Salary and benefits
The EPO is an equal opportunities employer. We also provide our staff with the chance to build stable long-term careers, and offer one of the most comprehensive and family-friendly benefits packages in Europe.
EPO pay comprises a competitive basic salary which may be supplemented by various allowances depending on the employee's individual circumstances and family situation. Salaries and allowances are covered by the EPO's internal tax system and exempt from national income tax.
Relocation and accommodation
Expatriate employees receive a monthly allowance of 16% or 20% of their basic salary. To qualify as expatriate, employees must hold the nationality of a country other than that in which they will be serving and must not have been living in the latter country for more than three years.
Staff who move more than 100 km to join the EPO receive an installation allowance equal to one month's basic salary. The Office also provides practical assistance in finding accommodation.
Staff may also be entitled to a rent allowance.
Reimbursement of removal costs
Subject to certain conditions, the removal expenses of new staff are reimbursed.
Staff who are married and/or have children are eligible for this allowance, which can be up to 6% of their basic salary.
Employees receive an allowance for each dependent child.
The EPO provides a limited number of subsidised crèche places. If none of these is available, employees receive a childcare allowance to help them finance an alternative solution.
The EPO assists its staff with the cost of educating their children, from pre-school to post-secondary education. In particular, within certain limits it covers the costs for attending a number of European/international schools:
- European School The Hague
- The International School of The Hague
- The British School
in the Netherlands
- Lycée Français Vincent van Gogh
- The German International School The Hague (Deutsche Internationale Schule)
- The American School of The Hague
- Berlin Brandenburg International School
- Berlin International School (Kant International School)
- Berlin Metropolitan School Berlin
- The Berlin British School
- École Voltaire
- European School Munich
- Munich International School
- Bavarian International School
- Lycée Jean Renoir
- Vienna International School
- Danube International School
- The American International
- Lycée Français
Employees and their families are insured under a collective medical insurance scheme which also covers death or invalidity. The staff contribution is approximately 3% of the basic salary.
Pension scheme and Salary Savings Plan
On termination of service, the employee receives a two-part package comprising a pension (defined benefits) and a lump sum resulting from a Salary Savings Plan.
Under the pension scheme regulations which apply since 1 January 2009, a staff member with ten or more years' reckonable service is entitled at the age of 60 to an EPO retirement pension calculated on the basis of the final capped salary. Staff who leave before completing ten years' service are paid a severance grant, which includes their pension contributions plus interest.
The Salary Savings Plan allows each employee to accumulate savings growing through long-term investment. The EPO establishes a default investment strategy which applies for the first six months after the employee's date of entry into service. After this period, the employee is given a choice in terms of investment options, which he/she may change on a yearly basis. On termination of service, the employee is entitled to payment of the balance of his/her individual salary savings account as a lump sum corresponding to the contributions paid, plus or minus investment returns. The lump-sum is as an emolument subject to internal tax.
The total employee contribution level for both, the New Pension Scheme and the Salary Savings Plan, amounts to 9.7% of the employee's basic salary. The EPO's contribution is 19.4%.
A language allowance is paid to staff in certain clerical and technical grades who demonstrate (in a short test) that they can speak all three EPO official languages (English, French and German).
Leave and working hours
All EPO staff get 30 days' annual leave. Expatriate staff receive a further eight days' home leave (plus travelling time and expenses for themselves and their immediate family) every two years. The normal working week is 40 hours, but the Office operates a flexitime system for all staff.
Employee Assistance Programme
The EPO offers its employees an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).
The EAP is a benefit programme for (future) staff and immediate family members, free of charge and provides:
- Confidential and immediate access to professional support to resolve work and life issues
- 24/7/365 access to support
- A range of services, including: relocation, counselling, legal advice and financial guidance