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Working for the ICRC: a responsible employer


The ICRC's human resources policy and other useful information for potential staff

Pay and benefits


Pay and benefits 

Ref. CD-N-00097-30 

The ICRC strives to offer its staff a level of pay and benefits that are commensurate with their responsibilities. Its pay policy is based on equity, transparency and recognition of a professionally challenging situation. Staff enjoy excellent social benefits.


 Benefits for expatriates  

The ICRC offers expatriate staff benefits that take account of the special conditions of expatriation and the need for a high level of commitment at all times.

  •  Salary : salary is set in accordance with a scale that takes account of the staff member's training and experience and the importance of his/her position. The scale is based on a system of classes containing a detailed definition of the relevant functions and skills. The salary also reflects the level of the staff member's performance.

  •  Housing (while on mission in the field): provided by the ICRC.

  •  Insurance : under Swiss law, expatriates are obliged to be affiliated to the federal old age insurance, disability insurance and unemployment insurance schemes. They are insured by the ICRC against accidents (this is obligatory) - including the risks of war - illness and loss of earnings. They bear part of the cost of the premiums. They are also obliged (under Swiss law) to become members of the ICRC pension fund if they have a contract lasting more than three months.

 Annual leave : six weeks. Field personnel can only take this leave at the end of a mission.

  •  Capital Avenir: a lump sum that gradually accrues to each employee, as of the third year under contract. The Capital Avenir can be used while under contract or on leaving the ICRC. It aims as a priority to help finance training, a career change or retirement benefits.

Security and health


Security and health 

Security is of paramount and constant concern to the ICRC, which does all in its power to reduce risks. It cannot, however, guarantee security, which is a responsibility shared by the staff member and the organization. Working in conflict zones implies that danger is always present. The risks inherent in armed conflict are compounded by those of crime, serious illness or an accident. Physical injury and psychological strain are'occupational hazards'at the ICRC.

 Strict rules  

Every staff member is responsible for their personal safety and is required to take care of their health. Furthermore, every staff member is responsible for assessing the risks, as a function of their role in the field. Personnel must be able to assess the potentially negative impact of their words or actions, for themselves and for others. Everyone must act with the discernment and circumspection required by the circumstances.

The ICRC has drawn up guidelines on security. In addition, every delegation draws up internal security regulations that reflect local conditions, the specific dangers and experience acquired on the spot. A special effort is made to train personnel about security concerns in order to instil the necessary reflexes. All ICRC staff must strictly observe security instructions.

 Caring for your health  

The risks to staff members'physical and mental health are h igh, given the environment in which they work. The ICRC takes these risks very seriously.

The ICRC alerts its staff to health issues in the course of its training programmes on stress management and by heightening their awareness of how to prevent problems arising. Staff undergo an obligatory medical examination each time they return from mission, or at least once a year. Specially trained medical staff follow up staff members'physical and mental health. They will provide support at headquarters or in the field as required.

Staff can reduce health hazards by making proper preparations, by behaving responsibly and by taking appropriate preventive action.