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United Nations’ Staff Employing Domestics with G-5 Visas

HomeWork Solutions has many years of experience providing payroll and tax services to employer’s with domestics working in the US on a G-5 Visa. There are some wage and reporting requirements for this employment situation that are driven by the United Nations’ Secretariat Code of Conduct. All UN Staff holding an “G” category visa requesting the privilege to obtain a visa for a foreign domestic must agree to this Code of Conduct as part of the visa application process. These unique rules for the G-5 employment arrangement are subject to change. The prevailing Code of Conduct published by the UN Secretariat should be consulted to clarify any questions. Please note that employers of a G-5 domestic must also comply with local employment laws including the NY Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, the NY Wage Theft Prevention Act and other local ordinances.

Unique G-5 Employment Requirements

  • The worker must not be related to the U.N. staff member or the member’s family or to another U.N. staff member;
  • The worker must have previous experience in domestic service and provide letters of recommendation from previous employers;
  • The worker must come from the same cultural background as the staff member or have “several years” of domestic service with the staff member’s household;
  • The staff member must agree to provide private accommodation for the worker in the household;
  • The staff member must have demonstrated ability to pay required wages, payroll taxes, and health care expenses; and
  • The staff member must agree to provide a wage statement to the worker with each payment, listing hours worked, wages paid, and deductions taken.

Mandatory employment contract requirements:

Contracts must “meet the conditions established by the U.S. government” and include the following statements, in relevant part, governing employment conditions:

  • Salary to be received and that the salary will be paid weekly or bi-weekly (Note New York State law requires weekly payment);
  • That the worker shall normally work eight hour days, five days a week;
  • That any time worked over forty hours per week is to be considered overtime and to be paid at one and one half times the hourly rate [New York law requires live-in domestic workers to be paid over-time for work over 44 hours per week.];
  • That the worker shall have two full days off per week;
  • That the worker shall be free to leave the employer’s premises at all times other than regular or overtime working hours;
  • That the worker shall get two weeks of paid vacation annually;
  • That the employer shall pay the worker’s medical insurance and reasonable expenses;
  • That the employer may not charge the live in G-5 domestic for room and board;
  • That the employer will pay for the worker’s travel to and from the United States;
  • That the worker’s duties shall be “normal domestic work,” including child care;
  • That either party may terminate the contract with one month notice; and
  • That the employer should assist the employee in filing the required income tax forms.

Mandatory record-keeping requirements:

The employer must maintain the following records during employment plus three years:

  • All documents required by circular diplomatic notes; and
  • A record of all social security payments made for the worker; and
  • A record of all health insurance payments made for the worker.
Sponsoring organizations from time to time make changes to the employment rules imposed on the staff member sponsoring and employing the G-5 domestic. These changes generally impose additional documentation and time/payroll tracking procedures designed to protect the sponsoring organization from charges of sponsoring ‘domestic enslavement’ should abuses occur. HomeWork Solutions strongly encourages the sponsoring staff member to request and become familiar with the current regulations imposed by their sponsoring organization.

» October 2009 Updated US State Department Diplomatic Note
» June 2009 9 FAM Changes to Reflect the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008

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Last Updated April 2012

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