Sickness leave rights
If an employee becomes ill and unable work, he must report this to his superior. The employer decides whether to request a medical certificate, in which case he pays for it. VR members earn their sickness leave rights as follows:
- In the first year, two days for each month worked.
- After 1 year of work for the same employer, two months for every 12-month period.
- After 5 years of work for the same employer, four months for every 12-month period.
- After 10 years of work for the same employer, six months for every 12-month period.
An employee who has earned rights to 4 or 6 months of wage payments during sickness leave with their previous employer and who change workplace, shall be entitled to receive wages for no less than two months during each 12-month period.
Accidents at work and occupational diseases
In the case of work accidents or occupational diseases caused at work or by it, or during transportation to and from the workplace, the employer pays wages for daytime work up to 3 months in addition to earned illness rights.
During the first six months at work with an employer, a parent is permitted to spend two days for each month worked to care for their sick children under the age of 13, provided that no other arrangements can be made to have them cared for. After 6 months of work the entitlement becomes 12 days for every 12-month period. Parents retain their daytime wages as well as supplementary payment for shift work or after-hours work (40%) as appropriate.
Per diem payments due to children’s sickness
If the child is sick for longer than the wage earner’s right to wages extends, according to collective wage agreements, to the point of loss of income, VR members may apply for benefits from the union’s sick leave fund because of their children under the age of 18, for up to 270 days (or 9 months) for every 12-month period. The amount adds up to 80% of average wages for the last six months.
Sickness and accidents during vacation
In the event that an employee falls so ill while on holiday in Iceland, in a country within the EEA, Switzerland, the US or Canada, that he is unable to enjoy the holiday, he must notify his employer of such event on the first day of illness by means of e.g. telegraph, e-mail or other verifiable manner unless majeure circumstances prevent him from doing so, in which case he must send notification as soon as such circumstances are alleviated. If the employee meets the notification requirements, the illness lasts for more than 3 full days and he notifies the employer within that time of the name of the doctor from whom he is receiving medical care or who will issue a medical certificate, he shall be entitled to additional holiday leave for the same length of time as his illness demonstrable lasted.
In the above circumstances, the employee must always provide confirmation of illness in the form of a doctor’s certificate. The employer is entitled to have a physician examine an employee who has fallen ill during his holiday. As far as is possible, additional holiday leave shall be granted at the time requested by the employee during the period from 2 May to 15 September, except where special circumstances apply. The same rules as stated above apply to accidents during holidays.
VR sick leave – Per diem payments
The VR sick leave fund pays per diem payments after the wage income is cancelled if a VR member becomes unable to work due to illness or accident. This applies to the illness of a spouse and children as well.
According to the VR and SA collective wage agreement from 2011, the employer is under obligation to insure the wage earners to which this agreement applies, against death, permanent medical disability and/or temporary disability due to an accident at work or on a normal route from home to a workplace and from a workplace to home. If an employee has, due to his work, a place of stay outside of the home, the place of stay comes instead of the home and the insurance then also covers normal trips between the home and place of stay. The insurance applies to domestic as well as international travelling under the auspices of the employer.