What are the benefits of being a union member?
The labour movement is the biggest social movement in Iceland
Unions make collective agreements on minimum wages and other terms of work for all workers on the Icelandic labour market.
Making collective agreements is the main task of trade unions
Information, wage claims and legal services
Trade unions also guard your rights, give advice, help you claim unpaid wages, and provide legal services in wage disputes if needed.
Do not hesitate to go to your union for advice, they will only act on your behalf with your permission.
Sickness benefits, holiday houses, reimbursements
The unions also operate the following funds that provide a variety of grants and benefits that can make a big difference for you.
Sickness benefits fund
The fund pays sickness benefits to those members who have fulfilled minimum requirements regarding union fees and are unable to work due to illness or accidents. This fund also partly refunds its members the cost of various health programs, cancer screenings, etc. In many cases they also support various leisure activities such as gym cards and swim cards.
Union members can apply to rent holiday houses. Some unions also offer discount tickets from flight and tourist companies and refunds for accommodation in Iceland, fishing cards and camping cards.
Education and courses
If workers want to educate themselves, they can apply for education and course grants from the union education fund. Contact your union to
get information on which grants you have a right to. Most unions also refund Icelandic courses after one month of membership.
If you do not have the same capacity for work as before, due to illness or an accident, you should contact VIRK (The Vocational Rehabilitation Fund).
What union should I pay into?
It depends on the type of job you have and where in the country you work. It is important to be in the correct union, otherwise your rights might suffer. For information about which union you should be in, speak to your workplace's union representative or see What is my union?