General Labor Law and Employment Law

Labor and Employment law regulate working life in Norway.  It regulates both, the relationship between employee and employer, and collective agreements and other legal issues relating to trade unions and the employing organization.

The Working Environment Act of 2005 largely governs relationship between ordinary employees and employers. The Employees Act of 1983 regulates the conditions for employees employed in government service.

The Working Environment Act of 2005 ensures a good and safe working environment. Furthermore, it ensures safe employment and equal treatment in working life.

In addition, it facilitates adaptations to employee’s assumptions and life situations, cf. § 1-1 The Working Environment Act's rules can not be waived to the disadvantage of the employee unless specifically stipulated, cf. §1-9.

A written employment contract must be entered into for all working relationships, cf. §14-5 (1). I aml. Section 14-6 contains rules on the content of the work contract.

In cases, where employment relationships are more than one month, a written employment contract must be made available by the employer as soon as possible and no later than one month after the employment relationship commenced, cf. section 14-5 (2).

In employment relationships with shorter duration than one month or by the hire of labor, a written employment contract must be entered into immediately, cf. section 14-5 (3).

Working hours are detailed in Chapter 10 of the Working Environment Act. Some provisions that can be emphasized are §10-4 on normal working hours, §10-6 on overtime and §10-9 on breaks.

According to the main rule in section 10-4 (1), the working time must not exceed nine hours in 24 hours and 40 hours in seven days. However, in the remaining 5 paragraphs of the provision, many exceptions are made.

To protect both the employee and the employer, there are a number of rules on employment terminations. There are both formal requirements and notice deadlines. Particularly important is that the employee is also protected from unsafe termination, cf. § 15-7.

There is no separate chapter in the Working Environment Act that regulates wages. There are, however, many individual provisions in the law that together form a significant protection for the employee. For example, the salary shall be regulated by the employment contract, either directly or by referring to law, regulation or collective agreement, cf. section 14-6.

The legislator provides a clear intent that discrimination cannot be tolerated, and has deliberated a ban in a separate chapter of the Working Environment Act, Chapter 13. Violation of the rules in the chapter may be liable for damages and lead to invalidity of agreements and contravention of prohibition, cf. §13-9.

Advokat firm Sølverud AS has assisted in many cases of invalid terminations and other matters relating to labor law.


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