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Iceland

Public Holidays

Public Holidays 2016 and 2017

We currently have public holidays for 2016 and 2017 listed. Please scroll below to see these lists of holidays. 

Formerly ruled by Norway and Denmark, the majority of public holidays and observances in Iceland are based on strong Scandinavian and Roman Catholic traditions. Iceland recognizes the following public holidays: New Year’s Day; Palm Sunday; Maundy Thursday; Good Friday; Easter; Easter Monday; First Day of Summer; Labour Day; Ascension; Whit Sunday; Whit Monday; Icelandic Republic Day and Christmas Day. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are recognized as half-day holidays, with most workers dismissed at noon.

Iceland’s Holiday Act provides for a minimum of two working days of holiday accrual for each month of consecutive employment from May 1 through April 30 of each year. This amounts to at least 24 working days, equaling two weeks of paid holidays per year. Some collective bargaining agreements provide for longer periods of leave, primarily depending on length of employment.

Icelandic Labour Laws

In Iceland, labour laws are regulated by the Icelandic Federation of Labour. The Federation oversees the country’s system of collective bargaining agreements which apply to approximately 88 percent of the workforce. Collective bargaining agreements set forth terms of employment, salary, benefits and entitlement to paid public holidays and annual leave. All collective bargaining agreements in Iceland are automatically binding between the employer and employees, regardless of the type of business.

Working Conditions in Iceland

Wages and provisions for overtime compensation are specified in collective bargaining agreements and are not mandated by labour laws. Most collective agreements establish normal working hours at eight hours per day during a five-day work week, for a total of 40 hours per week. The law states that the average maximum working time during a four-month period cannot exceed 48 hours in seven days. This restriction also applies to overtime. Overtime compensation in Iceland is paid according to terms of collective bargaining agreements.

The law provides that all workers who perform overtime work or work on national holidays are entitled to overtime compensation. Collective bargaining agreements allow workers to exchange or transfer public holidays which fall on a Thursday to the following working day or they may choose to connect holidays with annual leave. After working for seven consecutive days, all workers are entitled to one day off as a mandatory rest period, usually taken on Sunday.

In Iceland, collective bargaining agreements provide for the payment of a fixed Christmas bonus to every worker, payable in the month of December. Workers are also entitled to an additional holiday bonus paid between May and August of each year. The bonus amounts are established by the collective bargaining agreement and are typically based on length of employment.

Public Holidays 2016

DateDayHoliday
1 JanFriNew Year's Day
24 MarThuMaundy Thursday
25 MarFriGood Friday
27 MarSunEaster Sunday
28 MarMonEaster Monday
21 AprThuFirst Day of Summer
1 MaySunLabor Day
5 MayThuAscension
15 MaySunWhit Sunday / Pentecost
16 MayMonWhit Monday
17 JunFriIndependence Day
1 AugMonCommerce Day
24 DecSatChristmas Eve
25 DecSunChristmas Day
26 DecMonBoxing Day
31 DecSatNew Year's Eve

Public Holidays 2017

DateDayHoliday
1 JanFriNew Year's Day
24 MarThuMaundy Thursday
25 MarFriGood Friday
27 MarSunEaster
28 MarMonEaster Monday
21 AprThuFirst Day of Summer
1 MaySunLabor Day
5 MayThuAscension
15 MaySunWhit Sunday
16 MayMonWhit Monday
17 JunFriIndependence Day
1 AugMonCommerce Day
24 DecSatChristmas Eve
25 DecSunChristmas Day
26 DecMonBoxing Day
31 DecSatNew Year's Eve