ISOR’s Icelandic Energy Research has laid off five employees. The announcement states that the reason is the prospect of a difficult operating year in 2021. The employment rate of 2/3 of the employees has been reduced by 10-25%. According to Arni Magnusson, CEO, six-month contracts were made with the staff.
The announcement states that the measures are marked by the declining activities of Icelandic energy companies, which are said to be holding their own this year. The Covid epidemic is also said to have an effect.
Can not receive share compensation
67 employees worked for ISOR before the dismissals. Arni Magnusson says in an interview with Media that the employees who were laid off are scientists at the institute. “Our staff cannot receive share compensation after changes made to the regulations about them late last year. This is because we are not like a regular taxpayer as we are owned by the state, “says Arni.
He says that after the right to it expired, it was clear that action was needed. “An employer cannot claim a reduced employment rate. That conversation has been going on with our staff this month, “says Árni. He says that there are hopes that it will be possible to shorten the time that people have to be reduced from the six months that were agreed upon. In order for this to happen, the project status needs to be improved.
He says that they also talked to people who had reached retirement age and those who could retire in part. “We looked for all possible ways to reduce costs,” says Arni.
Calls for austerity measures
“ISOR is owned by the state and earns its income by selling services. Without a response to the deteriorating outlook for the market, ISOR’s operating deficit was heading for a serious deficit this year. It calls for austerity measures at the agency, “says the announcement.
“Steps have already been taken to reduce housing costs as well as other planning and streamlining measures, in addition to which work is continuing to acquire more projects,” says the announcement.
In light of ISOR’s operating position, the reduction in full-time equivalents will not be completely avoided. Therefore, the retirement of 5 employees has now been completed, “says the announcement