Table of Contents

Norway

Table of Contents

Currency

Norwegian Krone (NOK)

Payroll Frequency

Monthly

Employer Taxes

14.1%

About Norway

Part of the Scandinavian peninsula, Norway is a Northern European country bordered to its east by Sweden. While it has a constitutional monarchy, political power resides with its prime minister and Parliament. It is a member of the European Economic Area and maintains close ties to the European Union. Norway maintains the Nordic welfare system of universal social security, healthcare, and education while promoting ideals of egalitarianism in all walks of life.

The Norwegian economy is significantly advanced with its petroleum industry accounting for a quarter of its GDP. On a per-capita basis, Norway is the largest producer of oil and natural gas outside of the Middle East. Norway also has consistently ranked amongst the world’s happiest countries with the highest human development index, with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.

Its history is primarily known for its Viking Age, a period characterized by expansion and emigration by the legendary seafarers. Not only did they colonize many parts of Europe, but they were also known to have come as far west as what is now Newfoundland in Canada.

Employment Relationship

• Permanent Employment

According to the Working Environment Act of Norway, an employment contract is signed for a permanent term unless otherwise agreed upon. Employees who have been employed on a temporary basis for more than four consecutive years are deemed to be permanently employed. Permanent employment is continuous and not time-limited and the employee is ensured predictability of employment in the form of a clearly specified amount of paid working hours. Permanent employment can be terminated by either party by giving a written notice. 

• Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

Under Norway's labor law, an employer must hire employees on a permanent basis unless clearly specified otherwise in the employment contract. An employer can hire employees for a fixed term of up to 1 year or until the completion of a specific job.  The chief executive of an undertaking can be appointed for a fixed-term contract for more than 1 year. The employer must discuss the use of fixed contracts with the employees' elected representatives at least once a year. This discussion must include the basis for and extent of such appointments and the consequences for the working environment.

• Temporary Employment Contratcs

Norway's labor law provides that temporary employment contracts can be concluded in the following cases: When the work is temporary in nature For temporary replacement for another person or persons For work as a trainee For participants in labor market schemes in cooperation with the Labor and Welfare Service With athletes, trainers, referees, and other leaders within organized sports Temporary employment contracts can be concluded for up to 12 months and can be renewed. If an employee has been temporarily employed for more than 3 consecutive years, the employee is deemed to be permanently employed. Employers can hire temporary employees through temporary work agencies. The temporary-work agency shall ensure that employees that it hires out are at least given the conditions that would have applied if the employee had been recruited directly by the user undertaking to perform the same work with regard to working hours, pay, holidays, etc.

Probationary Period

The labor law of Norway allows employment contracts to include a probationary period which can last up to 6 months. If an employee engaged by written contract is dismissed during a probationary period, the dismissal must be due to the employee's lack of suitability for the work, or for lack of proficiency or reliability. A notice of at least 14 days is required for dismissal during probation.

Working Hours

Norway's labor law sets standard working hours at 9 hours per day and 40 hours per week. Employees working hours in addition to this standard number are eligible for overtime. Working hours are reduced for the following categories of employees: 9 hours per day or 38 hours per week for employees involved in semi-continuous shift work, or jobs that require them to work at least every third Sunday, or work principally performed at night 9 hours per day or 36 hours per week for employees who work in continuous shift work or work in mines, tunneling, or blasting of rock chambers In the case of young persons between 15 and 18 years of age who are not attending compulsory education, working hours shall not exceed 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week. There are different limits on working hours for those attending school.  Home Office Regulations Norway requires that the employer and employee enter into a written agreement concerning working from home (unless working from home is ordered or recommended by Norwegian authorities). The general rules on working hours in the current Norwegian employment law apply to work-from-home arrangements. The Labor Inspection Authority is authorized to supervise the home office regulations.

Holidays / PTO

• Statutory Holidays

New Year’s Day – January 1Maundy Thursday – Date subject to change every yearGood Friday – Date subject to change every yearEaster – Date subject to change every yearEaster Monday – Date subject to change every yearAscension Day – Date subject to change every yearFirst Day of Pentecost (Whit Sunday) – Date subject to change every yearSecond Day of Pentecost (Whit Monday)- Date subject to change every yearChristmas – December 25Second Day of Christmas – December 26

• Paid Annual Leave

Employers must give employees an annual leave of 25 working days each calendar year. Working days are defined as all non-Sundays, statutory weekends, or public holidays. Employees over 60 years of age are entitled to 6 extra days of leave. An employee who turns 60 during the calendar year shall be given extra leave of six working days. If the extra leave is divided, the employee can only demand to take as many working days off as they normally have during a week. An employee who joins no later than September 30 in the calendar year is entitled to full annual leave (25 working days). An employee who joins after this time is entitled to an annual leave of six working days. A written agreement can be entered into on the termination of an advance holiday of up to 12 working days and the transfer of up to 12 working days holiday to the following holiday year. Advance holiday and transfer of holiday beyond this can not be agreed. 

• Sick Leave

In Norway, employees are entitled to self-declared sick leave (i.e., notifying their employer that they cannot work due to illness without having to present a medical certificate). Self-declared sick leave can be used for up to 3 calendar days at a time. For more than 3 calendar days of absence, the employee must present a medical certificate from a doctor. Self-declared sick leave can be used 4 times in the course of a 12-month period. If an employee is sick longer than the time allowed by the self-declaration, they must present a medical certificate from a doctor.  Loss of income due to illness may entitle an employee to sickness benefits if they have been employed for at least 4 weeks before sick leave begins. Employees are entitled to sickness benefits for a maximum of 52 weeks. The illness must be documented by a self-declaration or a medical certificate. Employees are entitled to sickness benefits from their first day of absence. The employer pays the sickness benefit for the first 16 days, after which the Norwegian National Insurance scheme takes over. Employees earning more than 6 times the base amount for the year are not entitled to a sickness benefit.

• Maternity Leave

In Norway, a pregnant employee is entitled to a leave of absence for up to 12 weeks during her pregnancy. After childbirth, the mother takes a leave of absence for the first 6 weeks of the post-birth period unless she produces a medical certificate stating that it is preferable that she resume work. The parental benefit period lasts 49 weeks (15 weeks are reserved for each parent) with 100% wage coverage or 59 weeks (19 weeks are reserved for each parent) with 80% wage coverage. The parental benefit is calculated in the same way as sickness benefits. The maximum benefit is equivalent to 6 times the National Insurance Basic Amount annually, regardless of whether the parents' income is higher. Leave rights related to having a child mean that parents, together, are entitled to take leave until the child attains 3 years of age. The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Service (NAV) pays the first year. To ensure staffing predictability, the employer can demand that the leave be taken as a continuous period.

• Paternity Leave

Under Norway's law, fathers are entitled to 2 weeks' leave of absence to help their child's mother after childbirth. If the parents don't co-habitate, the right to leave of absence may be exercised by another individual helping the mother. Adoptive parents and foster parents have the right to 2 weeks' leave of absence when the child first comes into their care. This does not apply when adopting stepchildren or when the child is over 15 years old. Fathers can also take advantage of parental leave benefits. The parental benefit period lasts 49 weeks (15 weeks are reserved for each parent) with 100% wage coverage or 59 weeks (19 weeks are reserved for each parent) with 80% wage coverage. If only the father has the right to receive a parental allowance, the calculation is different. The parental benefit is calculated in the same way as sickness benefits. The maximum benefit is equivalent to 6 times the National Insurance Basic Amount annually, regardless of whether the parents' income is higher.

Termination of Employment

• Notice Period

Norway requires employers to provide a written notice period to employees before dismissal: 1 month of notice for employees who have been employed with the organization for less than 5 years 2 months of notice for employees who have been employed with the organization for more than 5 years, but less than 10 years 4 months of notice for employees who have been employed with the organization for more than 10 years 5 months for employees above 55 years 6 months for employees above 60 years In the case of written contracts of employment under which the employee is engaged for a given trial period, 14 days' notice shall be given by either party unless otherwise agreed in writing or in a collective pay agreement. If the employer's notice is not given in writing or does not include required information, and the employee institutes legal proceedings within 4 months from the date that notice is given, the notice shall be ruled invalid unless special circumstances make this clearly unreasonable. If the notice is invalid, the employee may claim compensation. 

• Severance Benefits

There are no mandatory severance benefits in Norway as there are strict restrictions on involuntary terminations or redundancies. Employees may seek financial redress via the courts if they believe they have been terminated unfairly. Employers may decide on severance pay before making employees redundant. Collective or individual agreements can provide of extraordinary severance pay.