Services provided by the affiliations

Members pay 1% of their wages in dues to the affiliations all over the country. This payment confers on members the right to assistance in wage disputes and also access to sick-leave payments from the first month of membership. Employers pay a complementary contribution of 1% of each employee's wages, and also 0.25% into a vacation fund and 0.15-0.25% into a vocational training fund. You do not have to apply for membership, check your pay slip.

Full membership of the affiliations can be a little different from each other but most of them are similar. Below is a description of the main benefits of membership of Workers' Union of Reykjavík, VR, our biggest affiliation.

Wages and terms
VR negotiates both general wages and terms and agreements with individual companies.

  • VR assists with wage calculations, the interpretation of wages and terms and the resolution of industrial disputes.
  • VR assists with the making of employment contracts.
  • VR provides free legal assistance in connection with wage disputes and the collection of wage claims, e.g. in connection with corporate bankruptcies.
  • VR makes annual surveys of its members' wages and organises the election of "Company of the Year" from among their employers.
  • VR conducts publicity campaigns in the media to draw attention to various problems in the work place, such as gender-based wage discrimination, ostracism in the workplace and sexual harassment.
  • VR publishes advertisements in the media to reminds its members (and their employers) of their rights, e.g. as regards wage increases, vacation and December premiums and legally-required rest periods.
  • VR is one of the constituent organisations of the Icelandic Federation of Labour.

Health and sickness
In the event of illness or accidents, VR members have the right to:

  • Sick-pay allowances after the end of sick-leave entitlement (with 80% wages) for up to 270 days.
  • Accident benefit allowances (80% of wages) in connection with accidents occurring outside working hours.
  • Sick-pay allowances (80% of wages) in connection with treatment for alcoholism.
  • Daily allowances (80% of wages) for up to 270 days in connection with absence from work due to illness of children under the age of 16.
  • Accident, death and disability benefit for children under the age of 16.
  • Disability benefit (up to ISK 13,668,000) in connection with accidents occurring outside working hours.*
  • Death benefit (e.g. a surviving spouse with three children under the age of 21 would receive ISK 2,800,000).*
  • Part payment of costs in connection with spectacles, health insurance, physiotherapy, cancer-screening examinations, check-ups at the Icelandic Heart Association and the Heart and Lung Centre, fitness training, etc. (entitlement depending on accumulated points).

Education and training
VR wholeheartedly supports continuing education and training. As a member of VR, you are entitled to:

  • A vocational training grant and a hobby/interest course grant covering 50% of the cost of courses attended. This is the same for all LIV´s affiliations.
  • Courses run by VR, e.g. on negotiating wages and self-assertiveness training.
  • Monthly lectures on the labour market and related topics.
  • Courses on the labour market for high school and college students.

VR makes its contribution to holiday and leisure facilities for its members:

  • You can hire a camper-trailer or holiday cottage from VR at any time of the year.
  • Each year, you are sent a cheque for your accumulated holiday points, which you can use at various travel agencies as part payment for trips both in Iceland and abroad.
  • You qualify for discounts on various tourist services.

Unemployment benefit
VR seeks to make unemployment more bearable:

  • VR supervises payment of unemployment benefit to its members.
  • VR organises courses of various types for unemployed members. Ask at the office for details, tel.: 510 1700.

*Examples applying in 2003.