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What is holiday pay and days off?

Normal working hours are 40 hours a week ands must be eight hours a day from Monday to and including Friday, and daily working hours must be between 8 am and 5 pm.

  • From 5 pm to 9 pm: 35%

  • From 9 pm to 8 am: 60%

  • Saturdays all day: 65%

  • Sunday and holidays all day: 100%

Please note that overtime on Saturday is from midnight, and the overtime on Sunday is 100% until midnight. If the work continues after midnight, then the overtime continues until normal time starts again.

If the work starts in the summer half of the year (the summer half of the year is from 1 May to 31 October) before 4 am and in the winter half of the year before 5 am, then there is no reduction in the wage until there is a possibility to sleep (sleeping is being off the work place for no less than 6 hours).

Example: If the work begins e.g. at 9 pm and lasts until 3 am and starts again at 8 am to 5 pm, then overtime 2 must be given for the entire second day, because the agreement states that you must be off work for at least six hours.

1 May, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are full holidays. Flag day, Easter Eve, Whitsun and 1 November are half holidays. On half holidays work stops at noon. Urgent work that is done on 1 May, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and after noon on these days is remunerated with double normal wage for the duration of the holiday.

In addition to these days off and 5 week’s summer holiday, workers also have the right to 5 days off without pay, which can be arranged together with the employer.


What are my rights regarding time off and holiday pay?

As a wage earner, you have a legal entitlement to holiday pay from your total wage. The holiday pay is either 12% addition to the pay, which means that you have your holiday without pay or you receive an additional 1.5% in addition to your wage, which entails that you have the right to a paid holiday, however the latter only applies to permanently employed staff.
Everyone has the right to five week’s summer holiday, which must be used in the time period 1 May – 1 October. The specifics regarding when you use your holiday will be determined together with the employer. You do not have the right to spend your holiday in a specific time, however, you have the right to four week’s consecutive holiday in the time period May-October. The employer determines when the holiday is, and the law dictates that this must be done together with the worker. If the employer determines that you must spend your holiday in a specific time, then you must be notified well in advance, i.e. normally no later than 2-3 months before the summer holiday starts.
You have the right to the aforementioned holiday, despite the fact that you have been with the employer for shorter than one year, however, the holiday pay is earned annually, i.e. if you have worked for ½ year, then you will receive a holiday pay, which corresponds to 12% of this wage. The year of earning is, generally, from 1 April – 31 March, however, you may make an agreement with your employer that the year of earning can be the calendar year instead.
If you become sick just before the start of your summer holiday and the illness continues into the holiday, then these days do not count as days of the holiday. In this case you must make an agreement with the employer regarding those days. Normally they are added to the end of the holiday that has already been agreed-upon, in order for you to spend the amount of holiday days that you agreed with the employer. If you’re so unfortunate that you become sick after the start of your holiday, then you do not have the right to receive extra days to your holiday because of illness, unless the employer agrees to give you extra days to cover for sick days in your holiday.
An employer is not allowed to demand that you return to work during your holiday. If the worker is fired and the term of notice is not gone by 1 May, the four weeks must be added to the term of notice, because according to the law, the term of notice must not be shortened by adding the holiday (the main summer holiday, which is four weeks) to the term of notice.

What right do I have to seniority?

You have the right to addition to your wage when you have worked within the same area for 2 years. The Faroese Workers’ Union offers seniority wage addition at 2 years, 4 years, 6 years, 8 years, and 10 years (1 May 2023 there will be an additional 11 year seniority bonus). If you leave your workplace and go to work at another workplace, then the seniority follows you if the work is within the same field. Ask you previous employer to give you a certificate when you change jobs. The employer is obligated to give this to you.
If you e.g., go from a salmon factory to a fish fillet factory or other fish factory, then the seniority from the previous job follows you. If you, however, change work area, and go from e.g., washing schools to being day carer or go from the fishing industry to being a bus driver, then the seniority does not follow you because this is a new work area where you don’t have the experience. The seniority also follows if you take a leave of absence and then start again if the leave is no longer than 7 years.

Billede af Caroline Hernandez
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