Wage- Theft


Wage-theft can take many shapes, and is often misrepresented, misindentified or mislabelled.

Wage-theft is not only about not paying salaries; it is also about paying them incorrectly.

In Iceland, wage-theft often translates as:

Wrongly counting hours

Delays with payments

Wrong wage category (not taking into account education and/or experience)

No legal notice time

Overall ignoring collective wages agreements

Not paying properly:

  • evening rate
  • week-end rate
  • night rate
  • overtime
  • holiday rate
  • sick days
  • breaks
  • trials
  • orlöf (holiday fund)
  • pensions fund
  • union fees
  • taxes

Aspects of wage-theft is by far the major issues reported by workers in their testimonies.

Apparent incompetence, repeated mistakes, miscalculations is overwhelming in the reports.

Several testimonies reported that employers justified delays and other forms of wage-theft by saying that :

“It’s a mistake”

portrait of a man with paper taped to his face

“Business is struggling”

A business struggling or miscalculations are the responsibility of the owners and DO NOT JUSTIFY wage-theft.

Emotional and Financial toll of wage-theft

man holding his head sitting outside

Constantly asking for wages to be paid or paid correctly, repeated delays, has a massive toll on workers’ lives

Many reported difficulties paying rent, fear of homelessness, stressful work environement, traumatic responses to interactions with management, overall hopelessness

tired couple sitting on car luggage boot

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