Norwegian labour law is mainly regulated by the Norwegian Working Environment Act (arbeidsmiljøloven). In this law, the employer’s obligations and the employee’s rights are regulated. The Working Environment Act applies only to employees. If the worker is an independent contractor, he does not have the rights which emerge from the working environment act. In this article, we’ll look further into the basics of Norwegian employment law.
The Working Environment Act demands that a written contract of employment must be provided in all employment relationships and must be signed by both parties. In this contract, the most important conditions shall be regulated; for instance the workplace and the salary. The salary is not regulated in the Working Environment Act, but many jobs are specified in collective agreements struck by trade unions.
Working hours and overtime
The Working Environment Act regulates the working hours for the employees. However, other hours may appear from the collective agreements. These hours would never be higher than 40 hours a week, which is the law in the Working environment act. If the employee works longer than the hours which appear from the Working environment act or a collective agreement, the employee shall be compensated with an enhanced wage with a minimum of 40 %.
Health and safety
The employer has through the Working Environment Act an obligation to secure, a safe and healthy workplace. This means that the employer must assess possible hazards in the workplace and implement measures if needed.
Absence from work
If the employee is sick or has a sick child, the employee gets sickness benefits. The first 16 calendar days are covered by the employer. If the absence is longer, the National Insurance Scheme pays for sickness benefits. The employee gets sickness benefits equal to 100 % of their pensionable income.
Termination of employment
All the employees have protection against termination of employment. The termination has to be factually justified in the company’s, the employee’s, or the employer’s circumstances. This requirement is strict. Therefore, the Working Environment Act ensures that the employer cannot dismiss employees without a specific reason for it.
The Holiday act (ferieloven) provides the general framework for annual holidays for the employees. The law gives the employees the right to 21 days of paid holiday every year. However, many collective agreements give the right to 25 days. The employee has the right to take a consecutive period of three weeks’ holiday in the period between June and September.
The Norwegian labour law referred to above provides overall good protection for the employees. The Norwegian labour law consists mainly of the Working Environment Act but has to be supplemented with the collective agreements and the Holiday Act. We assist several businesses and indivuals with employment law. Get in touch with an employment lawyer
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