Infection of a worker or their child

  • A worker who is infected by Covid-19 uses the right to sick days at work and afterwards has a right to the union’s sickness benefits funds.
  • If a worker’s child is infected with Covid-19, the worker uses the right to sick days for children at work and afterwards has a right to the union’s sickness benefits funds.

Quarantine at the request of the authorities

The following is based on draft legislation still under parliamentary procedure. (March 17, 2020)

  • Employers who pay quarantined workers wages can, according to a proposed new law receive partial compensation from the state. This proposed law applies to those quarantined from February 1, 2020, to April 30, 2020.
  • The new law is also meant to ensure payments to workers who are subject to quarantine but don’t get wages from their employers in the cases mentioned above.
  • Quarantine at the authorities’ request doesn’t affect sick days.
  • If the employer provides a worker with equipment to work from home, the worker should comply as far as possible. Wages are then paid in accordance with the ratio of work.

Quarantine of a worker’s child at the request of the authorities

  • As things stand, parents have the right to take unpaid leave in these cases. Parents can also use their collected holiday rights. A method is being worked on, in cooperation with the authorities, to make it so that workers don’t lose wages in these circumstances.

Quarantine at the request of the employer

  • A decision on quarantine is taken by the relevant public authorities. If an employer asks workers not to come to work, despite no request coming from the authorities, the employer should pay full wages while the quarantine is in place.

Closed workplaces

  • If an employer decides to close a workplace temporarily due to the circumstances, wages should still be paid.

Quarantine at the request of the worker

  • People who decide to go into quarantine on their own do so at their own cost and risk. People who are thinking about this should talk to their employer and ensure that their absence counts as vacation and not breach of employment obligations.
  • People who suffer from anxiety due to the situation and don’t feel able to come to work should keep in mind that anxiety can in some cases allow for sick leave according to the collective agreements. In that case, a doctor’s certificate is required.
  • The government has been asked to keep in mind cases where a worker with an underlying illness self-quarantines at the suggestion of a doctor. The matter is under parliamentary review. (March 17, 2020)

Limited schooling

  • If a worker has to stay at home with his/her children due to limited operations in schools and kindergartens, wages are not paid, and holiday rights must be used or unpaid leave requested. The government has been asked to include such cases in the proposed law. So far they have not. The matter is under parliamentary review. (March 17, 2020)
  • If the employer provides a worker with equipment to work from home, the worker should accept, and get wages paid as usual.

Closed borders

  • Workers who went abroad and are unable to come to work due to closed borders in the country where they’re located don’t have a right to wages during their absence.
  • If the trip was a work trip, however, full wages should be paid.
  • A worker who works in Iceland for a few weeks at a time and goes home in between does not have a right to wages if stuck abroad, even if the arrangement is agreed to and the tickets paid by the employer.

Layoffs due to an economic downturn, reduced work ratios

  • It is forbidden to send a worker into unpaid leave due to economic circumstances. If an agreement on unpaid leave is reached, it should always be made conditional on the employer not laying the worker off during the unpaid leave.
  • According to a proposed new law, the right to unemployment benefits will be expanded if employer and worker reach agreement on a reduced work ratio. The amount of the benefits will amount to the maximum income-related unemployment benefit in proportion to the reduced employment rate. (March 17, 2020 – under review and being worked on.)
  • A reduced work ratio as mentioned above is conditional on the consent of worker and employer. Unilateral work ratio reduction is not permitted, except by laying the person off first. It must therefore be agreed to by the worker.
  • When a worker is laid off, collective agreements stipulate how they should take place and what the notice period is.
  • If a worker is laid off without notice, get in touch with Put “Fired without notice” in the subject to hasten processing.

Changes in the field of work and job description in changed times

  • If a worker’s responsibilities are broadened and/or job descriptions changed to react to changing circumstances (for instance, by increasing the amount of cleaning), the job should be reevaluated or premiums paid.
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