Nationals of countries within the European Economic Area (EEA) do not require a work permit in Iceland. 

In most cases, other foreign nationals need to obtain a work permit before moving to Iceland. Work permits are given to foreign nationals but are linked to a specific employer. See here for more information on work permits.

All workers in Iceland, irrespective of gender or nationality, enjoy the same rights regarding wages and other work conditions as negotiated by the social partners on the Icelandic labour market.

In Iceland, it is prohibited to agree upon poorer conditions than those laid down in collective wage agreements.

  •  Undeclared work – Sometimes people are offered work on the understanding that they do not declare such work for tax purposes. This is known as ‘undeclared work’. Information on how and why you should avoid undeclared work and on the penalties imposed for undeclared work.
  • Occupational qualifications – Foreign nationals moving to Iceland and intending to work in the sector for which they have trained should ensure that their overseas occupational qualifications are valid in Iceland. Information on the main aspects governing assessment of occupational qualifications.
  • Work by children and young adults – The general rule is that children (aged fifteen or younger) may not work. Certain exceptions to this rule do, however, exist. Information on such exceptions and on work by young adults (15-18). 


  • Your wages must be in accordance with collective wage agreements.
  • Your working hours may not be longer than the working hours permitted by law and collective agreements.
  • Your leave must be paid in accordance with law and collective agreements.
  • Your wages must be paid during sickness or injury leave.
  • You must receive a payslip when your wages are paid.
  • Your employer must pay taxes on your wages.
  • Your employer must pay contributions to your pension fund and trade union.


  • Employment contract – It is important to enter into a written employment contract to ensure your rights. Wages and work conditions must be the same as those applicable on the Icelandic labour market. Information on what employment contracts should contain and where you can get information and support.  
  • Paid leave – All workers are entitled to 24 working days of summer holiday, i.e. two days for each month worked. Information on the summer holiday period, sick leave and other leave-related matters.
  •  Working hours – Working hours are governed by specific legislation. This entitles workers to certain rest times, meal and coffee breaks and statutory holidays. Information on rest times, meal and coffee breaks and which days are considered statutory holidays.
  • Sick leave – If you are unable to attend work because you are ill, you should be paid your wages for a certain number of days. Information on sick-leave entitlements for workers and related matters. |

Wages and wage-related matters

  • Wages – Wage payments must be accompanied by a payslip clearly indicating the amount paid, how this amount is calculated and what charges have been deducted. Information on tax payments, leave payments and other elements appearing on payslips.
  • Pension fund – All workers must pay into a pension fund. The purpose of pension funds is to pay their members an old-age pension and guarantee them and their families against loss of income as a result of loss of ability to work or of death. Information on premiums, repayments and more.
  • Unemployment benefit – General information on unemployment benefit, who is entitled, how to apply, the level of benefits, etc.
  • Taxes – An overview of taxes, tax allowances, the tax card, tax returns and other tax-related matters in Iceland.


  • Trade unions/workplace support – The trade-union movement represents workers and guarantees their rights. It is not mandatory to be a member of a trade union, but workers nevertheless make membership payments to a union. In order to be registered as a trade-union member and enjoy the rights associated with membership, you need to apply for admission in writing. Information on membership and the role of trade unions.
  • Looking for work – General information on looking for work in Iceland.
  • Health and safety – General information on health and safety in Iceland. The Administration of Occupational Safety and Health (AOSH) is the centre of health and safety activities in Iceland. |

Work on
Directorate of Labour