Merchant’s Weekend is coming up, but for many government employees, a surprising change to their payment schedule will leave them with a lot less to celebrate—or at the very least, less money to celebrate with. Fréttablaðið reports that the Financial Management Authority (FJS) has decided to exercise its right to pay salaries on the first working day of the new month, which has left numerous government employees—particularly younger individuals—in the lurch before many are planning to travel.
Merchant’s Weekend is a three-day holiday that overlaps with the first Monday of August every year. It is the biggest travel weekend in Iceland, and also a major festival weekend around the country, with the Westman Island’s Þjóðhátíð foremost on the schedule. But since Monday is a national holiday, strapped government employees’ paychecks will be delayed even longer: they will not be paid out until Tuesday, August 2.
FSJ certainly has the right, per Article 10, Act 70/1996, to pay wages on the first working day of the new month, but the authority has only exercised this right once before, that is, in May of this year. At the time, many employees thought the change in payday was a mistake. Public employees were not given much forward notice about the upcoming change in payment schedule, either—FSJ only announced the new payment date on Monday of this week.