Engage In Norway

Table of Contents

About Norway

Capital City

Oslo

Population

As of March 2024, the estimated population of Norway is 5,474,360.

Currency

The currency in Norway is the Norwegian Krone (NOK). The currency symbol is kr.

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Overview

Norway, a stunning Scandinavian country located at the far north of mainland Europe, offers a unique and captivating experience for travelers and residents alike. With its breathtaking natural landscapes, including majestic fjords, a rugged coastline, and the enchanting phenomena of the Northern Lights and Midnight Sun, Norway is a place of wonder. The country’s geography is characterized by its elongated shape, boasting one of the world’s longest and most indented coastlines, along with countless islands dotting its shores. The fjords, carved out by ancient glaciers, are a prominent feature, with the Sognefjord being the longest and the UNESCO-designated Geirangerfjord being a true marvel. Norway’s geography also includes the northernmost point of mainland Europe, the North Cape. Beyond its awe-inspiring natural beauty, Norway is known for its progressive society, strong democratic values, and high standard of living. With a rich Viking history, abundant wildlife, and a vibrant culture, Norway beckons visitors to explore its wonders while offering a harmonious and peaceful way of life to those who call it home.

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 1
  • Maundy Thursday - Date subject to change every year
  • Good Friday - Date subject to change every year
  • Easter - Date subject to change every year
  • Easter Monday - Date subject to change every year
  • Ascension Day - Date subject to change every year
  • First Day of Pentecost (Whit Sunday) - Date subject to change every year
  • Second Day of Pentecost (Whit Monday)- Date subject to change every year
  • Christmas - December 25
  • Second 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.

Social Security

Pension

The National Insurance Scheme of Norway provides retirement benefits to insured persons. The legal retirement age is 67 years. To be eligible for a retirement pension, a person must have had at least 3 years of insurance. The 3 years requirement is waived for people receiving disability benefits due to occupational injury at the age of 67. The pension is paid as a base amount fixed for the year, irrespective of the person's previous income. People who have 40 years of insurance coverage are eligible to receive a full pension. For those with less than 40 years of coverage, the benefit is reduced proportionately. Individuals with at least three years of insurance coverage have the right to a minimum level of pension. The spousal supplement is 25% for a cohabiting spouse. The funds for the national insurance schemes are sourced from the contributions made by employers and employees.

Dependents/Survivors Benefit

The National Insurance Scheme of Norway provides for survivors' benefits in the case of a member's death. The eligible survivors are the deceased's spouse and children. The amount of benefits depends on the base amount of National Insurance for the year. The annual basic amount is set to NOK 118,620 (Norwegian kroner) for the year 2023-2024, effective from May 1, 2023. From January 1, 2024, survivor's pension is limited to 3 years. If they take an education approved by NAV, or if they have work training via NAV, the pension can be extended for up to 2 years. The survivor benefit for children and spouse is paid if the deceased parent was a member of the National Insurance for at least 3 years immediately before death or the deceased parent was a recipient of a retirement pension for 3 years immediately before death. The funds for the national insurance schemes are sourced from the contributions made by employers and employees. 

Invalidity Benefit

The National Insurance in Norway provides for insured residents who have had their income permanently reduced due to illness or injury. To be eligible for this benefit, persons must have been insured for at least three years immediately before the onset of disability. For individuals who become disabled before the age of 26 years, the required insurance duration is one year prior to the disability. Another condition for entitlement is that the person is still a member of the National Insurance Scheme. Anyone who is not a member of the National Insurance Scheme receives disability benefits if he or she has at least 20 years of insurance coverage. The beneficiary should be between 18 and 67 years of age. A person's ability to perform income-generating work must be permanently reduced by at least 50% for him or her to be eligible for disability benefits. If an occupational injury causes the disability, it is sufficient that the earning capacity is permanently reduced by 30% to be eligible for benefits. The disability benefits are paid as 66% of the insured's average pensionable income in the best three of the last five years before the disability began. The minimum benefit is 2.28 times the base amount for persons living with their spouses (2.66 times if the disability started before the age of 26 years) and 2.48 times the base amount for others (2.91 if the disability began before the age of 26 years). The full benefit is paid to individuals who have had insurance coverage for at least 40 years. If the insurance period is shorter than 40 years, the unemployment benefit is reduced accordingly. 

Taxation of Compensation and Benefits

Personal Income Tax

Norway imposes a tax on residents who are defined as: Persons who stay in Norway permanently Persons who stay in Norway for more than 183 days in a 12-month period Persons who stay in Norway for more than 270 days in a 36 month period Income is taxed at the state, country, and municipal levels. The income of married individuals is combined for tax purposes. The tax year runs from January 1 to December 31. Tax rates range from 1.7% to 17.6%.

Immigration

Types of Visas

Norway issues the following visas: Schengen visa for 3 months within a six-month period Humanitarian visa for 3 months Student visa (though a residence permit is required for study over 3 months duration) While citizens of many countries (such as the US, Canada, and Mexico) may travel to Norway without a visa, others must obtain a visa for entry.

Work Permit

Employees who wish to work in Norway are required to obtain a work permit. The following conditions must be met: The applicant must be over 18 years old. The salary and working conditions must be better than the minimum collective agreements or regulations for the industry. The applicant must be offered a full-time job. The applicant must not violate a quota determined by the Ministry of Labor. Foreign workers in fixed-term contracts receive a residence permit for up to six years. It forms the basis of permanent residence in Norway for skilled workers and is issued for two years to unskilled workers.

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