Daily life

Information regarding life in Iceland is all in one place and in English on www.skra.is or www.utl.is. There you find everything about the health and social security systemeducation, culture, public services, family matters, gender equality legislationhousing, taxing,employment and other issues that immigrants and others staying for some time in Iceland need to know. Here below are just a few useful additional issues. Then the site "Links" provides additional sources of information. 

Important websites for public policies, legislation and services are the ones of the Directorate of Health, the Ministry of Welfare and the Ministry of Education,Science and Culture. Legislation you find at the Althingi web, immigration/ guest workers´ matters at the Directorate of Immigration and employment matters the Directorate of Labour.

News from Iceland in English is on Iceland Review and you can read online newspapers from all over the world. The weather forecast in Iceland and in the world you find at the Icelandic Meteorological Office.

For Reykjavík please visit Borgarvefsjá. The site gisting.is covers streets in whole Iceland but it focuses on finding accomodation and requires some local knowledge. Then the maps showing the bus routes in Reykjavik and the surrounding areas.

Councelling and assistance with legal matters   

The city of Reykjavik offers immigrants living in the city councelling and legal assistance free of charge. This includes information regarding residence and work permits, taxes, learning Icelandic and various matters of the family like a divorse.This service is located at the Community Service Center for Miðborg and Hlíðar at Skúlagata 21 Reykjavík. Open 08.30-16.00 Monday-Friday. For further information regarding living in Reykjavík. Those that require an interpretator to be present need to book an appointment.

Icelandic Red Cross runs several projects to support children and adults of  foreign origin as they settle in Iceland.

The legislation regarding working in Iceland varies, depending on whether a person is a citizen of a state that is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) or not. For non-EEA citizens a contract of employment must accompany applications for work and residence permist and entry to the country is then made with a temporary employment visa that has been arranged by the employer. Application for work may not be done after entering the country on a tourist visa. Once granted, a work permit needs a reglar renewal.  Citizens of EEA do not need a work permit but they need to register their residency in Iceland once they have been here for 3 months or if they start to work. The public institutions that handle immigration and work issues are the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration and Directorate of Labour.

The European Employment Service (EURES) aims to facilitate free movement of workers within the European Economic Area. It provides information on employment, social security and living conditions in these countries.

Summary of the Icelandic Labour Law you find at the website of the ASI, The Icelandic Confederation of Labor as well as other helpful links to websites that address law, regulations and other issues of employment and immigration. Those law and regulations are in full on the website of the Icelandic Parliament, Althingi.

Rights and duties of government employees, The Government Employee Act 70/1996, you find on the website of the Ministry of Finance as well as many other publications regarding public employees.  

Each labour union additionally has its own specific agreements but most have written information only in Icelandic. The Icelandic Nurses´ Association provides a summary in English for their members. Each labour union has a website but not many of them have a section in English. Please do not hesitate to contact them by phone or email should you require infomation or assistance from your union. On your payslip it is written which union you are a member of. Employees of Landspitali are members of about 40 different unions so it it is not possible to list all of them. Here are those that have most members at Landspitali: www.hjukrun.is, slfi.is, efling.is, sfr.is and lis.is. There are also a few confederations like BHM, BSRB and ASI.

Most unions have a relief or sickness fundsThe Confederation of University Graduates (BHM) and Efling trade Union have published their code of practices in English.   

Most unions have education grants.  The Icelandic Nurses´ Association and Efling Trade Union have published their code of practices in English.   

For short and long trips in Iceland and around Reykjavík you could check with the Touring Club Útivist and the Icelandic Touring Association (Ferðafélag Íslands). These clubs have a long tradition in Iceland and are the ones Icelanders commonly travel with if the take organised trips. They are guided in Icelandic but surely fellow travelers will speak to you the languages they know.

Regarding information about the trips organised by the Landspitali Employees´ Association (Starfsmannafélag) for Landspitali staff and their families during the summer: please visit the Landspitali inner website of Human Resources (in Icelandic only). A colleague at work will be glad to help you with this.  

Information for bikers you find at the Icelandic Mountain Bike Club.

Swimming is very popular in Iceland. At the sundlaugar website you find all swimming pools, most hot-springs and thermal pools as well as information about swimming courses.

Yes, and there is a beach (Ylströnd) in Reykjavík!  People living in the Reykjavík area go there on warm summer days. It is also a centre for water sports such as sailing and, yes... sea swimming.