texts of staff regulations, and while expressing its willingness to help seek greater commonality of practice, it called attention to the fact that ICSC's function in promoting the development of common texts was recommendatory only. CCAQ also favoured an approach involving not the compilation of standard provisions, but the identification of existing divergencies and proposed measures for conciliation. It proposed to ICSC that before it proceeded to identify further discrepancies, its secretariat and that of CCAQ should agree on what constituted significant discrepancies in practice among the organizations, which could then be asked for their comments. It considered ICSC's work programme too ambitious and urged a more prudent approach (68th session, February-March: ACC/1988/4, paras. 134-142; A/43/30, para. 92).

(14)     As one of a series of decisions intended to promote greater employment of women, ICSC at its 28th session (July 1988: A/43/30, paras. 90, 91) recommended that organizations amend staff rules prohibiting the employment of family members, so as to permit the recruitment of spouses for established posts (see also section 9.2).

(15)     At its 72nd session (February-March 1990: ACC/1990/4, paras. 61, 62) CCAQ agreed that a text of suggested amended staff regulations and rules, later attached to its report (annex III), could serve as a framework for the introduction by the organizations of the amendments made necessary by implementation of the comprehensive review carried out in 1989 of the conditions of service of staff in the Professional and higher categories.

(16)     At its 73rd session (July 1990: ACC/1990/10, para. 118) CCAQ agreed to inform ICSC that while it did not oppose in principle the establishment of a joint working group (as proposed by the Commission) on common staff regulations, it remained sceptical about the value of aligning the texts of such instruments. What really counted was whether the substance of the organizations' practices was the same.

(17) At its seventeenth session (CEB/2009/3, paras.39-40), HLCM took note of the latest developments on the new contractual arrangements adopted by the General Assembly in its Resolution 63/250.

The Committee recommended that member organizations commit to a coordinated approach to dealing with the UN Reform on contractual arrangements through the HR Network and other bodies, as appropriate. Timely and detailed information sharing as implementation progresses on both these crucial reforms remains essential to ensure that a consistent system-wide approach is preserved.

(18) At its seventeenth session (CEB/2009/HLCM/HR/27, para.4), the HR Network welcomed the adoption of Resolution 63/250, Human Resources Management, and noted that the new contractual arrangements approved for the United Nations Secretariat may potentially have implications for all common system organizations.

(19) At the eighteenth session of the HR Network (CEB/2009/HLCM/HR/46/Rev.1, paras.24-25), the Commission decided to request its secretariat to include in its next biennial report information on implementation of contractual arrangements in organizations and harmonization of the conditions of service, among others.

(20) At the HR Network’s eighteenth session (CEB/2009/HLCM/HR/46/Rev.1, paras.67-69), UN/OHRM informed the Network that the draft revised Staff Rules and Regulations were completed, implementation systems were being updated and a large communication effort was underway, including town hall meetings and websites to inform staff of the UN and its funds and programmes. The system will go live on 1 July 2009 and will need about a year to be completely implemented and stabilize. On the same date, the new contractual arrangements will become effective as well as the new Administration of Justice system. The CEB Secretariat will undertake a survey among organizations to determine the initiatives taken to review contractual arrangements and the Network urged all organizations to provide promptly the information regarding their practices in this area.

(21) At its eighteenth session (CEB/2009/6, paras.25-33), HLCM recognized, among the key challenges of the reform of contractual arrangements: the need for flexibility in its implementation, given the different operational realities of organizations; difficulties with determining types of appointments solely based on the nature of functions and not on the source of funding for posts and/or availability of resources; and the critical importance of effective performance management systems.
The Committee re-affirmed the request to the HR Network to ensure a coordinated approach to dealing with the reform on contractual arrangements, as well as timely and detailed information sharing as implementation progresses.

(22) During its videoconference in October (CEB/2009/HLCM/HR/48, paras.8-9), the HR Network was informed that the UN had implemented the new contractual framework on 1 July 2009 and the new temporary and fixed-term appointment had been issued since then in accordance with the interim guidelines for implementation of transitional measures for the United Nations contractual reform (available on the HR Handbook  The UN Secretariat was finalizing a new administrative instruction on temporary appointments.

(23) At its twentieth session (CEB/2010/5, paras.122-130), HLCM thanked the HR Network for the interim report on the review of contractual arrangements, staff regulations & rules, policies and practices and expressed its support and commitment to the work undertaken. It further requested the Network to thoroughly review the recommendations that the final report will propose, as well as all their implications, before submission to HLCM for decision and agreement on an implementation plan and; Urged the consultant and the HR Network to give due consideration to the aspect of simplification and modernization of regulations & rules, policies and practices, when formulating recommendations for HLCM.

(24) At the HR Network’s videoconference of 18 November 2010 (CEB/2010/HLCM/HR/41, paras.5-7), it was agreed that organizations would provide their detailed comments by 15 December 2010 on the review of the Contractual arrangements, Staff Regulations & Rules, Policies and practices.

(25) At the twenty second session of the HR Network in Geneva (CEB/2011/HLCM/HR/19, paras. 63-64), the Commission decided to request its secretariat to compile a more complete report on its recommendations concerning the three types of contracts and the phasing out of appointments of limited duration in the common system.

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