Working hours

  • Mynd: Edda Sigurdís Oddsdóttir

Following can be found definition of related concepts and terminology which applies to working hours and rest period according to Collective Agreements and laws.

The working week

The working week for full time job counts as 40 hours, except if shorter hours are negotiated. Generally, a full-time employee fulfils his obligated presence by working 8 hours a day for 5 days in the period of Monday to Friday. 


Overtime is defined as the work which occur outside normal daily workhours or shift of an employee and all working hours past weekly obligated hours. Overtime pay is calculated by multiplying monthly salaries by 1,0385%.                                                                        

If vacation leave is agreed upon instead of overtime pay then the value of each overtime counts as 1 hour and 48 minutes in vacation leave.

Shift work

Definition of shift work is when work takes place according to pre-organized and systemized plan where employee works on different shift on determined period which is measured in days or weeks.

Backup shift

Backup shift is when employee is not actively working but is ready to come in if called upon. If employee is called upon overtime pay is applied. Backup shift doesn't apply if employee is present at workplace at superior/employer request.

Rest period

Rest shall be arranged so that on every 24 hour period an employee gets at least 11 hours continuous rest. It is prohibited to organize working hours in such a way that work exceeds 13 hours on every 24 hours. If employee is requested to come back to work within the 11 hours rest period a vacation claim arises as 1,5 hours for every hour which is within the 11 hours period.

Weekly rest

On every 7 day period an employee shall have at least 1 day rest every week in relation with daily rest period. The week starts at Mondays. The weekly rest should be continuous of total 35 hours (11 hours rest period + 24 hours weekly rest) and should be organized to come up on Sunday if possible.

Additional detail

Provision on working hours in Collective Wage Agreements and law

All texts are in Icelandic and have not been translated by FÍN