All workers have the right to have their minimum rights respected, regardless of gender, origin, or form of employment. Everyone benefits when the statutory requirements for safety, living conditions and working conditions are respected - employees, employers, and the whole of society. Do not let us be offered anything less. Basic rights are not to be ignored!
Worker rights and obligations on the labour market
All workers in Iceland are entitled to wages and employee benefits in accordance with valid collective agreements. Contracts which do not respect these rights are considered invalid according to Icelandic legislation.
This applies to both workers who work as wage-earners for domestic companies and workers posted temporarily in Iceland.
At Digital Iceland’s website, you can find accessible and useful information regarding general rights and obligations of workers and employers.
Workplace facilities and safety
A good working environment and health are part of the fundamental human rights, as everyone is entitled to work in situations that do not endanger their health or safety. The Administration of Safety and Health (AOSH) is responsible for inspections, accident prevention, education, and hygiene in domestic workplaces. AOSH is furthermore responsible for ensuring that workers enjoy statutory rest periods and maximum working hours.
Further information can be found at AOSH’s website.
Posted workers are entitled to the same terms and conditions as other employees
Foreign companies who temporarily post workers to provide services here in Iceland are obligated to ensure that their employees are working legally and enjoy the rights they are entitled to according to Icelandic legislation and regulations.
The Directorate of Labour is responsible for ensuring that these companies operate in accordance with legislation, and posted workers are guaranteed terms of employment in accordance with applicable laws and collective agreements. All companies who post workers in Iceland are required to register their operations via The Directorate of Labour’s website.
LIST OF REGISTERED FOREIGN SERVICE PROVIDERS AND TEMPORARY WORK AGENCIES
For foreign service providers and temporary work agencies to be considered operating legally in Iceland, they are obligated to be sufficiently registered at The Directorate of Labour.
Chain of liability – Client liability
Domestic companies who employ the services of foreign service providers in the building and construction industry may be liable for unpaid wages and other wage-related terms of employment to employees of foreign service providers.
Domestic companies who employ the services of temporary work agencies may also carry the same liability for unpaid wages and other wage-related terms of employment who are leased from a temporary work agency, regardless of profession or occupation.
Taxes and fees
Foreign service providers and their employees operating temporarily in Iceland can apply for an exemption from their Icelandic tax obligations, however there are various conditions that must be fulfilled. At Iceland Revenue and Customs’ website, information can be found regarding taxation of posted workers, foreign service providers, foreign experts, and double taxation agreements.
The payment of employees’ social security contributions and salary-related expenses, local or foreign, is one of the main conditions for the acquisition of entitlements within the social security system. This includes the right to unemployment insurance, parental leave and health insurance. By correctly declaring salaries and salary-related expenses, you are ensuring the security of you and yours within the public social security system.