Iceland’s unemployed who meet the required pre-conditions will receive a generous bonus in time for the holidays.
With about 12,000 Icelanders on the unemployment roles surviving on their meagre pensions, the upcoming holiday season can be more stressful than ever for those without full-time work. To ameliorate this, RÚV reports that the government has approved a proposal from the Minister of Welfare which would grant a December bonus to the unemployed, provided they meet certain conditions.
The full amount of the bonus will be 63,457 ISK. Those unemployed who can prove they have been looking for work between November 20 and December 3 are eligible for at least part of the bonus. The full amount will be paid to those who have been on full unemployment for ten months in 2011. Those who have been on less than 100%, and/or for shorter than ten months of 2011, will be eligible for a part of the bonus.
The basis for the decision is the government’s platform that everyone on unemployment should be entitled to the same rights and privileges afforded to those under the general collective bargaining agreement between labour, management and the government. Traditionally, most employers in Iceland award some form of holiday bonus to their employees.
This marks the first time a December bonus has been given to the unemployed since 2005.