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Norway

Staff

Updated 06/2012

Legal requirements

The labour market in Norway is regulated by a number of Acts and Regulations. The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority administers most of this framework.

Working conditions

Working hours

Working hours, breaks and overtime are covered by the Working Environment Act. Undertakings covered by collective agreements often have more detailed provisions on working hours.

The Working Environment Act stipulates that normal working hours must not generally exceed 9 hours a day or 36, 38 or 40 hours a week, depending on the times of day when the work is done.

Health and safety

The Regulation relating to systematic health, environmental and safety activities in enterprises (the Internal Control Regulation) contains provisions to the effect that the person responsible for the business must ensure that there is systematic monitoring.

This is in accordance with the relevant requirements laid down in the Working Environment Act, the Pollution Act, the laws on fires and explosions, the Product Control Act, the Civil Defence Act and the Electrical Equipment Act.

Termination

The Working Environment Act specifies the rules for termination and dismissal.

Holidays

The holiday year follows the calendar year. Under the Holidays Act, enterprises must ensure that their employees receive at least 25 working days' holiday each holiday year ('working days' may include Saturdays). An extra 6 working days' holiday may be granted to employees over 60 years of age.

Occupational health insurance

Employers must take out occupational health insurance for their employees to cover any occupational injury or illness. This may be done by way of an agreement with an insurance company.

Compulsory occupational pension (Norwegian: OTP)

A compulsory occupational pension means that the employer is normally obliged to have a company pension scheme for the employees.

Employees' right to representation on boards

Employee representation on the board is regulated in Section 6-4 and 6-5 of the Limited Companies Act, Sections 2-9 and 2-10 of the Partnerships Act, Section 67 of the Cooperatives Act and Section 29 of the Foundations Act.

Contracts of employment

Employment contract

Employers must sign employment agreements/contracts with their employees. These must be in place no later than one month after the employee has started work. If the employment is for a shorter period than a month, the contract must be signed immediately.

Work performed at the employee's home

The Regulation relating to work performed at the employee's home regulates the working conditions where home-working is performed/offered as a permanent arrangement, and does not apply to temporary or purely short-term home-working.

Employment of foreigners

In Norway, there are no statutory rules on a minimum wage. This means that employees posted to Norway can work for the same wage or salary that they draw at home. However, if the employment is covered by a general collective agreement, these collective provisions on wages or conditions of work and employment will apply.

Employment

Employers can normally employ people in two ways: as permanent staff or as a temporary replacement (for another employee). Where the nature of the work allows it and the work is different from what is ordinarily done in the business, it is permissible to take on employees for a limited period (temporary employment).

There are minimum social rules to follow, especially about non-discrimination, gender equality and health and safety.

Administrative procedures

Starting employment

The employer must be entered in the Register of Employers and Employees at the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Organisation (NAV). Employees must be entered in the Register no later than Friday of the week after the employment begins. This can be done in two ways:

  • Via a notice of registration sent to the Brønnøysund Register Centre, or by contacting the local NAV office.
  • From the Register of Employers where employees joining and leaving the enterprise can be reported to the Register of Employees. This can also be done electronically.

Social security contributions

Members of the Norwegian national insurance scheme have to pay social security contributions. These are set as a percentage of personal income in accordance with Section 12-2 and 12-10 of the Tax Act; cf. Section 23-3 of the National Insurance Act.

For employees, the national insurance contributions are usually included in the employer's payments in advance and shown in the deduction tables. If the employee is not taxed in Norway, the national insurance contributions must be paid to the local NAV office.

If the employee is covered by national insurance in another EEA country while working temporarily in Norway, no contributions will be payable in Norway.

Any exceptions to membership of the national insurance scheme must be confirmed on Form E101, to be issued by the employee's home social security authority where the conditions for exemption are satisfied. When NAV's international section [NAV Utland] receives an E101 issued by another country's social security authority, it confirms with the tax office and the employer that the employee is exempt from Norwegian national insurance. The employee may then have less tax deducted.

Tax deductions and employer's contributions

The employer must set up a tax deduction account and deduct tax from salaries and other benefits granted to employees. The employer must report and pay deductions in advance and employer's contributions in six instalments.

Reporting is handled as follows:

Work permits for foreign workers

The web site of the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration contains information on work permits and application forms for these in several languages.

Resources

You can find further information on the following web sites:

EURES, the European job portal, offers employers information and support on recruiting across the EU. As well as assisting jobseekers, it helps entrepreneurs find workers from across the EU. In border regions, EURES provides information on cross-border commuting and helps workers and employers with problems that may arise.

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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