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Legal Officer


Grade: P3  

Vacancy no.: RAPS/1/2020/NORMES/01
Publication date: 14 May 2020
Application deadline (midnight Geneva time): 16 June 2020


Job ID: 3724 
Department: NORMES 
Organization Unit: APPL 
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.


The position is located in the Application of Standards Branch (APPL) within the International Labour Standards Department (NORMES). In accordance with the 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, as well as the ILO.

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

The Legal Officer will be assigned to one of the thematic units of APPL. 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, child labour, forced labour, equality and non-discrimination, employment, labour administration, labour inspection, occupational safety and health, social security, wages, working time, specific categories of workers including migrant workers, seafarers, fishers, domestic workers as well as indigenous and tribal peoples. 

The Legal Officer may periodically be called on to change from a thematic unit to another to respond to the evolving workload within the Branch and the Department. This internal mobility aims at supporting professional development through on-the job training, leading to expanded and up-to-date expertise on international labour standards and wider range of professional opportunities, including future field assignment.
The position will report to the  corresponding Head of Unit within the Application of Standards Branch.

Specific Duties

1. Prepare comparative analyses of the legislation and practice of the member States. Prepare draft documents on issues within the Unit's portfolio to be considered by the supervisory bodies, in particular the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR), and in the context of Article 24 Representations and Article 26 Complaints of the ILO Constitution.
2. Prepare draft legal opinions on questions relating to international labour standards; prepare initial comments on questions related to international law, labour standards or labour relations including on more complex matters. Undertake research and studies on international labour standards-related issues
3. 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. Examine reports by governments and comments by employers' and workers' organizations on ratified and unratified Conventions and Recommendations. Examine and analyse complaints. Perform comparative analyses of the legislation and practice of the different States. Draft comments for high-level committees and/or groups of experts. Provide preliminary interpretations as requested by constituents.
  2. Draft notes, reports and opinions concerning legal questions or labour standards, for consideration by governments, the Governing Body and the International Labour Conference.
  3. Undertake research and studies and prepare opinions on questions relating to international law, labour standards or labour relations. Prepare comments on draft labour legislation.
  4. Participate as a member of the secretariat of various committees dealing with legal issues or labour standards, including preparation of documents, drafting records of meetings, drafting reports and assist in resolving procedural and legal questions.    
  5. Draft replies to requests from constituents or clients on questions relating to international labour standards or other legal questions. Prepare briefs for judicial bodies.
  6. Provide technical support to special tripartite committees established by the Governing Body or commissions of inquiry to examined alleged infringements of ratified Conventions.
  7. Attend seminars and meetings. Give presentations on contents of labour standards and on the procedures and functioning of the supervisory system. Participate in discussions on the ILO’s position on various legal issues. Assist in the planning and implementation of technical advisory or promotional activities.
  8. Prepare summaries of judgements and national labour law cases.
Required qualifications

Advanced degree in law.


Minimum of five years’ practical experience at the national level or at least two years at the international level.


Excellent command of one official language (English, French, Spanish) of the Organization and working knowledge of a second official language. One of these must be Spanish.


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

Technical competencies
Ability to: apply the principles of law to the analysis of a variety of subject matters requiring interrelationships between the subject under review and existing legislation and practice; prepare responses to enquiries in clear and concise manner and good communication skills to explain Office's position; analyse defined aspects of legal issues, draft clearly and concisely prepare studies and comments and take initiatives to keep up-to-date with new developments in the occupational area.  Strong legal analysis capacity.

Behavioural Competencies
Ability to: carry out assignments in accordance with instructions and guidelines; work within tight deadlines and respect confidentiality; adaptability. 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:


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.


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.