Reykjavík City Council accepted a proposal from Mayor Vilhjálmur Th. Vilhjálmsson at a meeting yesterday to hire people older than 70 for workplaces operated by the city, like kindergartens, which suffer from a severe lack of staff.
It is now permitted to hire people over 70 for positions requiring work between 33 and 50 percent of a normal working day for one year at a time, but only if the applicant can submit a competence certification, Morgunbladid reports.
Employment will not result in lower payments from the Pension Fund of City Employees.
Vilhjálmsson said he had noticed considerable interest among senior citizens to reenter the employment market and that he was convinced many would take advantage of this opportunity.
“This is one of the issues senior citizens have been fighting for. We have discussed this with them and are following their request,” Vilhjálmsson said. “I am certain senior citizens will celebrate this decision because many of them are still fully capable of working.”
Sesselja Ásgeirsdóttir, who is 70 and used to work for the Consumers’ Association of Iceland, has been hired as project leader and will be responsible for providing senior citizens interested in this project with jobs where they are most needed.
Ásgeirsdóttir is pleased with the move, but said she finds it strange that people who retire at 67, which is the norm, have to wait for three years before they can reenter the employment market without their pensions being cut.
There is currently a severe lack of staff within caretaking positions in Reykjavík and almost 200 employees are needed for the city’s kindergartens.