Conditions for unemployment benefits
The main condition for receiving unemployment benefits is that you are out of work and available to the labour market. Those who are not available to the labour market are not eligible for unemployment benefits.
- be able to prove that you are unemployed
- be available to the labour market anywhere in the Faroe Islands
- be older than 16 and younger than 67
- reside in the Faroe Islands
- be capable of work
Being unemployed means that you:
- are not affiliated with an employer. This can be proved with a termination letter from your last employer or a resignation letter from you to your last employer.
Being available for work means that you:
- can undertake any type of work
- can start work within one day of being offered the job
- can attend an ALS meeting the day after being called in
- confirm unemployment in the self-service section
- actively seek work
- have access to childcare facilities, if applicable
Being capable of work means:
- that you are not prevented by illness or injury from any type of full-time employment for which you are qualified. If your health condition limits your ability to carry out certain types of work, this limitation must be documented with a medical certificate from a doctor.
You are not eligible for ALS benefits if you:
- are on parental leave
- are eligible for sickness benefits
- are eligible for educational grants
- are eligible for invalidity pension
- are eligible for dependent care benefits
You must be available for any type of work for which you are qualified anywhere in the Faroe Islands.
If, for example, you are offered a job in Viðareiði for which you are qualified, you should in principle be prepared to accept this job offer even if you live in e.g. Tórshavn – or vice versa.
ALS always looks for qualified workers near a job location first, but if no suitable candidate can be found in a particular area, the search is widened.
Being overqualified is not an acceptable reason for refusing to accept a job offer.
Jobs that require specialist training will not be recommended to everyone. An unemployed waiter, for instance, will not be put forward for a job as a doctor.
ALS may, in special circumstances, allow exemptions from the availability requirement for any type of job anywhere in the country.
Exemptions may be allowed if:
- the wage for the offered job is lower than the agreed trade union rate.
- daily commuting to and from work is not possible and housing conditions in the work area are poor.
- travel to and from work is difficult and you are a sole provider of young children.
ALS determines special circumstances based on an assessment of each individual case.
When you are registered as a recipient of unemployment benefits, you will be listed as a jobseeker in the ALS job centre with details of your work experience, education and other qualifications.
Employers contact ALS when they look for employees. ALS finds qualified people in its system and asks these people to contact the employer. The employer then informs ALS of who attended job interviews and who was offered the job.
If you are put forward for a job and an employer wishes to hire you, ALS requires you to show up for work the day after receiving the job offer. A refusal to accept the job offered by ALS without valid reason results in a 4-week suspension from unemployment benefits. A second refusal results in an 8-week suspension and a third results in a 12-week suspension. No unemployment benefits are paid out during the suspension period. In case of repeated refusals, ALS will make an assessment of a person’s future eligibility for unemployment benefits.
People who for various reasons do not receive unemployment benefits can also register with the job centre, provided they have a Faroese social security number (p-tal).
A condition for receiving unemployment benefits is that you actively seek work. ALS may ask you to provide proof of applying for available jobs. All available jobs in the Faroes are listed at starv.fo (the site is only available in Faroese).
Please feel free to contact ALS if you need help with writing job applications, CVs, etc. We’re happy to help.
You may undertake temporary work while registered with ALS. You must, however, report any such work when you confirm your unemployment in the self-service section. Write the hours worked and income, including vacation pay. Your unemployment benefits will then be adjusted accordingly.
You are required to be available to the labour market at all times when you receive unemployment benefits. You are also required to accept any job offered to you by ALS.
If your income from temporary work exceeds your unemployment benefits due to the adjusted benefits amount going below zero for four consecutive payment periods, you will no longer be regarded as available to the labour market, and your unemployment benefits stop. Please contact ALS if you have any questions about how much you may work while you receive unemployment benefits.
You are entitled by law to go on vacation for a total of five weeks per year. The holiday year starts on 2 May. You will receive regular payments from ALS during your vacation, and you are not required to be available to the labour market during this period.
If you have worked during the 12-month period (1 April - 31 March) in which you earn your vacation time, you are entitled to vacation pay. If you receive vacation pay while you are unemployed, deductions will be made to your unemployment benefits.