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Human resources at Isavia


The parent company Isavia employs a diverse group of staff at various workplaces across the country. At the end of 2018, there were 1,255 people in employment with the company, of which one-third were women. The average age of employees is 40.5 years, and the average length of service is 7.39 years.

Staff turnover over the year was 15%. This rate varies across jobs and professional fields. The workforce is growing rapidly and 460 employees were recruited in the course of the year, of which some 300 were recruited for summer work.


Educational courses, refresher courses and regular training are part and parcel of everyday working life. Organised training and learning takes place all year round. The company organises extensive and ambitious educational activities with the goal of developing the knowledge and skills of employees in accordance with the policies and values of the company. This educational work can be divided into two categories: specialised learning and general learning.

2018 saw a total of 94,009 hours of learning activities, corresponding to 72 hours per employee over the year. Some 90% of these learning hours involved basic training, refresher courses and vocational and professional training required by staff to retain the necessary certification and skills for the jobs that they do, such as air navigation, airport security services and ground handling services. Staff in other Isavia departments and divisions also attend information meetings in Iceland and abroad to further their career development



Isavia operates in the general labour market and follows general collective wage agreements which the Confederation of Icelandic Employers has negotiated with numerous unions on behalf of the company. Special collective wage agreements have been made with the following unions: Landssamband slökkviliðsmanna (LSS) (firefighters), Félag flugmálastarfsmanna ríkisins (FFR) (stateemployed aeronautics employees), Stéttarfélag í almenningsþágu (SFR) (public servants) and Félag íslenskra flugumferðarstjóra (FÍF) (air traffic controllers).

The company complies with laws and regulations on health and safety, human rights and child labour. The company does not employ persons under the age of eighteen and pays all public charges and does not employ persons to do undeclared work.

The notice of termination of employees is in accordance with the applicable collective wage agreement but varies according to length of service and age. The right to terminate employment is mutual, and all information is in writing.


The company’s Code of Ethics states that everybody’s work deserves respect and that neither colleagues nor customers should suffer any discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, beliefs, ethnic origin, race, colour, financial situation, origin, disability, age or on any other grounds.

In 2018, seven reports of bullying or sexual and/or gender-based harassment were received. These reports were processed according to company procedure. A specific initiative was launched to raise awareness of Isavia’s social environment among staff. More than 600 members of staff attended the meeting at which this initiative was presented. The market-research company Maskína also conducted a workplace analysis focusing on the company’s psychosocial environment. The findings of this analysis were presented to employees at a series of meetings.


Isavia’s equal rights programme aims to increase general work satisfaction and improve morale. The purpose of the programme is to ensure full equality between men and women in the workplace, with the goal of fully utilising staff abilities, energy and knowledge, free of gender-based discrimination.

The programme also tackles, among other things, the issue of equal pay, insisting that the utmost level of equality must be observed when setting wages. Employees shall enjoy equal pay and working conditions for the same or equally valuable work (IST 85), and the criteria used to determine pay shall not be gender discriminatory.

Isavia has for many years focused on the issue of equal pay and has won a gold medal in the PwC’s equal wage audit on three occasions.


Isavia has achieved equal pay certification, as endorsed by the Equal Opportunities Agency. The objective of adopting the equal pay system by means of an equal pay standard (IST 85:2012) is to maintain wage equality and fulfil the employer obligations laid down in Chapter III of Act No. 10/2008 on the Equal Position and Equal Rights of Women and Men. The company also undertakes to work on constant improvement in this field, monitor the relevant criteria and react to any deviations which may arise.


We focus on raising employee awareness of the importance of having a healthy lifestyle and thus show that the company cares for both the health and safety of its employees. The company’s aim is to support the psychological and physical well-being of its staff, provide them with a good working environment and meet their psychological, social and physical needs in the workplace. The company gives its staff financial support to take physical exercise.

Employees can contact the service desk of Vinnuvernd (Occupational Health Service) and obtain advice on their own illness or that of family members. In addition, Vinnuvernd nurses hold regular consultations at the company’s largest operating units.


Particular emphasis is placed on staff safety in the workplace. In the event of an accident, it must be specifically registered. Isavia’s health and safety representative is responsible for analysing the accident and proposing improvements to facilities or procedures to prevent such an accident from happening again. Accidents are recorded electronically, and particular efforts have been made to make staff aware of the concept of ‘near-miss accidents’, by means of a special button on the company’s intranet and special information posters displayed everywhere. The Safety Committee, made up of staff and company representatives, discuss all cases relating to the occupational health of Isavia staff.

The number of reports of work-related accidents has fallen year-on-year, and the company has placed great emphasis on the prevention of work-related accidents. There were 56 work-related accidents recorded last year, of which eleven led to staff absence.


End of employment is considered to occur at the end of the month in which the employee reaches the age of seventy. Members of the Icelandic Air Traffic Controller Association, however, retire at the age of 63. The company offers an end-of-employment training course for those nearing retirement age, and their spouses are also invited. The course covers useful information and deals with this important career milestone. Fourteen employees participated in such a course in 2018.