The workforce in the Faroe Islands is usually organized in unions and the employers are organized in federations. Both parties consistently negotiate agreements that set out the conditions for employment and wages. Additionally, national legislation is governing minimum wages for the fishermen (minimum wage), the duration of the working week, holiday entitlements, parental leave, unemployment benefits etc.
The collective bargaining agreements between unions and the employers’ federations apply to the whole Faroese labour market, but at the same time, any employee can negotiate additional individual benefits with their employer.
Through collective agreements, the trade unions movement secures the rights of the individual worker as well as ensuring workers’ job security while giving everyone the possibility to develop their abilities.
The Faroese labour marked is highly flexible, and the the high flexibility means that the labour market finds it easy to adapt to fluctuating economic conditions. One element of significance to the flexible labour market is that, compared with other countries, faroese employers incur low costs and few duties when hiring or laying off labour. One of the reasons is the Faroese unemployment benefit system, with a relatively high level of compensation when people are unemployed.
Seen from an international perspective the level of compensation, i.e. the ratio between employees’ pay and the amount paid in unemployment benefits, is fairly good.
Unemployment benefits correspond to app. 80 per cent of a Samtaks’ member’s average pay.
Non-Nordic citizens who wish to work in the Faroe Islands must apply for a work permit, which is processed by the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration in consultation with the Faroese Immigration Office.
More information on work permits can be found here