Norway’s stable economy is driven by a large state sector, vibrant private sector, and an extensive social safety net. The country has rich natural resources, including hydropower, oil and gas, minerals, and forests.
As a member of European Economic Area (EEA), it provides sizable contributions to the European Union budget. To reduce the dependency of the economy on oil and attract foreign investment, a multi-year measure has been undertaken to lower the top corporate tax rate to 25%. There are further plans to bring it down to 24% in 2017 and 23% in 2018.
Currency: Norwegian krone
Principal language: Norwegian, Nynorsk, Northern Sami, Bokmål
Government: Parliamentary representative democratic constitutional monarchy
Capital City: Oslo
Major Cities: Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim
Norway’s employment laws are mentioned in the Working Hours and Employment Protection Act, which is also known as the Working Environment Act, is administered by the Norwegian Labor Inspection Authority.
This Act applies to all the employees working in Norwegian territory except those working in the areas such as hunting, shipping, military aviation, and fishing.
Employment contracts must be formalized in writing and agreed upon within 1 month of the commencement of employment.
The contract must contain the following information:
- Identity of the parties
- Employee's title or description of the work
- Date of commencement of the employment
- Provisions regarding a trial period, if applicable
- Expected duration of temporary employment
- Employees’ right to vacation pay and the provisions regarding the dates for vacation
- Daily and weekly working hours
- Notice periods
- Length of breaks
- Any agreement concerning a special working-hour arrangement, if applicable, and
- Pay and method of payment
- Information regarding collective agreements, if applicable
Fixed-term employment contracts are permitted in special circumstances. This may include work done in addition to the normal daily work and hiring replacement staff to work for employees on leave. If fixed-term employment lasts more than 4 years, the employee qualifies for a permanent position.
Normal work schedule is usually limited to the maximum 9 hours per day and 40 hours per 7 days. Both employers and employees can agree in writing that normal work hours be averaged to 52 weeks and that work hours don’t exceed 9 hours any day or 48 hours any week.
Special rules apply to people who work underground, to shift workers, to people who work on Sundays or at night, and persons under 18 years of age.
Employees can also work flexible work hours if such an arrangement doesn’t result in a major inconvenience to the employer. For example, employees who are 62 or older are entitled to reduced work hours if the arrangement doesn’t cause any significant inconvenience to the employer. Rest breaks of at least 30 minutes duration are compulsory after 5.5 hours of work.
Employees can take 11 hours off duty between shifts and 35 hours per week unless agreed otherwise in a collective agreement.
Employees are entitled to the following 10 paid public holidays:
- Jan. 1: New Year's Day
- Maundy Thursday (Thursday before Easter)
- Good Friday (Friday before Easter)
- Easter Monday (day after Easter)
- May 1: Labor Day
- May 17: Constitution Day
- Ascension Day (sixth Thursday after Easter)
- Monday after Pentecost
- Dec. 25: Christmas Day
- Dec. 26: Boxing Day
Work on public holidays is not allowed unless it is necessary due to the nature of the employment. Public holidays that fall on a weekend are not moved to weekdays.
Parental Care Leave
Each parent can take 10 days of paid leave annually to care for a sick child below 12 years of age. The duration of leave can go up to 15 days if caring for 2 or more children. The leave duration is increased to 20 days if the child is below 18 years, is disabled or chronically ill. The leave duration is doubled for single parents.
Women employees who have worked for the last 6 months in the previous 10 months and who receive at least half the National Insurance base amount are entitled to maternity leave. Expectant mothers can take a maximum of 12 weeks of leave before the expected birth date and 6 weeks immediately after the childbirth.
The father can take 12 weeks of paternity leave if both he and the mother qualify to receive parental benefits. This requires being employed and receiving a pensionable income for a minimum of 6 months out of the 10 months before the benefit period begins.
Workers who are not enrolled with the Church of Norway can take a maximum of 2 days of unpaid leave every year to observe religious holidays. Employers can ask employees to work extra hours, without giving overtime pay, to recompensate for the religious leave. Employees who want to take religious leave are required to give 14 days’ notice to the employer.
Military Service Leave
An employee can take a leave of absence for military service, on the condition that they notify the employer before the military service begins and wish to return to employment after completing their military service. The employer can allow the employee to resume work only a month later after receiving notification of the day and date on which the employee will rejoin.
Employees can retire at the age of 67 years with a full pension if contributions have been made to the insurance fund for at least 40 years.
All employers must make mandatory social security contributions to the National Insurance scheme to fund disability pensions, retirement pensions, and other social benefits. These contributions are calculated based on allowances and gross pay.
Universal Old-age Pension
Employees aged 67 with a minimum of 3 years of residence qualify for the universal old-age pension.
Retirement from a job is not mandatory. Special conditions apply if the employee is living abroad.
Universal Disability Pension
The universal disability pension is paid to insured individuals aged 18 to 66 with an estimated loss of at least 50% of earning capacity. The National Insurance Administration is responsible for assessing the degree of disability.The insured must have a minimum of 3 years’ coverage before the date of the claim.
Universal survivor Pension
The universal survivor pension is paid to the spouse if the deceased had a minimum of 3 years’ coverage before the date of demise or was getting a pension from the National Insurance Administration. It is mandatory for the surviving spouse to have been married to the deceased for a minimum of 5 years or to be providing care for at least one dependent child.
How GPS can Help
With our Global PEO/Employer of Record services, companies can expand into Norway and hire their employees without having to establish a branch office or subsidiary in Norway.
- Your candidate is hired via our Norway PEO. If needed, we can also help you find the right talent in any country with our comprehensive global staffing services.
- Your new employee begins work quickly as we take care of employment contracts, statutory and non-statutory benefits, and running their payroll - all in full compliance with Norway laws.
- Global PEO Services experts manage all day-to-day operational issues such as employee expenses, and severance/termination if required.
- With no contractor risks, pass on the compliance burden to Global PEO Services.
Spin Off/M&A Support
- Ensure continuity of payroll, benefits and HR support when acquiring or spinning off a business with employees overseas.
24/7 Support in 100+ Countries
- Empower your teams with 24/7 support and a single point-of-contact model in which experienced client services directors are in continuous communication with information and advice.
- We are backed by a mix of 300+ multidisciplinary experts from HR, Payroll, Finance, Tax, and Legal domains who are ready to respond to the expected and unexpected needs of your business on the shortest notice.
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With our Global PEO, you get access to Mihi, our proprietary SaaS solution for time and attendance, vacation, leave management and benefits enrollment and management. Mihi enables clients to have easy access to employee data in real time. It is designed specifically for companies with a global workforce, especially when working in multiple countries with low headcount.
Ready for Growth When You Are
When ready, we can seamlessly transition you from the PEO/EOR model to your own legal entity and provide ongoing international HR, finance, legal, compliance and staffing support. Learn more about our end-to-end international expansion services.