Jonas Moody, an American who has lived and worked in Iceland for six years, has been told he is not entitled to unemployment benefit now that he has lost his job. His story has been featured on RUV television and mbl.is.
The former Iceland Review journalist first came to Iceland to learn the language at university and worked for Kaupthing Bank before moving to the magazine which has recently let all its writers go.
Jonas was told by the Directorate of Labour that his working permit was tied specifically to his employer and not to him, meaning not only that he is not entitled to unemployment benefit, but also that he must leave the country in April if he cannot find another job.
It is unfair, Jonas says, that someone can pay into the system for six years and then not be entitled to benefit from it in his time of need. “Foreigners are real people, not just imported goods,” he says.
Jonas is marrying his long-term (Icelandic) partner today in a move that not only cements their commitment to each other; but also allows Jonas to remain in Iceland even without finding another job. But having permission to remain doesn’t make unemployed life with no benefits any more appealing. Click to read the story from the horse’s mouth.
We here at Euromech congratulate Jonas and Gisli on their big day and hope the future brightens for them quickly.