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Rest and recuperation (R&R) framework


Staff members required to work for extended periods at duty stations under hazardous, stressful and difficult conditions shall be granted regular periods of rest and recuperation under the terms of the present instruction, in order to protect their health and well-being and to ensure optimal work performance upon the resumption of their duties, while preserving the operational readiness of the Organization. Rest and recuperation is a means by which staff members and other eligible individuals can take regular authorized time off to leave the duty station approved for rest and recuperation purposes in order to be given a break from the dangerous, stressful, isolated working and living conditions under which they serve. Rest and recuperation is not an additional annual leave entitlement or financial compensation for the degree of hardship and insecurity of a duty station.

The list of duty stations for which the entitlement of R&R has been established is published by the Field Group of the Human Resources Network of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination, in consultation with the ICSC secretariat, and disseminated to field offices.

Frequency Conditions
6 weeksa Extreme situations as follows:
  • Very dangerous locations where staff are directly targeted as a result of their association with the United Nations or where premises are targeted, causing imminent threat to staff
  • where there is war or active armed conflict and where staff are at high risk of becoming collateral damage
8 weeks All non-family/restricted duty stations:
  • All duty stations declared by the Department of Safety and Security as restricted for all eligible dependants for security reasons
  • All duty stations designated as "non-family" by the Chair of the International Civil Service Commission
12 weeks Duty stations with a high level of hardship:
  • Non-capital duty stations with a hardship classification of D or E
  • Exceptional cases of category E capital cities

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Exceptional Cases

aFor very exceptional cases, a four-week rest and recuperation cycle can be approved by the Chair of the International Civil Service Commission, under delegated authority from the Commission, upon the recommendation of the Human Resources Network of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination.

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