Introductory note.(For the definition of dependency, see section 2.8 and Annex II).
At its first session, the UN General Assembly agreed to the payment of allowances for dependent children (see resolution of 13 February 1946). An allowance for a dependent spouse was first introduced by UN in conjunction with the introduction of the staff assessment plan (resolution 239(III)), when a "staff assessment credit" (i.e. a rebate from staff assessment) of $200 was allowed for a dependent spouse; this was done because the original UN net salaries were arrived at by deducting from comparable outside salaries in New York the amount of tax with a single person would pay. For the same reason, a credit of $100 was allowed for a "secondary dependant" (parent, brother or sister) if there was no spouse or child.
CCAQ has discussed various points as follows:
(1) At its 13th session (September 1952: CO-ORDINATION/R.132, para. 45) CCAQ adopted guiding principles for the payment of children's allowances. At its 19th session (1958: CO-ORDINATION/R.264, paras. 36-61), the Committee agreed that all General Service staff should be eligible for children's allowances. ICAO reserved its position.
(2) At its 19th session (March 1958: CO-ORDINATION/R.264, paras. 36-61) CCAQ agreed that, unlike children's allowances, allowances for other dependants in the case of the General Service staff should be payable only if they were founded on local practice. ICAO reserved its position.
(3) At the first part of the 21st session (April 1960: CO-ORDINATION/R.325, Annex l, para. 4) CCAQ reaffirmed that children's allowances should be payable in all areas for which a local salary schedule was established. Depending on local circumstances, a limit might be imposed on the number of children in respect of whom the allowance would be payable to any official.
(4) At the first part of the 21st session (April 1960: CO-ORDINATION/R.325, Annex I, para. 4) CCAQ reaffirmed that allowances in respect of a spouse or secondary dependant would not be payable in the General Service category unless it was agreed, through inter-organization consultation, that such allowances were justified by local practice.
(5) At the first part of the 22nd session (January and March 1961: CO-ORDINATION/R.351, para. 63) all organizations confirmed that in the case of children over 18 they continued to pay the allowance on certification by the staff member that the child was in full-time attendance at an educational institution.
(6) At the 24th session (March 1963: CO-ORDINATION/R.430, para. 27 and Appendix D), CCAQ agreed that in those areas where the organizations paid children's allowance even though it was not the local custom to pay such allowance (as distinct from making provision for tax relief) there should be a limit of six on the number of children in respect of whom the organizations would pay an allowance. CCAQ also agreed that it was undesirable to establish a higher rate of children's allowance for non-resident staff.
(7) At the same session (CO-ORDINATION/R.430, paras. 83-87) CCAQ discussed the possibility of developing a uniform system of dependency allowances for all categories of staff. It concluded that this was impossible for reasons of both principle and expediency. See also Staff Office document COORD/CC/SO/57. The Committee agreed that the rates for the General Service category in each locality should be established on the basis of local conditions (see CO-ORDINATION/R.430, Appendix D, page 5).
(8) At its 28th session (March 1967: CO-ORDINATION/R.604, paras. 61-62) CCAQ noted that a widowed staff member in the General Service category who had dependent children received at many headquarters duty stations, in respect of the first child, a rate of children's allowance higher than the normal rate. In some cases the higher rate was equal, or almost equal, to the normal children's allowance plus a spouse allowance. The Committee considered whether the practice should be extended to widowed Professional staff with dependent children. It observed that in the case of General Service staff the practice was permissible only where the local income tax laws, or local custom as regards dependency allowance, produced a similar effect on the incomes of outside employees in comparable family circumstances. In the case of Professional staff there was only a remote connexion between the value of the dependency allowances and the value of tax exemptions at any particular duty station. CCAQ agreed therefore that there was not sufficient justification for extending the General Service practice to the Professional and higher categories.
(9) On the basis of a working party report (CCAQ/S.30/R.3), the 30th session of CCAQ (March 1969: CO-ORDINATION/R.733, para. 49 and Annex E) agreed that:
(a) there was no objection to a concurrent payment of an allowance for a secondary dependant of a General Service official, in addition to allowances for primary dependants, if it was the general practice in the locality concerned, among the employers upon whose conditions the conditions of the General Service staff are based. The practice of concurrent payments should not, however, without prior agreement among the organizations concerned, be extended to new countries merely on the grounds that concurrent tax reliefs exist in the legislation of the country.
(b) it was not desirable for organizations to pay children's allowance from the date of conception, rather than date of birth, even where that was the local practice outside the organizations in a particular city.
(c) as regards a question whether, in the case of General Service staff, an allowance should sometimes be payable in respect of a dependent wife but not a dependent husband (as in Damascus) CCAQ agreed that in this matter organizations should follow the local practice of the country concerned. An allowance for a dependent husband should be payable either where it was local custom to pay direct allowances for dependent husbands (no such cases are known) or where a significant tax relief (in relation to the level of income) was given for a dependent husband.
(d) in places where there was no local custom of paying children's allowances outside the organizations, the present practice of imposing a limit on the number of dependent children of General Service staff members in respect of whom an allowance was paid should be maintained for the time being. The limit should be six at all the duty stations concerned.
(e) there should be no difference in the rates of dependency allowances for local and non-local General Service staff in the same duty station.
(f) the income limit for a dependent spouse should be based on the General Service scales of the duty station of the staff member, even if the spouse lived or worked elsewhere.
(g) the appropriate income limit for a spouse of a General Service category official should be Step 1 of the local G-1 scale, provided that this was a rate of pay for adults. In a small number of duty stations G-2, Step 1 had been adopted as the limit for special reasons, but no further exceptions should be made.
(h) CCAQ had no basis at present for suggesting changes in present practice as regards allowances for dependents of staff members contracting legal polygamous marriages.
(i) In countries where there was no law permitting adoption, organizations may pay children's allowance in respect of a child recognized as de facto fully dependent on the staff member for support. The staff member must produce evidence that he had committed himself to care for and maintain the child and that the child was fully dependent on him for care and maintenance on a continuing basis. The organizations should also normally require evidence or affidavit that (i) the normal place of residence of the child was with the staff member or his spouse; (ii) the parents of the child, if still alive, were no longer responsible for his maintenance, or that the child was an orphan. The allowance should be payable from the month following the date when the staff member produced the evidence or affidavit that he was supporting the child on a continuing basis.
(10) At the same session CCAQ discussed the extent to which income from outside sources in respect of a child should be deducted from children's allowance paid by the organization. CCAQ agreed in 1957 (CO-ORDINATION/R.244, para. 31) that the latter allowance should be offset by the amount of any allowance paid as a social benefit in respect of the same child. Some organizations at the 30th session (1969) thought that this agreement should be modified, but CCAQ was unable to do more than note the agreement recorded in para. 55 of the report of the 29th session of CCAQ (1968: CO-ORDINATION/R.669) that "The current practice of deducting ... allowances received by the staff member or his spouse in respect of the same child should be continued. The staff member should be required to declare the amount of all such allowances".
(11) CCAQ noted that in some countries where there was no outside practice of paying children's allowance, the allowance paid by the UN organizations to General Service staff was, as a proportion of base salary, higher than the UN allowance in other countries where there was an outside local children's allowance. The Committee felt that such anomalies were unfortunate, but that they did not provide justification, in duty stations where children's allowances were paid outside the organizations, for increasing the level of the children's allowance in the organizations to a level exceeding the amount which could be justified by outside local conditions. The anomalies could be removed by reducing the percentage relationship between the allowances and base salaries in duty stations where there was no local custom of paying such allowances and consideration should be given, as the opportunity arose, of doing so.
(12) The 30th session (1969) also considered a suggestion that where outside local practice so warranted, an organization might pay dependency allowances for more than one secondary dependant of a General Service staff member in addition to allowances for primary dependants of the same staff member. It felt that the practice might well have undesirable repercussions and that it should not be extended to additional offices without the agreement of CCAQ. Where the practice existed, or was adopted in future, the definition of secondary dependant should be more restrictive than the general CCAQ definition and should take into account the conditions applied by outside employers to determine entitlements.
(13) At its 31st session (1970: CO-ORDINATION/R.798, para. 67 and Annex G) CCAQ made recommendations regarding the entitlements to certain benefits (normally restricted to dependants) of persons who did not qualify for dependency allowance as such.
(14) During 1972 ACC recommended to the Special Committee for the Review of the Salary System that substantial changes should be made in the system of spouse allowances, and that dependency allowances for children of Professional staff should be subject to post adjustments (A/AC.150/R.2). The Committee recommended that the matter be further studied and the General Assembly referred it to the new International Civil Service Commission (see Section 2.2 (6)). In these circumstances CCAQ felt at its 37th session (February 1973: CO-ORDINATION/R.984, para. 45) that it could not put forward new proposals in 1973.
(15) At its 39th session (1974: CO-ORDINATION/R.1031, para. 70) CCAQ agreed that a survivor's benefit from the Joint Staff Pension Fund should not be deducted from a child's benefit under the staff rules.
(16) In 1974 FAO informed the organizations that a recent survey of best prevailing practices in Rome had reflected that a number of the better employers were paying locally recruited personnel an education allowance for their children. CCAQ (see CCAQ/SEC/336(PER), para. 15) urged that the conditions for General Service staff in Rome not include an education allowance because of the implications for other localities and possible confusion with the education grant. Recognition of the local practice could be given through adjustment of the children's allowance.
(17) At the request of UN and WHO, as a result of a situation in Copenhagen, CCAQ reviewed in 1974 the criteria for determining the amount of dependency allowances for General Service staff and confirmed that the overriding criterion was local practice. The formula of 10 per cent of G-1, step 1 for the amount of the children's allowance should be used only where there was no local practice of paying children's allowance (see CCAQ/SEC/336(PER), paras. 16-18).
(18) At its Special Session No. 1 (January 1976: CO-ORDINATION/R.1133, para. 5 and Add.2) CCAQ agreed on a draft ACC text for ICSC (later cleared by correspondence) on remuneration of the Professional category, and proposed that: (a) the differentiation in pay between married and single staff should be achieved through the staff assessment, rather than through a spouse allowance; (b) the amount of the children's allowance should be reviewed regularly; and (c) the secondary dependant's allowance should be increased to $300/year.
(19) At its 3rd session (March 1976: ICSC/R.42, paras. 38, 45-47) in the course of its continuing review of the UN salary system, ICSC came to certain tentative conclusions on dependency allowances for the Professional and higher categories; CCAQ adopted draft ACC comments on them at its resumed 43rd session (April 1976: CO-ORDINATION/R.1162/Add.l, para. 19).
(20) At its 44th session (June/July 1976: CO-ORDINATION/R.1168, para. 27), CCAQ concluded that the extension of the age limit for payment of education grant, as tentatively decided by ICSC, should lead to a corresponding extension of the age limit for payment of children's allowance. It supported a proposal that the "married" rate of staff assessment should also apply to staff members with a secondary dependant (para. 30).
(21) In its second annual report (1976: UN document A/31/30, paras. 70, 208, 248) and on the basis of its review of the UN salary system, ICSC recommended that the allowance for a dependent spouse of a staff member in the Professional and higher categories be abolished, the amounts of the prevailing allowance ($400/year) being incorporated into the revised base salary recommended. The General Assembly adopted this recommendation in resolution 31/141 of 17 December 1976. The dependency rate of staff assessment would also apply to a staff member with a primary dependant other than a spouse. The Commission did not recommend any increase in children's allowance for the Professional and higher categories, nor any system of automatic indexing of that allowance, but reported that it would review the amount of the allowance periodically (paras. 71, 249-256). The Commission recommended that the allowance for a secondary dependant be increased from $200 to $300 from 1 January 1977 (paras. 72, 257-264), a recommendation which the General Assembly adopted in resolution 31/141.
(22) At its 46th session (January 1977: CO-ORDINATION/R.1203, para. 6) CCAQ agreed that the Chairman of ICSC be asked to review before the end of 1977 certain consequences of abolition of the spouse allowance, and to establish 31 December 1978 as the time limit for application of the $50 transitional payment to staff members in the Professional and higher categories for whom the children's allowance rather than the spouse allowance had been abolished (ICSC decided that this payment should be effective for one year only (A/32/30, para. 29). CCAQ also agreed (CO-ORDINATION/R.1203, para. 7) on arrangements for implementing the recent reforms of the salary system, two of which were relevant to dependency allowances: (a) where a staff member without dependent children had previously been entitled to reduced dependency payments (spouse allowance and married rate of post adjustment) because the spouse had occupational earnings exceeding the limit by an amount less than those payments, the reduction should henceforth be applied to the difference between base salary plus post adjustment for a staff member with dependants and one without; and (b) where both husband and wife were staff members, only one of them should be entitled to the dependency rate of staff assessment. At part II of its 46th session (February/March 1977: CO-ORDINATION/R.1208, para. 27(b)), CCAQ reaffirmed its decision in (a) above and invited organizations which had not done so to apply the differential family allowance with effect from 1 January 1977.
(23) At its 49th session (July 1978: CO-ORDINATION/R.1294) CCAQ approved a recommendation to ICSC that it establish a local-currency floor for the value of the children's allowance in the Professional category.
(24) The Commission recommended to the 33rd session of the General Assembly such a local-currency floor, which the General Assembly approved (resolution 33/119 of 19 December 1978).
(25) At its 54th session (March 1981: ACC/1981/7, paras. 82-83) CCAQ agreed to consider the question of dependency allowances for General Service staff at non-headquarters duty stations in the broader context of the methodology for setting General Service category conditions in those duty stations (see, however, (27) below).
(26) At its 56th session (March 1982: ACC/1982/5, para. 52 and Annex V) CCAQ agreed on the position it would take before ICSC on recommendations it was asked to consider relating to dependency allowances. A full statement (Annex V) was made to ICSC at its 15th session (March 1982).
(27) The eighth annual report of ICSC (1982) records the Commission's decisions regarding the children's and spouse allowances (A/37/30, paras. 201-221):
(a) Children's allowance. ICSC decided to retain the notion of the children's allowance as a social benefit payable to all staff with eligible children, regardless of local practice. For the Professional and higher categories the amount of the allowance would be fixed on the basis of the tax abatements and social security benefits in the seven headquarters duty stations. On this basis it recommended, and the General Assembly subsequently approved (resolution 37/126), an increase in the children's allowance from $450 to $700, effective 1 January 1983. The currency floor provisions (see (23) and (24) above) were updated by basing them on the 12-month average exchange rate ending 30 June 1982. For the General Service category, the ICSC decided that, effective 1 July 1982, the amount of the children's allowance should be based either on local practice or, where there was none, on a percentage of the mid-point of the local salary scale, excluding extended levels. The percentage was fixed at 3 per cent. The percentage relationship would be reviewed every three years. The percentage figure would also serve as a floor amount for duty stations where the amount of the allowance was based on local practice.
(b) Spouse allowance. ICSC decided that spouse allowance could not be considered a social benefit in the same way as children's allowance, as recommended by CCAQ. It would therefore continue to be payable to General Service staff only in those duty stations where there was a corresponding local practice. Local practice would be measured in terms of legal allowances, tax abatements and the practice of surveyed employers.
(28) At its 18th session (July 1983: A/38/30, paras. 85-94) ICSC decided that the secondary dependants' allowance should continue to be fixed in accordance with existing practice, namely by reference to tax abatements available under the tax law of the comparator country, in respect of Professional and higher categories, and by reference to local practice for the General Service category.
(29) CCAQ began consideration at its 61st session (June-July 1984) of proposals by FICSA to provide greater support for staff members with disabled dependants (ACC/1984/16, paras. 78-80). At its 63rd session (July 1985), CCAQ addressed proposals to the Commission (ACC/1985/14, paras. 51-53), including additional reimbursement for education grant travel, and the doubling of the first $500 of the children's allowance paid in respect of disabled children. The Commission recommended to the General Assembly the proposals relating to the education grant but could not agree to the proposal to increase the children's allowance (A/40/30, para. 180). The General Assembly approved the Commission's proposals in resolution 40/244. At the 65th session (July 1986: ACC/1986/10, para. 86) WHO agreed, pursuant to the Commission's recommendations recorded above, to provide to other organizations information on the causes, prevention and treatment of disability, for dissemination to field offices.
(30) Also at its 65th session (ibid., para. 138), CCAQ decided that the long-service step for General Service staff (see section 2.14) should be taken into account in determining the salary mid-point for the children's allowance (see para. (27)(a) above).
(31) During both its 68th and 69th sessions (ACC/1988/4, paras. 68-80; ACC/1988/12, paras. 48-52) CCAQ reviewed proposals in ICSC affecting dependency allowances for both Professional and General Service staff. It supported an increase in dependency allowances for staff at the Professional and higher levels, and suggested a modified methodology for calculating them. For the General Service category CCAQ advocated maintaining the present social benefit/floor formula, for children's allowance; no increase in the age limit for that allowance above 21 years; a further review of the existing six-children limit at duty stations where the floor formula is applied; payment of spouse allowance only when justified by local practice; and unchanged eligibility criteria for secondary dependant's allowance; comprehensive reviews of the allowances should be conducted every five years. The eventual action taken by ICSC is detailed in paragraphs 78-83 of its 1988 report (A/43/30). It can be summarized as follows:
(a) Professional and higher categories: Recommendation to the General Assembly that effective 1 January 1989 (i) children's allowance to increase from $700 to $1,050 except in those countries where the RCF is applicable, in which case the amount payable in local currency as at 1 April 1988 would be increased by 50 per cent; (ii) secondary dependant's allowance to increase from $300 to $450 except in the same countries as listed under (i), in which case the same alternative formula would apply. These allowances would be further considered in the context of the comprehensive review of conditions of service called for in General Assembly resolution 42/221; subject to that proviso, they should in principle be reviewed every three years and adjusted if necessary. The Assembly approved only (i) above, as an interim measure pending a study by ICSC of the purpose and methodology of dependency allowances (resolution 43/226).
(b) General Service and related categories: For children's allowance, maintenance of the existing social benefit floor, continuation of the existing maximum of six children where that formula applied, and review in principle every five years of the percentage of the mid-point of the local salary scale used to determine the floor amount. Allowances should be reviewed at the time of interim adjustments of salary scales and revised, if warranted, when new scales were applied; with effect from the first interim salary adjustment after 1 June 1988 the existing prerequisite for a minimum movement in individual dependency allowances would be eliminated.
(c) Both categories of staff: Maintenance of the upper age limit for children's allowance at "under 21" when the child is at school or university; continued application of the 1981 CCAQ definition of secondary dependants; in countries where a direct payment is made to staff with respect to a child or secondary dependant, reduction by an equivalent amount in the corresponding dependency allowance paid by the organization(s) concerned.
(32) In the light of an earlier decision CCAQ at its 70th session (March 1989: ACC/1989/6, paras 69-71) discussed a proposal from the New York Steering Committee to solve problems arising from the six-children limit for the payment of dependency allowance at certain duty stations. Because some organizations considered that this question involved issues of principle and substance the Committee returned to it at its 71st session (ACC/1989/14, paras. 128-131). On the basis of a recommendation from its Field Working Group, the Committee agreed that the six-children limit should be phased in by announcing its entry into effect for all salary scales effective 1 September 1989 or later; at duty stations where no limit had previously applied, staff with more than six dependent children would, on the effective date of implementation, have the local currency amount of their allowance frozen, as a transitional measure, until such time as it was overtaken by the limit under the new arrangements (18 per cent of the mid-point of the salary scale). This arrangement was later cleared with the Chairman of ICSC.
(33) On the basis of its comprehensive review in 1989 of the conditions of service of staff in the Professional and higher categories, ICSC (A/44/30, vol. II, paras. 72 and 408-430) recommended a new method of calculating children's allowance and secondary dependant's allowance, and recommended that the children's allowance in respect of a disabled child be double the usual amount. The General Assembly accepted only the latter of these measures and asked the Commission to reconsider the methodology for determining dependency allowances in the light of the tax practices of the comparator (resolution 44/198). For CCAQ's serious reservations about such a procedure, see the report of its 72nd session (February-March 1990: ACC/1990/4, paras. 28-30).
(34) At its 73rd session (July 1990: ACC/1990/10 and Corr.1, paras. 49, 50) CCAQ agreed to a proposal before ICSC (subsequently endorsed: see A/45/30, para. 235(a)) that the Commission recommend that effective 1 July 1990 the children's allowance in respect of disabled children for staff in the General Service and related categories should be double the normal amount, as agreed for the Professional and higher categories.
(35) At the same session (ACC/1990/4, para. 77) CCAQ agreed, subject to confirmation by ICSC, that where a disabled child of a staff member generated the dependency rate of salary, an amount of $1,050 would now be payable in the light of the changes arising from the comprehensive review of conditions of service at the Professional and higher levels. The Chairman of ICSC confirmed this interpretation.
(36) At its 76th session (March 1992: ACC/1992/6, paras. 81-85) CCAQ considered a paper examining the methodology for determining the level of dependency allowances for Professional staff, at the request of the General Assembly (resolution 44/198 I G), in the light of the tax practices of the comparator. CCAQ decided that the current methodology, based on the practices of the seven headquarters duty stations should be retained. CCAQ recommended increases of about 21 per cent in the levels of the allowances for both children and secondary dependants. ICSC decided to maintain the current methodology and review the level of the allowances every two years. It recommended that the children's allowance be increased by 21 per cent and the secondary dependant's allowance by 50 per cent with effect from 1 January 1993 (A/47/30, paras. 190-191). The General Assembly approved these changes (resolution 47/216 II F).
(37) At its 80th session (February 1994: ACC/1994/4, paras. 101-103) CCAQ agreed with a proposal for increases in the children's allowance by 10.26 per cent and in the secondary dependant's allowance to half the amount of the children's allowance. CCAQ decided to recommend that the local currency amount should be established on the basis of the exchange rate in effect when the proposal was made to the General Assembly. ICSC decided to recommend the children's and the secondary dependant's allowance be raised by 10.26 per cent but did not agree to raising the latter to half of the children's allowance. ICSC left in place the existing mechanism for local currencies without introducing any floor (ICSC/39/R.10, para. 143). The Assembly approved the increases (resolution 49/223 III D).
(38) At its 84th session (April 1996: CCAQ(PER)/84/Rev.1, annex) CCAQ concurred with the proposal to increase the children's allowance to US$1,510 to reflect the 7.98 per cent increase in the value of tax abatement and payments under the social legislation applicable at the seven headquarters duty stations and again argued for the secondary dependent's allowance to be set at 50 per cent of the children's allowance. ICSC, after reviewing its previous recommendations to the General Assembly and the latter's responses, decided to recommend the current levels of children's allowance (including that for disabled children) and of the secondary dependent's allowance should be increased in the same way to reflect the 7.98 per cent increase. The Assembly, in resolution 51/216 F, approved the increase.
(39) At its 86th session (April 1997: ACC/1997/6, paras. 70-71) CCAQ recalled that the determination of the level of the children's allowance was established and paid as a social benefit which involved the establishment of a floor formula. It was not a part of the General Service salary survey methodology and should continue to be treated separately. In updating the formula to reflect average practices, the floor would be reduced from 3 to 2.5 per cent. ICSC confirmed these positions with transitional measures (A/52/30, para. 150).
(40) At its 88th session (April 1998: ACC/1998/5, para. 29) CCAQ supported the proposal for increases of 14.6 per cent in the children's and secondary dependant's allowances with effect from 1 January 1999. ICSC recommended the increases (A/53/30, para, 124) and the General Assembly approved them by resolution 53/209 I F.
(41) At the same session CCAQ endorsed WHO's offer to take the lead in preparing an analysis of the feasibility and desirability of abolishing the separate single and dependency rates of base pay for the Professional and higher categories (ACC/1998/5, para. 48).
(42) At its 90th session (April 1999: ACC/1999/5, para. 17) CCAQ, having examined the ICSC secretariat's review of the basis for the dependent children's allowance for the General Service and other locally recruited categories, expressed concern that the review focussed on the methodology for determining the level of the dependant's allowance, i.e. the floor or local practice amounts; it did not provide an in-depth review of why the UN system, as a good employer, should maintain this allowance, which had been repeatedly endorsed by ICSC and its precursors as a social benefit. It was concerned that the data contained in the annexes to the document were based on assumptions which could be questioned, including inter alia that each General Service staff member had two dependent children and expressed concern over the validity of the data presented with respect to headquarters' duty stations. Recalling the history of the floor amount, which had led to the revision of the amount in 1997 from 3 per cent to 2.5 per cent of the mid-point of the GS salary scale, CCAQ was concerned at the separation of data for non-headquarters from headquarters might distort the position of non-headquarters locations and noted the abundance of data since 1982 on National Officers which could support benefits based on local practice rather than the floor amount. CCAQ also questioned whether the mid-point remained the most valid comparison point and concluded for these and other reasons that the current arrangements for the determination of dependency allowances should be maintained. ICSC decided that the social benefit approach for the payment of the allowance should continue to be maintained and that the floor formula should be reviewed to the extent possible in 2000 and not later than 2001 (ICSC/49/R.12, para. 109). Until the review was complete, the floor formula of 2.5 per cent of the mid-point of the salary scale would remain unchanged.
(43) At its 52nd session (July-August 2000: ICSC/52/R.16, para. 31) ICSC reviewed the rationale, scope, methodology and level of children's and secondary dependants allowances. CCAQ concurred with the proposal of ICSC secretariat to increase the two allowances to reflect the 11.89 per cent increase in the value of the tax abatement and payments under the social legislation applicable at the seven headquarters locations. ICSC decided to maintain the allowances as a social benefit and to maintain the current methodology for the determination of the allowances for the Professional and higher categories. ICSC decided to recommend to the General Assembly with effect from 1 January 2001 the increase of 11.89 per cent. The children's allowance would be $1,936, the disabled children's allowance $3,872 and the secondary dependant's allowance $693 in countries where dependency allowances were fixed in US dollars. The amounts in other currencies would be increased by the same percentage. Dependency allowances payable to common system staff should be reduced by the amount of any direct payments received from a government in respect of dependants (A/55/30, paras. 133-134). The Assembly took note of the decision of ICSC with regard to the methodology, rationale and scope of the allowances and approved the increase (resolution 55/223 II E).
(44) At its April 2002 meeting (CEB/2002/HLCM/8, para. 9) the HR Network took note of the proposals to maintain the children's allowance and secondary dependant's allowance at current levels. It recalled the concerns it had expressed to the Commission in 2001 in respect of the varying Euro amounts which had become payable in countries of the Euro zone and agreed to reiterate to ICSC the need to review this matter in the context of Tier III of the pay and benefits reform schedule. The Commission decided to recommend to the General Assembly that these allowances be maintained at their current levels (A/57/30, para. 182). The Assembly endorsed the recommendations by resolution 57/285 II B.
(45) At its March 2004 meeting (CEB/2004/HLCM/14, para. 15) the HR Network took note of the review of the level of children's and secondary dependant's allowances (ICSC/58/R.7), which represented the routine updating of these amounts on the basis of tax abatements and social security payments in the countries of the eight headquarters duty stations. ICSC decided to recommend to the General Assembly that: (a) starting from the current review, the amounts of children's and secondary dependant's allowances should be determined on the basis of the value of tax abatements and social security payments in the countries of the eight headquarters duty stations, including Spain; (b) the current levels of the children's and secondary dependant's allowances should remain unchanged; (c) the current list of duty stations where the allowances are payable in local currencies should be maintained for the time being pending a review of the methodology to determine the dependency allowances; and (d) dependency allowances payable to eligible common system staff should be reduced by the amount of any direct payments received from Governments in respect of dependents (A/59/30, para. 244). The Assembly approved the recommendations (resolution 59/268 II E).
(46) At its February 2005 meeting (CEB/2005/HLCM/8, para. 4) the HR Network recalled and strongly reaffirmed some of the principles underlying the current system of single and dependency rates of salary with respect to the review of the system by ICSC, in particular, (a) equal pay for equal work, which was reflected in the fact that the gross salary for United Nations staff was the same for all, regardless of marital status or the number of children, (b) dependency rates should be regarded as a social benefit and (c) were granted in recognition of the additional expenditures that were incurred by staff members with dependants as opposed to those without dependants and, as such, fully commensurate with the principle of equal pay for equal work. The Network emphasized that the current system corresponded to the comparator's and other countries' systems of dealing with the impact of marital status and family size on personal income which resulted in a higher take-home (net) pay for persons with primary dependants. The system of differentiated rates of staff assessment had worked well in meeting the requirements of equity, competitivity and compatibility with the comparator. Any changes to the single/dependency rate system were bound to entail considerable legal and administrative implications which would require extensive study prior to any change. The Executive Heads had consistently requested the Commission to give priority, first and foremost, to the total compensation comparison which was required under the Noblemaire principle and which constituted the basic foundation of the UN's pay and benefit system. Matters such as the differentials between single and dependency rates could not meaningfully be reviewed until the overall picture was known and understood. The HR Network decided to recommend that the current system of single and dependency rates should be maintained and that no changes be made to the differential at this point. ICSC decided to maintain the distinction in remuneration between staff with and without primary dependants and to maintain the current ratios between the single and dependency rates of the base/floor salary scale. It decided to report to the Assembly that the contemporary rationale for maintaining dependency and single rates on the base/floor salary scale was directly linked to the practices of Member States that maintain such a differentiation in their own tax systems. The distinction resulted in higher net salaries for staff with dependants to reflect, inter alia, the additional costs involved with additional dependants as opposed to staff without dependants. This rationale was largely the same as that used by those Member States maintaining such a distinction in their national income tax systems (A/60/30, para. 63).
(47) At the same meeting (CEB/2005/HLCM/8, paras. 5 & 6) the HR Network reiterated its concern, with respect to the ICSC’s examination of the system for calculating and adjusting the allowances for children and secondary dependents, that the Commission was reviewing individual elements of the pay and benefits system prior to an in-depth review of the application of the Noblemaire principle. It fully concurred with the ICSC secretariat the rationale and the administration of the dependency allowance had not caused any major problems but expressed concern about the implications of the proposed options put forward by the secretariat, which did not appear to contribute to simplification, and would require further study. The Network therefore recommended that no change be made to the system. ICSC noted that the current system had functioned to the satisfaction of all parties. It had not seen acceptable proposals to improve its operation, in particular with regard to the local currency denomination scheme, and therefore decided that the current system be maintained. It would welcome, however, proposals on improving the local currency denomination scheme at a future date (ICSC/60/R.13, para. 53).
(47) At the 2006 March meeting of the HR Network (CEB/2006/HLCM/12), it was recalled that standard practice dictated that dependency allowances be reviewed every two years, levels being determined on the basis of the value of tax abatements and social security payments in countries of the eight headquarters duty stations. It was noted that Italy’s removal of all child benefits under tax and social legislation had affected the calculated benefits. The current methodology – the HR Network stated – was flawed and it recommended that not only the allowances but also the methodology for calculating them be re-examined. The approach it favoured was a modified version of that summarised in paragraph 26 (ICSC/62/R.5), involving the maintaining of current payments. The Commission did not accept the HR Network’s recommendation and decided to apply the existing methodology. It indicated that the following recommendations would be made to the General Assembly:
(a) For staff who became eligible to receive the dependency allowances on or after 1 January 2007, the following amounts would be payable:
(i) Children’s allowance — US$ 1,780 per annum;
(ii) Disabled child allowance — US$ 3,560 per annum;
(iii) Secondary dependant’s allowance — US$ 637 per annum;
(iv) At duty stations where the dependency allowances were expressed in local currency, the revised amounts of the children’s and secondary dependant’s allowances as shown in the Annex to the report.
(b) For staff who were currently eligible to receive the dependency allowances, the current amounts will continue to be payable as follows:
(i) Children’s allowance — US$ 1,936 per annum;
(ii) Disabled child allowance — US$ 3,872 per annum;
(iii) Secondary dependant’s allowance — US$ 693 per annum;
(iv) At duty stations where the dependency allowances were expressed in local currency, the current amounts of the children’s and secondary dependant’s allowances as shown in the Annex to the report will continue to be payable.
(c) The dependency allowances should be reduced by the amount of any direct payments received by staff from a government in respect of dependants.
The Committee agreed that the methodology required examination and asked that its secretariat prepare a review.
(48) At the 15h session of the HR Network in Rome (CEB/2008/HLCM/HR/17, paras. 8-9), the Commission decided to inform the General Assembly of the following decisions:
(a) The children’s allowance should be established as a global flat-rate amount calculated as the average of the United States dollar amounts of child benefits at the eight headquarters duty stations weighted by the number of staff at those locations;
(b) At the time of its implementation, the United States dollar amount of the allowance would be converted to local currency using the official United Nations exchange rate and would remain unchanged until the next biennial review;
(c) The flat amount would be recalculated on the same basis at the time of every subsequent review;
(d) The secondary dependants allowance should be established at 35 per cent of the proposed children’s allowance;
(e) As a transitional measure, where, at the time of implementation, the revised flat-rate was lower than the one currently in effect, the allowance payable to currently eligible staff would be equal to the higher rate reduced by 25 per cent of the difference between the two rates; if, during the next review of the allowance, that rate remained above the newly revised flat rate, a further reduction equal to 50 per cent of the difference would be applied. The transitional measures will come into effect as of 1 January 2009 and will be discontinued as of 31 December 2012.
(49) At the HR Network’s sixteenth session (CEB/2008/HLCM/HR/35, paras. 11-12), the Commission decided to recommend to the General Assembly that, as of 1 January 2009:
(a) The children’s allowance should be set as a global flat-rate amount of $2,686 per annum and the disabled children’s allowance should be double that amount, i.e. $5,372 per annum;
(b) The secondary dependants’ allowance should be set at $940 per annum;
(c) At hard currency locations, the United States dollar amount of the allowance, as established in sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) above, should be converted to local currency using the official United Nations rate of exchange, as at the date of promulgation, and should remain unchanged until the next biennial review;
(d) As a transitional measure, where, at the time of implementation, the revised flat-rate allowance was lower than the one currently in effect, the allowance payable to currently eligible staff would be equal to the higher rate reduced by 25 per cent of the difference between the two rates. If that transitional rate remained above the one set as of 1 January 2011 a further reduction equal to 50 per cent of the difference between the transitional rates set on 1 January 2009 and the rate of the allowance set for 1 January 2011 would be applied. Such transitional measures would be completely discontinued as of 1 January 2013;
(e) The dependency allowances should be reduced by the amount of any direct payments received by staff from a Government in respect of dependants.
(50) At its twentieth session (CEB/2010/HLCM/HR/35, paras.47-48), the HR Network noted the proposed new flat amount for the child allowance and the rates for the transitional measures in the two duty stations concerned.
The Commission decided to recommend to the General Assembly that, as of 1 January 2011:
(a) The children’s allowance be set at US$ 2,929 per annum and the disabled children’s allowance at US$ 5,858 per annum;
(b) The secondary dependant’s allowance be set at US$ 1,025 per annum;
(c) The United States dollar amount of the allowance, as established in subparagraphs (a) and (b) above, be converted to local currency using the official United Nations exchange rate as of the date of implementation and remain unchanged until the next biennial review;
(d) As a transitional measure, where, at the time of implementation, the revised flat-rate allowance were to be lower than the one currently in effect, the allowances payable to currently eligible staff be equal to the higher rate reduced by 50 per cent of the difference between the two rates;
(e) The dependency allowances be reduced by the amount of any direct payments received by staff from a Government in respect of dependants.