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Faroe Islands

Employee Rights and Protections

Explore workers' rights and legal protections in Faroe Islands


In the Faroe Islands, the rules regarding termination of employment can vary based on whether the employee is covered by a collective bargaining agreement. However, generally, employers must have a valid reason for terminating an employee's contract. These reasons can include employee-related grounds such as unsatisfactory performance, lack of qualifications, misconduct, breach of the employment contract, frequent absenteeism or tardiness. Business-related grounds can include restructuring or downsizing due to economic necessity, or redundancy of the employee's job function.

Notice Requirements

Notice periods in the Faroe Islands are determined by factors such as the employee's duration of employment and whether they are hourly or salaried. For hourly workers, at least 7 working days' notice is required if the employee has been employed for at least 6 months. The length of notice for those on monthly wages will depend on their length of service with the employer, details will usually be found within a collective bargaining agreement. Notice periods for salaried employees are also influenced by their length of service, typically ranging from 1-6 months.

Severance Pay

In the Faroe Islands, severance pay is not generally mandated by law. However, some collective bargaining agreements may contain provisions for severance pay under specific circumstances.


In the Faroe Islands, there are laws in place to protect individuals from unfair treatment in various contexts, including employment.

Protected Characteristics

The anti-discrimination laws in the Faroe Islands explicitly prohibit discrimination based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National or ethnic origin
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity (This is under Danish law, which extends to the Faroe Islands)
  • Disability
  • Age

Redress Mechanisms

If an individual in the Faroe Islands believes they have been a victim of discrimination, they have several options:

  • Complaints Board: Discrimination complaints can be filed with a dedicated complaints board that investigates and can issue rulings.
  • Civil Courts: Individuals may pursue legal action through the court system, potentially seeking remedies such as compensation.
  • Trade Unions: If covered by a collective bargaining agreement, employees may seek assistance from their union for guidance and representation.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers in the Faroe Islands have a responsibility to:

  • Prevention: Actively create an environment free from discrimination and harassment for all employees. This includes enacting policies and implementing training programs.
  • Equal Treatment: Uphold practices that ensure fair treatment regardless of the protected characteristics listed above. This applies to hiring, promotion, and compensation.
  • Reasonable Accommodation: Make reasonable adjustments to accommodate employees with disabilities.

Working conditions

The Faroe Islands prioritize a healthy and safe work environment through established regulations. Here's a breakdown of key working condition standards:

Work Hours

  • Standard Workweek: The typical workweek in the Faroe Islands is around 39 hours, applicable to both private and public sectors.
  • Overtime: Work exceeding standard hours is considered overtime and must be compensated with additional pay or time off in lieu. Specific regulations might be outlined within relevant collective bargaining agreements.

Rest Periods

  • Daily Breaks: Employees are generally entitled to rest breaks throughout the workday. The specifics may vary, but a common practice is a minimum 30-minute break after 5-6 hours of work.
  • Weekly Rest: Faroese regulations typically mandate at least one full day of rest per week.

Ergonomic Requirements

Faroese work regulations emphasize ergonomic considerations to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Employers are generally responsible for:

  • Workplace Assessment: Identifying ergonomic risks in the workplace. This might be mandated by the Working Environment Act, although the Act itself may not be readily available online.
  • Implementing Solutions: Providing ergonomic equipment and workstations to minimize physical strain.
  • Employee Training: Educating employees on proper posture and techniques to avoid ergonomic hazards.

Health and safety

The Faroe Islands prioritize employee well-being through a framework of health and safety regulations. Understanding these regulations is crucial for both employers and employees.

Employer Obligations

Faroese employers hold significant responsibility for ensuring a safe and healthy work environment. Key obligations include:

  • Risk Assessment and Mitigation: Employers must proactively identify potential workplace hazards and implement measures to control or eliminate them. This aligns with principles outlined in the Working Environment Act.
  • Safe Work Practices: Employers are required to establish and enforce safe work practices to minimize the risk of accidents and injuries. This might involve providing personal protective equipment (PPE) and ensuring proper training on its use.
  • Information and Training: Employers must provide employees with adequate information and training on health and safety hazards, safe work procedures, and emergency response protocols.
  • Workplace Design: The physical layout and design of the workplace should prioritize safety. This can include proper ventilation, lighting, and ergonomic considerations.

Employee Rights

Employees in the Faroe Islands have corresponding rights under health and safety regulations:

  • Safe Work Environment: Employees have the right to work in an environment free from foreseeable risks to their health and safety.
  • Refusal of Unsafe Work: Employees have the right to refuse work they believe is unsafe, provided they have reasonable justification for their concern.
  • Participation and Consultation: Employees have the right to participate in discussions and consultations regarding health and safety matters in the workplace. This aligns with recommendations outlined by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Enforcement Agencies

The Faroese Occupational Safety and Health Administration (FOSHA) is the primary agency responsible for enforcing health and safety regulations in workplaces.

FOSHA's role includes:

  • Inspections: Conducting inspections of workplaces to ensure compliance with health and safety regulations.
  • Issuing Orders: Issuing orders requiring employers to rectify identified safety hazards.
  • Investigations: Investigating workplace accidents and incidents.
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