Appeals and proceedings

If a job seeker does not agree with the decision of The Directorate of Labour, they are proved with the opportunity to appeal the decision to The Welfare Appeals CommitteeThe job seeker also provided with the opportunity to complain to The Althingi Ombudsman if he considers that he has been wronged by The Directorate of Labour. However, it is generally not possible to complain to The Althingi Ombudsman until the appeals committee has given its ruling in the case. Job seekers can also take their disputes to court in the usual manner. 

The Welfare Appeals Committee

The Welfare Appeals Committee operates in accordance with Welfare Appeals Committee Act, No. 85/2015., cf. also Articles 11 and 12. Act on Unemployment Insurance. The committee is an independent appeals committee, and its role is to issue rulings in appeals in the field of welfare, i.e. on disputes that may arise on the basis of the Unemployment Insurance Act and the Labour Market Measures Act. 

If the job seeker does not agree with the decision of The Directorate of Labour, they can appeal the decision of the directorate to the appeals committee. The committee's rulings constitute a final administrative decision. 

Appeals to the committee

A complaint to the appeals committee shall be submitted in writing. Complaint forms can be found on the Ministry of Social Affairs website. 

It is not necessary to use standard complaints forms but complaints to the committee must be made in writing. The necessary information must also be included in the complaint, such as: 

  1. Information about the complainant (name, ID number, telephone number, address, and e-mail address) 
  1. Information on the decision of The Directorate of Labour that is being appealed. (It is recommended that a copy of the directorate’s decision accompany the complaint.) 
  1. Claims (What conclusion is the applicant seeking with their complaint?) 
  1. Detailed reasoning for the complaint (The applicant's views and arguments that the appeals committee should accept the claims).

Deadline to submit appeals

The deadline for appealing the decisions of The Directorate of Labour to The Appeals Committee is three months from the date that the applicant was notified of the directorate’s decision. 

The appeals committee’s procedures

Matters brought before the appeals committee always commence with a complaint from a job seeker. 

When a complaint is received, the appeals committee requests all documents pertaining to the case from The Directorate of Labour. The Directorate of Labour is also provided with a deadline to submit a statement on the case, stating the facts of the case and the legal arguments for the directorate's decision. 

The appeals committee shall ensure that the complainant is provided with an opportunity to comment before the committee rules on the case. The committee then sends a copy of the case file and provides the applicant with an opportunity to study the case file and comment on The Directorate of Labour's comments. When all information is considered available, the case is  The procedures brought before the appeals committee is generally made in writing, but the committee may call the parties to a meeting. The proceedings before the committee are free of charge for the complainant. 

The appeals committee seeks to issue a ruling within three months of receiving a complaint. An appeal to the committee does not suspend the legal effect of a decision. 


The committee's rulings are published on the Government of Iceland’s website:  

Older rulings from 2002 until 2007 can be found here 

The names of individuals and addresses do not appear in the official publication of the committee's rulings. 

Location of The Welfare Appeals Committee:

The Welfare Appeals Committee 

Katrínartún 2 

105 Reykjavík 

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