Declaration by Drífa Snædal, president of the Icelandic Confederation of Labour (ASÍ):

By Front-left-en, Uncategorized

“Kópur” is not associated with the Icelandic Confederation of Labour, has not signed any collective agreements, and is not a member of VIRK rehabilitation fund, Bjarg housing foundation, or any of the holiday, educational or sick leave funds operated by the Icelandic labour movement.

Notices have been published announcing that a new trade union—Kópur—has been set up for the purpose of serving mainly Polish citizens working in Iceland. The union is presented as being able to provide access for its members to all benefits and services developed by the Icelandic labour movement over the decades, and it is even suggested that the union has links to the Icelandic Confederation of Labour. This is false.

There are no links between ASÍ and Kópur, and we are not aware that Kópur has entered into any collective agreements. Kópur does not operate an education fund to make it easier for its members to increase their education; does not operate a sick leave fund for those who are unable to work for longer periods of time; does not have membership of Bjarg housing foundation, which provides low-rent, secure housing; does not have membership of VIRK vocational rehabilitation fund; and does not own holiday cottages. Potential members of Kópur would not enjoy any of these benefits, and would not have access to legal services or other types of help regularly provided by trade unions in Iceland.

ASÍ urges everyone concerned to distribute this information as widely as possible, in order to avoid a situation where workers unwittingly relinquish rights that have been earned through the work of the labour movement over many decades.

Back to work!

By Front-left-en, Uncategorized

Have you lost your job?

Do you want to get one step further in your search for a new one?

If so, the micro-courses Back to work for members in Efling, Hlíf, and VSFK might suit you.

In the courses, you will get practical tips for job searching, e.g. how best to present yourself, where to begin, and how to utilize computers.

Teaching takes place in groups of 14, with two teachers per group. A laptop is provided during class.

The following courses are available:

–          What do I have to offer? Writing up your skillset.
June 22, 12.30 to 3.30 pm.

–          Who am I? Writing a resume and a letter of introduction.
June 24, 12.30 to 3.30 pm.

–          How do I do it? Practical tips in looking for a job.
June 26, 12.30 to 3.30 pm.

–          What technology can help? Using tech and social media to get a job.
June 29, 9am to 2.30pm, with a half-hour lunch break.

The courses cost 3,000kr each, except for the tech course, which is 4,000kr.

All courses take place in Höfðabakki 9, the Mímir offices.

Register here.

Looking forward to seeing you!

Partial unemployment benefits to compensate for a reduction in working time

By Uncategorized

The aim of the measure is to ensure, to the extent possible, that firms keep workers on their payrolls, rather than dismissing them. The maintenance of employment relations is of value to both workers and businesses. It is important to protect workers against the consequences of a temporary contraction in the economy so as to minimise the negative financial and social effects suffered by each individual.

A business may ask its employees to agree to a reduction in working time with an equal reduction in pay only on the condition that it has been forced to reduce its operations because of the current unusual situation.

A reduction in working time with reduction in pay can only take place on the basis of an agreement (see link below this pdf on the website) concluded between the employer and the employee.

Main features of the legislative provisions providing for the payment of unemployment benefits in cases of reduced working time:

  • Any decision to implement reduced working time for reduced pay must be based on an agreement concluded between the firm and each individual and stipulating the proportion by which working time is reduced and the period during which the reduction will apply.
  • The reduction in hours worked must be at least 20 percentage points.
  • The number of hours worked after working time has been reduced must correspond to at least 25 per cent of full-time hours.
  • Partial unemployment benefits are paid out in direct proportion to the reduction in hours worked.
  • The sum of wages received from the employer and unemployment benefits paid is limited to 90 per cent of the pay earned prior to the reduction in working time taking effect, and may not exceed ISK 700,000.
  • Workers whose pay for a full-time position prior to the reduction was ISK 400,000 or less will receive full compensation.
  • Workers whose pay for a full-time position prior to the reduction was higher than ISK 400,000 are given a guarantee that the sum of wages received from the employer and unemployment benefits paid will not fall below ISK 400,000.
  • Agreements on reduced working time for reduced pay do not affect workers’ rights to receive wage-related unemployment benefits if they lose their jobs at a later date.
  • Students at the university level are entitled to receive partial unemployment benefits if they meet the conditions laid down in the legislation.
  • Workers’ rights to receive payments from the Wage Guarantee Fund are safeguarded in cases where an employer becomes bankrupt.
  • Self-employed persons are covered by the legislation.
  • The legislative provisions outlined above are to remain in force from 15 March to 1 June 2020.

A few points of clarification:

  • If a firm requests that its employees agree to a reduction in working time with an attendant reduction in pay without a period of notice, an employee may refuse to accept this and may insist that the period of notice be respected.
  • An employer may not require a worker to put in longer hours of work than stipulated in the agreement on reduced working time.
  • The right to receive unemployment benefits as a compensation for reduced working time applies to all workers, including students at the university level, irrespective of their rights to other benefits.

How to apply for partial unemployment benefits

Workers apply for partial unemployment benefits by filling in an electronic form in the My pages section of the website of the Directorate of Labour. The employer concerned must also provide certain information on its pages on the Directorate’s website. The application for partial unemployment benefits can be processed as soon as both the worker and the employer have entered the required information.

For more information: