Posting employees to Norway?
Posted employees sent to Norway to work, largely have the same rights as Norwegian employees. This applies even if the employee will be working in a sub-unit of a group, or for a Norwegian hiring agency.
Special rules for posted drivers engaged in goods and passenger transport
From 3 November 2023, special rules apply to posted drivers engaged in
- goods transport by road, using a vehicle with a maximum authorized mass exceeding 3,500 kg
- passenger transport by road, scheduled or not, using a vehicle intended for transport of more than 9 persons including the driver
- What is a posted employee?
- Requirements for employers posting employees to Norway
- Staffing and cleaning enterprises must apply for authorization
- Posting longer than 12 months (long-term posting)
A posted employee (utsendt arbeidstaker) is an employee who, for a limited time, works in another country than the country they normally work in.
As an example, the employee is considered posted if their employer, registered in an EU member state, sends the employee to perform construction work on a construction site in Norway for a few weeks, and the employee then returns to work in their country of residence after their stay in Norway.
In order to determine whether or not the employee is considered posted, you must make an overall assessment of the work and the employee’s situation.
Requirements for employers posting employees to Norway
Employers who send employees to Norway for work are responsible for making sure the employment relationship and the work performance complies with relevant Norwegian laws and rules.
Below are some of the requirements you must meet as an employer.
Posted employees normally have an employment contract (arbeidsavtale) with their employer in the country they have been posted from.
When you post an employee to Norway, the employment contract must meet Norwegian requirements.
If Norwegian requirements are more stringent than requirements in the country of registration, you could, for example, create an addendum to the employment contract, which meets Norwegian requirements, for the period when the employee is posted to Norway.
In Norway, some industries have requirements for minimum pay (minstelønn) and various premiums and compensations for travel, lodging and foods costs. Some industries also have special requirements for working conditions, such as requirements concerning workwear.
When you post employees to Norway to perform work in these industries, you are responsible for making sure requirements concerning minimum pay and working conditions are met. These industries are:
- agriculture and horticulture
- goods transport by road
- passenger transport by tour vehicle
If you are working for a staffing enterprise (bemanningsforetak), you are entitled to the same pay, as well as reimbursement for costs, if relevant, as if you were employed directly by the enterprise to which you have been hired.
In other industries, there are no requirements for minimum pay or special working conditions. In these cases, the rate of pay is agreed directly between the employer and the employee as part of the written employment contract.
Failure to pay can be classified as wage theft, which is a criminal offence pursuant to the Penal Code.
Payment intervals shall be specified in the contract of employment. In Norway, monthly payment intervals are common.
When the wage is paid, the employer shall provide the employee with a pay slip (lønnsslipp), which must specify
- how the pay is calculated
- the calculation basis for holiday pay
- tax withholdings
- any other deductions made
Pay deduction for lodging
If you make deductions from an employee’s pay for lodging (innkvartering), the deduction must be reasonably proportionate to the quality of the lodging and the employee’s pay.
Pay and compensation for expenses
Payments that are reimbursement (refusjon) for expenses incurred in connection with the posting, such as travel, lodging and food costs, shall not be included in the calculation of pay. Other payments, such as special remunerations for the posting, can be included in the calculation of pay if they are not paid as reimbursement for expenses actually incurred in connection with the posting.
If the employment contract does not specify which parts of the payment is the pay, and which parts are reimbursement for expenses, the entire payment shall be considered reimbursement of expenses and not part of the pay.
What are the consequences if the pay slip does not clearly specify what is pay and what is reimbursement?
In order to document that posted employees actually receive the pay to which they are entitled, it is important that the employment contract and the pay slip clearly specify what is pay and what is reimbursement for expenses in connection with the posting.
It this is not clearly specified, the Labour Inspection Authority will in some cases be forced to conclude that you are underpaying your posted workers.
The term working hours refers to the time during which the employee is at the employer’s disposal. As the employer, you are responsible for making sure the working hours are not detrimental to the employee’s health or safety.
Among other things, Norwegian rules and regulations have defined limits for daily and weekly working hours, as well as requirements for breaks and daily and weekly non-working time. There is also a requirement for a premium of at least 40 % for overtime work (overtidsarbeid).
Living quarters made available by the employer for posted employees must be safe, furnished and well-maintained.
When you post employees to Norway, you must ensure that employment contracts (arbeidsavtaler), pay slips (lønnsslipper) and work schedules are available in the workplace.
These documents must be available in writing. The documents must either be brought to Norway in physical format, or they must be immediately electronically available.
The documents must be available in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.
Enterprises posting employees to Norway are responsible for the employees’ health, safety and environment (HSE) (HMS).
As the employer, you are responsible for your enterprise working systematically with health, safety and environmental issues. The employer must, in consultation with the employees, assess potential hazards in the workplace, and is responsible for taking steps to eliminate or reduce the risk of employees becoming sick or getting injured.
All employees have the right to training in a language they understand.
If you do not have the necessary expertise to meet HSE requirements, you must obtain the expertise you lack. An occupational health service, for example, can assist you in your HSE work.
If the employee is posted by a staffing enterprise, the hiring enterprise also has HSE responsibility for the posted employee during the posting period.
When multiple enterprises are present in the same workplace, one of the enterprises must be defined as the “primary enterprise”. The primary enterprise is responsible for coordinating the HSE work or all enterprises present.
As the employer, you must complete HSE training.
All employees working with construction or providing cleaning services must have a valid HSE card (HMS-kort).
The HSE card specifies who the employee is and who the employer is.
It is your responsibility as the employer to ensure that your employees have HSE cards when they work in Norway.
The HSE card requirement applies to all types of enterprises, even independent contractors.
All employees working with cranes, lifting and stacking vehicles and earth-moving machinery in Norway are required to provide documentation of certified safety training. Employers who wish to use foreign proficiency certificates (kompetansebevis) in Norway must apply to the Labour Inspection Authority for a permit to do so.
As the employer, you are responsible for making sure your employees have valid proficiency certificates. A foreign proficiency certificate may only be used in Norway when accompanied by a permit from the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority.
Posted employees are entitled to leave (permisjon) to be absent from work for a limited period. This leave could be fully or partially paid, or unpaid.
The right to leave includes leaves of absence in connection with pregnancy, birth and a child’s illness.
For shorter postings that do not exceed eight days, the posting enterprise does not necessarily have to offer holiday leave or pay holiday pay or overtime premiums pursuant to Norwegian rules.
This exception applies if
- the employee works as a skilled or specialized worker (fag- eller spesialarbeider)
- the work is performed as an initial assembly or installation that is part of an agreement on the delivery of goods
- the work performed is necessary to initiate use of the goods
The exception does not apply to posted employees who perform the following work in the construction industry:
- building demolition
If the enterprise has posted other employees to perform the same type of work in the past 12 months, these periods shall also be included in the calculation of the duration of the posting.
Staffing and cleaning enterprises must apply for authorization
If you are hiring out employees in Norway or sending employees to Norway to perform cleaning services, you must apply for authorization and registration in the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority registers.
It is illegal to hire out employees or sell cleaning services without authorization.
All staffing enterprises (bemanningsforetak) engaged in the hiring out of labour in Norway must be authorized and registered in the Labour Inspection Authority’s register for staffing enterprises.
All enterprises who offer cleaning services (renholdsvirksomheter), either exclusively or as part of their service portfolio, must be authorized by the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority.
If you are a foreign staffing enterprise engaged in the hiring out of employees for cleaning assignments, you must obtain authorization as both a staffing enterprise and a cleaning enterprise.
Postings longer than 12 months (long-term postings)
A long-term posting is a posting with a duration exceeding 12 months, or more than 18 months if the employer extends the posting period.
In long-term postings, almost all rules concerning pay and working conditions for posted workers apply. For an overview of the rules, see Section 3b on working and employment conditions in the event of a long-term posting (lovdata.no) in the Regulations relating to posted workers.
The employer must notify the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority if the posting is extended
The posting period of 12 months can be extended by up to 6 months. If so, the employer must notify the Labour Inspection Authority in writing of the extension before the original 12-month posting period expires.
The notification must include
- a specification of which employee(s) the extension concerns
- a justification for why an extension is necessary
Send the notification to the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority electronically via the eDialogue or via mail. Because the notification contains personal data, you must not use e-mail.