Shortening of the workweek for shift worker in the public market

The work week is shortened from 40 hours per week to 36 hours per week.

An employee has the right to take on more working hours in accordance with the shortening of the work week.

The work week can drop down to as little as 32 hours per week where each hour from 12 o’clock midnight to 8am is counted as 1,20 hours and each hour from 5pm to 12 o’clock midnight and from 8am to 5pm on weekends is counted as 1,05 hours.

Overtime pay for night shifts are raised to 65% on weeknights and 75% on weekends.

In place of a winter holiday and bonuses there will be a 7,2 hour reduction in the mandatory number of working hours.

The mandatory number of working hours for shift workers will be lowered by 7,2 hours for full time workers for special holidays and public holidays which come up on the period between Monday and Friday, with the exception of Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day which is numbers 3,6 hours per each day for full time workers. The reduction of the number of mandatory working hours is to be taken from the timetable of the shift schedule. The employer is obliged to acquiesce to the request of an employee to gather up his reduction of mandatory working hours to utilize it later, as it is possible for the operation of the institution to accommodate.

There will be a shift incentive payment which is available for staff in accordance with the variety and number of shifts during each payment period according to the shift schedule.  

Payments for the curtailing of refreshment breaks will be eliminated (25 minutes for each shift and 12 minutes per hour during overtime). Employees are, however, authorized to consume food and coffee as before.

The shortening took effect 1 May 2021.

Further information in Icelandic is available here.

A calculator, to compare shift plans before and after the shortening of the workweek, is available here.

On you can find further information, educational materials and Q&A regarding the implementation of a shorter workweek.