Labour law

This site contains information about the rights and duties of employees in the public and private sector along with other general information on the labour market in Iceland.

Before one can dive into rules and regulations on employees, one must take note of different regulations that apply in various ways depending on the employer and/or line of work. Therefore, there are not necessary the same regulations attached to employees in the public sector and the private sector. In addition there are regulations that are valid for the whole labour market.

There are three major principles about the labour market; rules and regulations set by the government, collective wage agreements and finally employment contracts. Rules and regulation entail minimum rights, that means that it is illegal to negotiate for less than the collective wage agreements entail, and employment contracts that states otherwise are invalid. In other words, it is always possible to negotiate for better terms than are ensured by law and/or wage agreements, never less.

The information on this page is divided into three subjects; the start of employment, rights for workers while employed and then ending the employment. The three subjects are then broken into further categories.

When relevant the info is divided into government employees, municipal employees and those working in the private sector. The information on the public sector is divided, when relevant, into civil servants and government employees. Government employees are all employees of the state that are not civil servants.

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