WIPO Members Wrestle With Proposed Delay In Increasing Retirement Age 11/10/2017 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Among the hot issues at this year’s annual World Intellectual Property Organization Assemblies is a proposal by WIPO to delay compliance with a United Nations-wide mandate to raise retirement age from 62 to 65 for those who started employment before 2014, supposed to go into effect on 1 January. WIPO’s proposal to wait 3 years to raise the age for those who joined the organisation is intended to open up dozens of posts that can then be filled with workers holding other skills deemed more needed as the global IP system has changed. According to a document, WO/CC/74/6 [pdf], provided by WIPO to the Coordination Committee, the member state body that deals with human resources issues, some 90 WIPO employees would retire if the deadline is moved to 2020 from 2018. The committee is asked to approve the document. WIPO translators at the General Assembly At issue is WIPO’s hiring freeze, which does not allow appointments to new posts unless there is retirement from an existing post. WIPO is arguing that it needs more translators in the higher demand languages reflecting the rise in filings at the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). These languages include Chinese and Korean, but the document also mentions Japanese and English. WIPO also is making moves to emphasis more recruitment among women, to balance out the staff, and this also could be addressed if the retirements are allowed to go through. The openings would also allow attention to diversity, the document says. Some 60 percent of the posts that would open up in that period are fairly high level (P4 and P5 in UN speak), while 40 percent would be general staff. Within those levels there are gradations as employees rise over the years. WIPO said there would be cost savings with the delay. “WIPO’s forward planning would be largely frozen, hurting business at this particular juncture where a re-configuration of competencies is acutely needed,” the document states. “Equally relevant, opportunities for improving geographical representation and gender balance would be drastically limited. Further, annual step increments in salary will continue to be paid to those who have not yet reached the highest step of their grade, foregoing cost savings that would result from new recruitments for vacant posts published at the same grade or at a lower grade.” At press time, negotiations were ongoing, and at least one source said proposals have included the possibility of reducing the length of delay, for instance to 1 or 2 years. Image Credits: Copyright: WIPO. Photo: Violaine Martin. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 IGO License. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related William New may be reached at email@example.com."WIPO Members Wrestle With Proposed Delay In Increasing Retirement Age" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.