Legal Specialist

  • Full Time
  • China

International Labour Organization


Legal Specialist

Grade: P4
Vacancy no.: RAPS/3/2023/AS/01
Publication date: 7 July 2023
Application deadline (midnight Geneva time): 7 August 202

Job ID: 11009
Department: RO-Asia and the Pacific
Organization Unit: CO-Beijing
Location: Beijing
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 candidates 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: ILO Jobs: Non- and under-represented Member States

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.

Notwithstanding the general considerations set out in the ILO Staff Regulations, this vacancy announcement is the only authoritative document pertaining to the qualifications required for this position. The minimum required qualifications were determined in view of the specific duties and responsibilities of this position.

The specific language requirements for this position are detailed hereunder. However, candidates applying for the professional category vacancies who have not already successfully completed their probationary period within the ILO and whose mother tongue is not one of the working languages of the Office (English, French and Spanish), shall be required to possess a fully satisfactory working knowledge of at least one of the ILO working languages. If appointed they may be required to acquire a knowledge of a second working language of the Office during their initial years of service.


The position is located in the ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia (CO-Beijing) based in Beijing, China. CO-Beijing is guided by the Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) which focuses on three strategic areas: increase the quantity and quality of employment; promote and extend social protection in and out of the workplace; and strengthen the rule of law and the realization of fundamental principles and rights at work in China.

The ILO’s Programme and Budget 2024-2025 includes stronger normative action and a modernization of normative activities in the light of a rapidly transforming world of work and in particular prevalence of diverse forms of work arrangements, particularly in the ing platform work. In this context, at its March 2023 session, the Governing Body decided to place a standard setting item on decent work in the platform economy on the agenda of the International Labour Conference in 2025 and 2026.

As stated in the Declaration of the Eighth BRICS Labour and Employment Minister’s Meeting, organized in 2022 and chaired by the Minister of Human Resources and Social Security of China, new forms of employment, represented in particular by digital labour platforms, have brought unprecedented opportunities, but also pose new challenges to the protection of workers’ rights. In this context, China has been developing innovative regulatory approaches to promote labour and social protection for workers in the platform economy and in other work arrangements.

The Specialist will provide legal and policy advice on the protection of workers’ rights in the platform economy and in other work arrangements. Drawing on international and comparative evidence-based knowledge and expertise, the Specialist will primarily deliver advisory services to ILO constituents in China and Mongolia, as identified in the respective Decent Work Country Programmes of both countries, but (s)he can also be requested to intervene in other East Asia countries, in close consultation with specialists in the Decent Work Technical Support team (DWT) in Bangkok.

The incumbent will report to the Director of CO-Beijing and will receive technical guidance and advice from the Inclusive Labour Markets, Labour Relations and Working Conditions Branch (INWORK) of the WORKQUALITY department, in coordination with the Labour Law and Reform Unit within the Governance and Tripartism Department at ILO headquarters. The incumbent will work in close collaboration with other technical specialists in the DWT-Bangkok and, as appropriate, departments and branches, notably in the Governance, Rights and Dialogue Cluster.

Specific Duties

  1. Provide support and assistance to constituents in the development of diagnoses and/or regulations or compliance mechanisms to extend labour and social protection to workers facing a high risk of exclusion due to their work arrangements, with a particular focus on those in the platform economy and other new forms of employment.
  2. Examine and provide comments, as appropriate, to draft reports by governments and other authorities and analyse legislation and practice concerning the application of labour laws, with a particular focus on workers in diverse and new forms of employment, notably in the platform economy.
  3. Develop legal and policy-oriented research and tools aimed at the strengthening of decent work in the platform economy and in other work arrangements.
  4. Review national legislation, research and practices regarding employment in the platform economy and contribute to studies on regulatory and compliance gaps, and approaches to ensure decent work for the workers concerned.
  5. Facilitate tripartite consultations on industrial relations, including labour dispute resolution, within the platform economy and regarding workers in other work arrangements.
  6. Establish and develop links with Chinese research centres and academia to create a network of experts on the topic of decent work in the platform economy and other work arrangements.
  7. Organize dialogues and participate in events on challenges and good practices regarding the promotion of decent work in the platform economy and in new forms of work arrangements, including through innovative regulatory approaches in areas such as social security, public employment services and vocational training.
  8. Assist in the preparation of strategic work plans in the domain of laws and regulations that respond to constituents’ needs, and coordinate activities with other specialists in the DWT/Bangkok, the Regional Office and, as appropriate other technical units at ILO headquarters.
  9. 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 on ratified and unratified Conventions and Recommendations. Examine and analyse complaints. Prepare comparative analyses of the legislation and practice of the different member States. Draft comments for presentation to and discussion with high-level committees and/or groups of experts. Provide advice to colleagues on labour standards under the incumbent’s responsibility.
  2. Prepare legal opinions and interpretations on a variety of legal questions or in a specialized field.
  3. Prepare notes, reports and documents concerning questions of international law or labour standards, including requests for interpretations on complex legal questions, for consideration by governments, the Governing Body, the International Labour Conference and the Director-General. Develop strategies for follow-up to decisions made by policy bodies.
  4. Analyse draft labour legislation submitted by governments to the ILO for comments prior to adoption.
    Undertake research and write studies on complex problems (i.e. judging compatibility between legislation and practice) relating to international labour standards, labour law and labour relations, as well as prepare general surveys, manuals and articles. Supervise the preparation of statements on questions of public international law relevant to the work of the ILO. Advise on the position to be taken by the Organization on these issues.
  5. Review and approve instruments of ratification.
  6. Provide technical support to special tripartite committees established by the Governing Body or commissions of inquiry to examine alleged infringements of ratified Conventions.
  7. Represent the work unit at meetings, including Conference committees and industrial committees, to provide advice on legal questions or questions concerning international labour standards or labour relations. Act as adviser to Conference committees and assist in the drafting of international legal instruments and participate in pre-conference work, including drafting committees. Represent the Office at meetings of other international organizations.
  8. Develop, plan and implement technical advisory and promotional activities, including tripartite seminars, workshops, lectures and discussion groups. Represent the Office on missions which may be of a sensitive or controversial nature and before judicial bodies. Represent the work unit on internal committees or at inter-agency meetings.
  9. Participate in the secretariat of various committees dealing with legal issues or labour standards, including preparation of background material and documents, drafting records of meetings, drafting reports, etc

Required qualifications
Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in law, preferably with a specialization in labour law.

A first-level university degree (Bachelor’s or equivalent) in Law with an additional two years of relevant experience, in addition to the required experience stated below, will be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.

Seven years of relevant practical experience, including at the international level, in labour law and labour relations. Prior work experience in China is an asset.

Excellent command of English. Working knowledge of a second working language (French, Spanish) of the Organization is required. Working knowledge of Chinese would be an advantage.

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

In-depth knowledge of regulation, comparative law and compliance mechanisms. In-depth knowledge of the challenges and opportunities generated by the platform economy with regard to ensuring access to decent work, and fair competition between enterprises. Demonstrated ability to provide technical and legal advice at country level. Ability to design research studies and conduct comparative analyses involving the application of legal principles to administrative, substantive and procedural problems of a complex nature. Excellent written and spoken communication and presentation skills. Strong diplomatic skills, tact and discretion. High standard of integrity, professionalism, personal discipline and impartiality. Good interpersonal skills. 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 the ILO Jobs International Recruitment page.

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. 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.

The ILO has zero tolerance for acts of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) and is determined to ensure that all staff members and all beneficiaries of ILO assistance do not suffer, directly or indirectly, from sexual exploitation and abuse.
To ensure that individuals with a substantiated history of SEA, sexual harassment or other types of abusive conduct are not hired by the Organisation, the ILO may conduct a background verification of candidates under consideration.

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.

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