A bill by the Minister and Social and Children’s Affairs on temporary payment of wages to individuals subjected to quarantine without showing signs of infection according to instructions from the health authorities, has been introduced to Parliament. According to the bill, The Directorate of Labour is expected to carry out the implementation of the Act.

According to the bill, the aim is to support employers who pay wages to employees who have been quarantined when other entitlements, such as sick leave per collective agreements, do not apply.  By doing this, it is intended that individuals can follow the health authorities’ instructions on quarantine without worrying about their impact.

The bill covers payments to employers who have paid wages to employees while in quarantine during the period of February 1st 2020 until April 30th 2020. The bill is also intended to apply to payments to employees who are quarantined during the same period but have not received wages from their employer. In addition, they are intended to apply to self-employed individuals who are quarantined during the same period. Applications for payments must be submitted to The Directorate of Labour before the 1st of July 2020.

Payment conditions

The conditions for the payments, according to the bill, are amongst others, that the employee has been truly quarantined prior to the health authorities’ recommendation and has not been able to perform duties either fully or partially from the location of the quarantine. Comparable conditions apply to self-employed individuals.

According to the bill, it is expected that a certain maximum amount will be paid for each day that a person in quarantined, and is generally expected that the quarantine will last for 14 days. The bill’s maximum amounts, in its current form, are based on the maximum payments to employees from the Wage Guarantee Fund for an entire calendar month.

As the bill is still pending before Parliament, The Directorate of Labour is unable to provide exact or definitive answers to queries regarding quarantine payments. Additionally, the directorate has still to prepare digital solutions required to implement the Act.

In the meantime, The Directorate of Labour particularly encourages employers to obtain an Ice-key (Íslykill) or electronic ID (Rafræn skilríki) for their company. This will simplify and ensure the security of the information that employers will be required to send to The Directorate of Labour. Full information regarding obtaining an Ice-key is available at https://vefur.island.is/islykill/, and information regarding obtaining electronic ID is available at sjá https://www.skilriki.is

The Directorate of Labour thanks you for your patience while final procedures are being implemented and we encourage the general public to monitor announcements on the directorate’s website.

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