Photo: Maria Miyasiro serves with UNDP in Peru as a UN Volunteer Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing Specialist. Here, at a park close to Lomas de Mangomarca (fog oasis), San Juan de Lurigancho, Lima, Peru, she conducts an environmental awareness session about the importance of the oasis ecosystems to park visitors.
© Adriana Kato/UNDP, 2018
End of assignment
Expiration or early termination of assignments
There are five circumstances which relate to the end of an assignment:
Without an official extension or new assignment, your volunteer’s contract will cease on the original end of contract date.
Recognise the UN Volunteer’s development and turn a sad goodbye into a positive celebration of what you achieved together.
Set a reminder, two months before your volunteer’s last day, reminding you of the agreed end date.
Give your volunteer advance notice that their contract won’t be extended and start planning their exit strategy.
Encourage them to take accrued annual leave, perhaps in the last days/weeks before the assignment ends. Unused leave will be forfeited.
Ask for handover notes from your volunteer, who can delegate unfinished tasks and information to the right person.
Remind the volunteer to complete our Volunteer Reporting Application (VRA). Payment of final entitlements depend on timely completion prior to contract end date.
Support volunteer to complete the final clearance checklist. We are unable to authorize return travel and pay final entitlements until we receive the form, signed by your organization, clearing all outstanding obligations (financial or otherwise).
Account for UN assets, especially multi-user equipment, in your volunteer’s name.
Arrange an exit interview or final performance appraisal to ask about your volunteer’s experience at work. Most speak truthfully in their final workdays. Take ideas from their feedback to improve processes and productivity at work.
Consider running a survey to track patterns and trends over time.
Recognize and reflect on your volunteer’s contribution and skills developed through the assignment. Take time to answer questions and grievances. Respecting and appreciating your volunteer now, as you always have, could mean they always champion your organization.
Reassure your volunteer that their final entitlements (repatriation travel, shipping for personal belongings, resettlement allowance) will be paid into their bank account when the final clearance checklist is approved, at the end of the assignment.
Let your team and stakeholders know your volunteer’s leaving.
Write a reference letter acknowledging your volunteer’s contributions and commitment, including new skills and abilities learned during the assignment.
Organize a farewell event for your volunteer to help them move on successfully, feeling that they’ve made a difference and grown under your supervision. Your team will also appreciate this chance to say their goodbyes.
If your volunteer resigns during their assignment, there are steps you need to take to formalise the end of their contract. Here’s how to end the assignment early.
Advise your UN Volunteer that they’ll lose their resettlement allowance if they have failed to provide due notice.
Let us know your volunteer has resigned and the new end of contract date. Please factor in the full notice period (see table below) or longer:
Follow standard procedure, as though the assignment ended on the original date.
If you need to terminate your volunteer’s assignment early, let us and your organisation assist you.
There are several grounds on which you may terminate the volunteer’s contract early such as:
8. Other reasons for termination, provided the volunteer agrees to end the contract.
Being away from work without authorization is considered a breach of contract. It could lead to early separation of the volunteer for abandoning their post. If a UN Volunteer does not turn up for work, contact them repeatedly for 10 working days, until you’re answered, to try to find out where they are and why.
Please document your calls, messages and your volunteer’s responses, if any. The post is considered abandoned and the contract ceased on the 10th workday.
To: UN Volunteer@unv.org
Dear [ UN Volunteer’s name ],
Please contact us urgently. We are concerned about your health and wellbeing.
Being absent for 10 working days without permission or written explanation is a breach of contract.
You could lose:
• Your UN Volunteer assignment
• Your financial entitlements (resettlement allowance, return travel, shipment costs)
You may also be required to repay amounts previously paid to you.
Tell us what’s happening, let us help and you can prevent termination of your contract due to abandonment of your post. That would end your assignment with us and your first day absent ( [ dd/mm/yy ] ) from work will be recorded as your contract end date as a UN Volunteer.
You’ve been repeatedly emailed and called, ever since [ dates ].
It concerns us greatly that you have not answered. Please do so now.
[ Your name ]
Supervisor, [ Your organization’s name ]
[ Contact details ]
In the event that your UN Volunteer has passed away, please accept our whole-hearted condolences.
Report and react to this fatality sensitively and get your volunteer home to their family. Given the diverse background of UN Volunteers, extreme cultural sensitivity must be exercised at all times. The impacts of this tragedy (emotional, legal, financial) aren’t yours to bear alone, but for us to help you throughout. Contact our Regional Office immediately and follow the guidance below:
Email ‘email@example.com’ immediately with information on the date and cause of death of your UN Volunteer. We must inform CIGNA and UN Joint Medical Services urgently. Continue to keep us, your organization and partners informed.
We will identify the emergency contact person on the volunteer’s beneficiary form.
Consult with us on how best to inform the family, with advice from the UNDP country office in the volunteer’s home country.
Take comfort from knowing that UNV’s condolence letter was delivered to the family by UNDP representatives personally, and members of your organization where possible.
Clarify facts, discuss feelings and acknowledge grief with your team. Everyone will process loss differently; please be culturally sensitive.
Trust us to get your volunteer home. Where appropriate, the family will be asked to authorize a post-mortem. Storage, embalming and transport costs from the duty station to the home country are covered.
Contract, insurance and payroll will be terminated in the system. Medical insurance for recognised dependents at the duty station extended for 45 days.
Know unpaid financial entitlements will go to your volunteer’s chosen beneficiary. This includes their volunteer living and resettlement allowances.
Understand that life insurance is paid by CIGNA when required documents are submitted (full medical or autopsy report, official death certificate, and birth certificate or equivalent). This can be paid only to the volunteer’s documented beneficiaries.
Handle financial settlements in strict confidentiality. This is highly sensitive information and is illegal for us to mention compensation to anyone except your volunteer’s listed beneficiaries.
List your volunteer’s personal belongings, at home and at work, with a witness from the UN Department of Safety and Security. The family will be sent all personal effects.
Help file the cause of death with CIGNA who will pay out life insurance, when given the full medical or autopsy report, official death certificate, and birth certificate or equivalent.
Collect invoices and certificates for moving non-contagious human remains (from national authorities), coffin conformity, customs clearance and remains transportation.
Check out your volunteer’s office equipment in absentia on our system.
Cancel your volunteer’s lease and known personal contracts. Find out who else may have established contact with the volunteer from within and outside your organization and advise them of the volunteer’s passing.
Help immediate family, friends and colleagues access counselling for emotional trauma from your organization or the UN Department of Safety and Security’s Critical Incident Stress Management Unit.
Create a condolence book for the family with pictures and memories of your volunteer.
Organize a memorial event (service, fundraiser, tree planting) in tribute of your UN Volunteer for colleagues and friends. Such thoughtfulness could bring all concerned, including the family of the deceased, comfort in this difficult time.