Wages and work hours

During a posted worker's deployment in Iceland he is entitled to minimum wages according to relevant collective agreement. Icelandic regulations about maximum work hours and minimum rest periods must also be complied to.

Wages and other wage-related components

According to Act No. 45/2007 on the rights and obligations of foreign undertakings that post workers temporarily in Iceland and on their workers´tems and condition of employment[1], posted workers draw their rights to minimum wages and other wage-related issues from Icelandic collective agreements. December and vacation supplements are catagorized as wage-related issues. They are also entitled to over-time payments and the right to vacation pay. In addition, regluations on maximum work hours and minimum rest periods must be complied with.

In the chapter Overview of trade unions and wage tables information about trade unions in Iceland, their wage tables and minimum wage in relevant occupational sectors can be found.

Examples of minimum wages

The minimum wages are determined on the grounds of the nature of the work, seriority and education.

Examples of minimum monthly gross salary for a 22-year-old general worker in the year 2016 (from 01.05.2017 - 30.4.2018) :

  • Cleaning - 258.966 ISK
  • Fish processing - 262.515 ISK
  • Construction work - 264.331 ISK
  • Machine operators - 272.075 ISK
  • General work in restaurants and catering - 262.515 ISK
  • Minimum wage for qualified tradesmen - 354.430 ISK.
  • Minimum wage for chefs/waiters/butchers with journeyman’s diploma - 346.974 ISK

The minimum wages according to the collective agreements are based on a full day’s work, 40 hours per week. Overtime is paid for work in excess of this and for work on Saturdays and Sundays.

Notwithstandi above provisions, the minimum income is ISK 280.000 per month for a full-time position, i.e. 173,33 hours worked per month (40 hours per week) for an employee who has reached the age of 18 and has worked for at least six months in the same company or at least 900 hours.

Surveillance with working conditions

In relation to a registration of a foreign undertaking to the Directorate of Labour[3] the Directorate requests copies of employment contracts of the workers posted to Iceland, to ensure that posted workers’ terms of employment are in accordance with Icelandic collective agreements during the periods in which they work in Iceland.

It is the role of the unions‘ shop stewards of each employer to ensure that collective agreements are respected, including when workers of foreign undertakings are concerned.  If there any grounds for suspicion that the rights of a foreign employee have been breached, the shop steward has the right to review any documents pertaining to the employee‘s wages and other terms and conditions of service. If the company does not have a shop steward then the appropriate trade union should be contacted to review the documentation.

In the event of any suspicion of any breach of rights, the appropriate step is to seek the assistance of the shop steward at the workplace and inform the Directorate of Labour. Both parties can investigate the matter and demand rectification. If there is no shop steward at the workplace, the appropriate step is to contact the trade union operating in the area of the relevant field of work and seek assistance.

Work Hours

Work hours are to be according to collective agreements and can differs based on what collective agreement applies. Here you can find a general overview of work hours.

  • Daytime Working-Hours: Working-hours should be 40 hours a week or 173.33 hours a month - 37 hours and 5 minutes work-time per week with 35 minutes per day for coffee breaks (20 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon). These hours will be worked during the 5 days of the week from Monday through to Friday, starting between 07.00 and 08.00, for 8 hours a day, ending at 17.00.
  • Overtime: Overtime is the time after normal working hours have finished on Mondays through to Fridays and on weekends (Saturday and Sunday). All work outside the normal working hours is paid as overtime. The overtime-hourly pay is a near 80% added on to the daytime hourly pay.
  • Meal breaks: The duration of a meal break varies between sectors of the labour market, ranging from 30 minutes to 1 hour, taken between 11:30 and 13:30. The lunch break is not counted as working time and therefore unpaid. According to the collective agreement of trades’ men, the lunch break on weekends is however considered as worked time. Meal breaks during overtime are reckoned as working time and paid for with overtime rate. The same applies to coffee breaks during over time hours.
  • Coffee breaks: The coffee breaks are usually 35 minutes per day and are paid as worked time. Collective agreements allow for workplace agreements where coffee breaks are skipped or reduced.  Negotiating shorter coffee breaks is thus permissible in which instance overtime begins earlier as per the said break. The same applies to shorter meal brakes.

Example of workschedule:

 

Work starts

Work is finished

Lunch break

Daytime hours

Overtime hours

Monday

7

19

0,5

8

3,5

Tuesday

7

19

0,5

8

3,5

Wednesday

7

19

0,5

8

3,5

Thursday

7

19

0,5

8

3,5

Friday

7

19

0,5

8

3,5

Saturday

7

15

0,5

0

8

Sunday

Frí

Total hours per week:

40

25,5

Total hours per month (4 working weeks):

160

102

   

Do you have questions? Then please contact:

Icelandic Confederation of Labour (ASÍ)
Tel: +354 535 5600
www.asi.is
asi@asi.is

Business Iceland (SA)
Tel: +354 591 0000
www.sa.is

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