Share these jobs

Head of Unit (Two positions)


Grade: P5 

Vacancy no.: RAPS/2/2022/NORMES/01
Publication date: 31 August 2022
Application deadline (midnight Geneva time): 3 October 2022


Job ID: 9404 
Department: NORMES 
Organization Unit: LIBSYND 
Location: Geneva   
Contract type: Fixed Term 


The following are eligible to apply:

  • ILO Internal candidates in accordance with paragraphs 31 and 32 of Annex I of the ILO Staff Regulations.
  • External candidates.


Staff members with at least five years of continuous service with the Office are encouraged to apply.


Applications from officials who have reached their age of retirement as defined in Article 11.3 of the Staff Regulations on or before 31 December 2017, or who have already separated from ILO service upon retirement or early retirement, will not be considered.


The ILO values diversity among its staff and welcomes applications from qualified female candidates. We also encourage applicants with disabilities. If you are unable to complete our online application form due to a disability, please send an email to


The ILO welcomes applicants with experience in working within ILO constituents (governments, employers’ and business membership organizations, and workers’ organizations).


Applicants from non- or under-represented member States, or from those member States which staffing forecasts indicate will become non- or under-represented in the near future would be particularly welcome. A list of these countries can be found here:


In addition to the interviews and tests that any candidate may be required to take, successful completion of the ILO Assessment Centre is required for all external candidates and any internal candidate applying to a higher category.


Notwithstanding the general considerations set out in the ILO Staff Regulations, this vacancy announcement is the only authoritative document pertaining to the qualifications required for this position. The minimum required qualifications were determined in view of the specific duties and responsibilities of this position.


The specific language requirements for this position are detailed hereunder. However, candidates applying for the professional category vacancies who have not already successfully completed their probationary period within the ILO and whose mother tongue is not one of the working languages of the Office (English, French and Spanish), shall be required to possess a fully satisfactory working knowledge of at least one of the ILO working languages. If appointed they may be required to acquire a knowledge of a second working language of the Office during their initial years of service.


The positions are located in the Freedom of Association Branch (LIBSYND) within the International Labour Standards Department (NORMES). In accordance with the ILO’s Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work, NORMES strives to enhance the relevance of international labour standards to the world of work and to ensure their role as a useful means of achieving the constitutional objectives of the Organization. 

More specifically, NORMES is responsible for: (i) designing and implementing the ILO standards-related activities in accordance with the standards policy adopted by the Governing Body; (ii) supporting and servicing all the supervisory bodies of the ILO and (iii) the promotion of Office-wide coherence and cooperation on international labour standards.

The Heads of Unit will be assigned to one of the thematic units within LIBSYND. The thematic Units provide support to the supervisory bodies and technical assistance to countries on the broad range of subjects covered by international labour standards, including: freedom of association and collective bargaining, employment policy and specific categories of workers including domestic workers and nursing personnel. The Head of Unit may periodically be called on to change from a thematic unit to another, on the basis of internal mobility or to respond to the evolving workload within the Department.

The incumbent of the position will be responsible for coordinating the work relating to the supervision of a group of Conventions and the preparation of draft working documents for the Committee of Freedom of Association and for ad hoc committees relating to the representation procedures or Commissions of Inquiry, as appropriate. 

Under the overall management of the Director of NORMES, the Heads of Unit will report to the Chief of LIBSYND.

Specific Duties


  1. Manage efficiently the work of the Unit relating to the examination of reports submitted by governments on the application of international labour standards, the preparation of draft comments and general surveys for the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, as well as the preparation of comments on the compatibility of the draft national legislation with international labour standards. Ensure the consistency of approach in the supervision of the group of Conventions falling under his/her responsibility with the approach followed in the supervision of other groups of Conventions, on matters of common interest.
  2. Participate at a senior level in the secretariats of the Committee of Experts, the Committee on Freedom of Association, the International Labour Conference and the Governing Body.
  3. Plan, organize and provide technical assistance to Member States for the ratification and the effective implementation of international labour Conventions in light of the comments made by the supervisory bodies, in collaboration with the Director of NORMES and the Chief of LIBSYND.
  4. Conduct, supervise and publish comparative analytical research on labour standards questions of relevance to the group of Conventions under their responsibility.
  5. Coordinate and provide technical guidance on the assigned subjects of responsibility to International Labour Standards Specialists in field offices.
  6. Collaborate with other technical departments to mainstream the group of Conventions under his/her responsibility into their work.
  7. Perform other relevant duties as assigned.



These specific duties are aligned with the relevant ILO generic job description, which includes the following generic duties:

Generic Duties

  1. Coordinate supervisory work on a group of Conventions. This includes revising and supervising the work of professional officials, particularly on the examination of reports by governments on the application of standards and/or complaints of violations of freedom of association, and preparation of draft comments for high-level committees and/or groups of experts. 
  2. Coordinate substantive research on policy questions or on questions of an analytic and international comparative nature on a wide range of issues for publications or for consideration by the Governing Body or International Labour Conference.
  3. Draft and revise studies and publications in areas of expertise; participates as an expert in technical meetings and seminars in the ILO and other organisations; draft informal interpretations of Conventions; advise and collaborate with technical branches.
  4. Collaborate with the supervisor in consideration of policy matters and the organization and execution of the work unit’s programme in general.
  5. Organize and coordinate the technical and administrative support to special tripartite committees established by the Governing Body or commissions of inquiry to examine alleged infringements of ratified Conventions.
  6. Represent the work unit as a technical expert on international labour standards, international labour law or labour relations on missions and at external meetings.  Undertake high-level policy missions. Supervise the preparation of meetings and the finalisation of documents and reports of such meetings.  Direct seminars and study courses. 
  7. Plan and organize technical advisory and promotional activities.
  8. Serve as representative of the Director-General or an expert in conference committees or other official meetings.

Required qualifications


Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in law. A first-level university degree (Bachelor’s or equivalent) in the afore-mentioned field with an additional two years of relevant experience, in addition to the required ten years of experience stated below, will be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.


At least ten years of experience, including at the international level in labour or international law.


Excellent command of two official languages (English, French, Spanish) of the Organization. A working knowledge of Spanish would be an advantage.


In addition to the ILO core competencies, this position requires:


Analyze defined aspects of legal issues, draft clearly and concisely to prepare studies and comments and demonstrate excellent writing skills; take initiatives to keep up-to-date with new developments in the occupational area; apply the principles of law to the analysis of a variety of subject matters requiring interrelationships between the provisions of international labour standards and existing legislation and practice; prepare responses to enquiries in a clear and concise manner and demonstrate good communication skills to explain Office's position; Lead meetings, conduct seminars and study courses and demonstrate excellent presentation skills. Co-ordinate and lead research activities of a work unit; ability to formulate opinions on legal questions in areas where practices or precedents do not exist or are of a conflicting nature; Design research studies and conduct comparative analyses involving the application of principles of law to the analysis of administrative, substantive and procedural problems of substantial intricacy; manage a team: manage efficiently the work of the team, including by giving full guidance and training to junior staff members; advise and persuade colleagues and constituents regarding legal questions including those in areas where practices or precedents do not exist or are of a conflicting nature; deal with colleagues and constituents with tact and discretion. Ability to work in a multicultural environment and to demonstrate gender-sensitive and non-discriminatory behaviour and attitudes.



Conditions of employment

  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to ILO Staff Regulations and other relevant internal rules. Any offer of employment with the ILO is conditional upon certification by the ILO Medical Adviser that the person concerned is medically fit to perform the specific inherent requirements of the position offered. In order to confirm an offer from the ILO the successful candidate will be required to undergo a medical examination.
  • The first contract will be issued for a twenty-four month period.
  • A successful external candidate will be on probation for the first two years of assignment.
  • Any extension of contract beyond the probation period is subject to satisfactory conduct and performance.

For more information on conditions of employment, please visit the ILO Jobs International Recruitment page.


Important Information

Any officials of the General Service category interested in applying to this position are hereby informed that, if selected, they will be offered the salary and allowances applicable to the grade of the position applied for, which may result in substantial changes in their take-home remuneration. In accordance with Article 3.4 of the Staff Regulations, the salary of an official, upon promotion, shall in no case be greater than the maximum salary of the grade to which he or she was promoted. For any questions or clarifications, please contact your HR partner at


Recruitment process

Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application form. To apply, please visit the ILO Jobs website at The system provides instructions for online application procedures.


Evaluation (which may include one or several written tests and a pre-interview competency-based assessment centre) and the interviews will tentatively take place during the 3 to 4 months following the application deadline. Candidates are requested to ensure their availability should they be short listed for further consideration.


Depending on the location and availability of candidates, assessors and interview panel members, the ILO may use communication technologies such as Skype, Video or teleconference, e-mail, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates at the different stages of the recruitment process, including assessment centres, technical tests or interviews.


The ILO has zero tolerance for acts of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) and is determined to ensure that all staff members and all beneficiaries of ILO assistance do not suffer, directly or indirectly, from sexual exploitation and abuse. 
To ensure that individuals with a substantiated history of SEA, sexual harassment or other types of abusive conduct are not hired by the Organisation, the ILO may conduct a background verification of candidates under consideration.


Fraud warning

The ILO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process whether at the application, interview, processing or training stage. Messages originating from a non ILO e-mail account - - should be disregarded. In addition, the ILO does not require or need to know any information relating to the bank account details of applicants.