EC4A, London
£31,490.55 per year
Contract, Full-time
Job description


The HR Function is responsible for attracting, selecting, developing and retaining high-quality medical and non-medical volunteers for MSF operations and MSF UK & Ireland office staff.

The department provides HRM support to both the MSF UK field staff and MSF UK and Ireland staff. It is actively involved in the international MSF HRM forum to promote best practice in the management and support of field staff in general and to provide more equal opportunities for UK field workers in particular. The department plays a pivotal role in building up and maintaining relationships with the UK medical community and networking with medical institutions.

In addition, the department is part of a larger ‘virtual HR department’ for Operational Centre Amsterdam (OCA) which comprises MSF UK/IE, MSF Germany and MSF Holland. Together the department works in partnership on all aspects of field related HRM.



(specific to field staff)

  • Manage all practical arrangements for departing field staff, including: booking travel, obtaining visas, and ensuring all necessary documentation is in place, in line with the MSF procedures, and in consultation with the Human Resources Officers (HROs) and overseas counterparts where necessary
  • Ensure that all paperwork for staff contracts, payroll, and benefits is in place and processed within necessary time frames and according to MSF policies. This includes processing expenses, contract commencement and conclusion, insurance enrollment and filing to ensure correct and transparent reporting
  • Regularly update HR information systems (HRIS) (HR databases and Excel-based), the electronic and hard copy filing systems and other HRIS relevant to field staff, ensuring information on all field staff is accurate, complete, and processed confidentially in line with GDPR
  • Act as first point of contact for field staff queries on administration of pay and benefits and routine HR matters (over the telephone, by email, and face-to-face) providing information and basic HR advice in line with organisational policy
  • Together with the other HR Administrators act as first point of call for all public enquiries regarding working for MSF in the field
  • Undertake all pre-employment checks as necessary, including but not limited to obtaining references and DBS certificates, and facilitating medical clearances as necessary
  • Scale field staff CV’s rating their experience to determine their salary level
  • Prepare standard employment letters for field staff as required. Work as a full member of the wider MSF UK HR team, assisting with HR projects/tasks as and when required


  • Develop and manage relationships with counterparts in the overseas offices - especially the Operational Centres’ (‘OCs’) field HR teams
  • Work closely with overseas counterparts and the Field HR team to ensure a smooth process for UK staff departing to, and returning from, the field; use own initiative to troubleshoot and escalate any issues as necessary.
  • Coordinate with various services providers to manage the departure/return of field staff (including, but not limited to: travel agent, couriers, healthcare service providers)
  • Liaise directly with visa service provider, embassies and consulates to obtain visas for staff in collaboration with overseas counterparts as necessary. Developing and maintaining positive relationships with all parties

Use of resources

  • Manage the administrative processes in the most cost-effective manner possible by making independent decisions regarding expenses in accordance with the policy, escalating exceptions appropriately
  • Raise purchase orders for expenses related to the field staff and validate related invoices prior to approval by line managers
  • Actively contribute to the revision of internal HR processes and the harmonisation of HR administration processes across the movement, updating process documents as necessary and suggesting improvements to day-to-day processes
  • Support other HR team members by sharing knowledge, and best practice; contributing to the training of new team members.
  • Support line managers within the UK office by referring them to the management tools and resources available
  • Assist the HR Officer (Learning & Development) with preparative and administrative processes for the Welcome Days.
  • Responsible for processing requests for Certificates of Coverage and Forms a for field staff where necessary, including liaising with the overseas section, preparing the relevant documents and submitting to the relevant authority

Analysis and initiative

  • Collate key HR information, providing regular and ad-hoc statistics and reports to relevant people (HR Managers, HROs and the wider office) accurately and within the agreed timeframes
  • Take responsibility for planning and prioritising workload, ensuring that tasks are completed within the agreed timescales, taking the initiative to adapt priorities as required by changing priorities ensuring that all staff depart to the field within the agreed timescales
  • Continually revise communication and data-collection procedures to ensure compliance with UK law and to maximise effectiveness and utility for the HR team and field staff at all stages of their MSF UK employment lifecycle
  • Support HR Managers and HROs with employee relations casework as required
  • Disseminate information and documentation received from the field, OC’s and MSF UK relating to security, health and situation reports appropriately
  • Ensure that departure processes are followed and all relevant documentation is filed, in accordance with MSF policy, and recorded in HRIS as necessary

Please note that this list is indicative of the key responsibilities of this role but is by no means exhaustive. MSF is an emergency organisation and a ‘can do’ attitude and flexibility to take on other related tasks is essential.



Essential skills and behaviors

  • A systematic and organised approach with an ability to follow things through and adhere to strict deadlines
  • Ability to work supportively and effectively within and across teams, and build good working relationships both in the office with colleagues overseas
  • Ability to work independently and under minimal supervision in a fast paced and demanding environment exercising good judgment and using own initiative
  • Ability to plan, manage own workload, juggle priorities and work under pressure while maintaining efficiency, accuracy and adhering to strict deadlines
  • Proven ability to write clearly and accurately produce, adapt and proof-read documents
  • Confident interpersonal and clear communication skills
  • Solid administrative experience, preferably in an HR department, including recruitment, preparing standard letters, documents and data inputting and filing
  • Experience of supporting internal and external clients in a busy service-orientated environment
  • Sound understanding of the role of Human Resources within a wider organisation
  • Consistently high degree of accuracy and excellent attention to detail
  • Strong Microsoft Excel and Word skills, proficient use of email systems, filing systems, internet research, and office intranet/data systems
  • Ability to deal with people at all levels and from all backgrounds
  • Responsible attitude to dealing with sensitive and confidential information, and awareness of GDPR
  • Willing to continually update own skills and knowledge across a range of HR-related subjects
  • Commitment to the aims and values to Médecins Sans Frontières

Please visit the MSF UK website for the full job description. 


Please apply on our website by submitting a copy of your CV together with a letter of motivation by the closing date: 12 July 2020, 11.59 pm (BST).  

More about Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF)
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF)

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) provides life-saving emergency relief and longer-term med... Read more

Refreshed on: 07 July 2020
Closed date: 12 July 2020
Tags: Admin, Human Resources

The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.