For many years, the coverage level under the Norwegian deposit guarantee scheme has been significantly higher than the target that was introduced by the EU Deposit Guarantee Schemes Directive to achieve a fully harmonised coverage level. However, recent amendments to the Act on Financial Institutions and Financial Groups have reduced the coverage level for customers in the European Union that have deposits in Norwegian banks which offer services in their country on a cross-border basis.
Remote working has become increasingly common as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and many companies are considering introducing more permanent arrangements beyond the pandemic. Although remote working has clear benefits for many, it also has negative aspects and practical and legal challenges. This article highlights various topics and issues that employers should consider when introducing a more permanent scheme for working from home.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the Norwegian employment and immigration world, particularly with respect to ways of working and the legal tools which employers can use. Looking ahead, the increased focus on environmental, social and governance requirements should lead to a greater focus on diversity and inclusion, equal pay and human rights abuses in supply chains. This video examines these matters and the potential impact that they may have on companies in Norway.
The High Court Civil Division recently ruled on whether the termination of two graphic designers from Dagbladet newspaper following a major reorganisation and downsizing process had been valid. A particular point of contention was whether the case processing had been sufficient. The court assessed whether the terminations were valid, the postponement of the service was to be regarded as a business transfer and the graphic designers were entitled to compensation for non-pecuniary damage.
For the first time in history, the Anti-discrimination Tribunal has awarded a remedy for non-economic loss and compensation for gender discrimination in the workplace. The case concerned a female applicant who, after being offered a job, informed the employer that she would be going on maternity leave shortly. The tribunal decided that the employer had discriminated against the applicant based on her gender and highlighted that pregnant jobseekers need not disclose their pregnancy.
As it is difficult to predict the impact that the COVID-19 infection control measures will have on the labour market, the government has proposed to prolong the extended right to care and sickness benefits until the end of June 2021 and March 2021, respectively. In addition, the government has put forward proposals for a continued increase in the unemployment benefit rate until the end of March 2021.
Equinor's pioneering Hywind Tampen project – set to become the biggest floating wind farm in the world – marks the first foray into offshore wind production in Norway. There are high hopes for the potential of this industry in a country with a long coastline and considerable offshore energy production expertise. However, a number of issues must be resolved in order for offshore wind production to become a commercially viable industry in Norway.
Following a public hearing, the government has abandoned its plan to finalise and approve a national framework for land-based wind power. According to Prime Minister Erna Solberg, the framework's purpose was to reduce the conflict that land-based wind power has experienced in recent years. However, the public hearing showed that the framework may have had the opposite effect.
Equinor's Hywind Tampen project – set to become the biggest floating wind farm in the world – marks the first foray into offshore wind production in Norway. There are high hopes for the potential of this industry in Norway, which has a vast continental shelf and territorial waters and considerable expertise in traditional offshore energy production. That said, a number of issues must be resolved in order for offshore wind production to become a commercially viable industry in Norway.
The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate recently announced restrictions on its practice of extending commissioning deadlines for wind power farms. The purpose of extending commissioning deadlines was to meet the political goal of promoting and supporting investments in new wind power farms. However, according to a recent report, concessions for wind power may prevent the positive alternative development of the relevant land and prolong local conflicts.
The first wind turbines in one of Europe's largest land-based wind farms recently commenced operation. The Kvitfjell and Raudfjell onshore wind farm (known as 'Project Northern Lights') is located near the city of Tromsø in northern Norway and comprises 67 turbines with an individual installed effect of 4.2MW and an aggregate installed effect of 281.4MW. The turbines use the latest technology, including direct drive and de-icing technology.
The Norwegian Supreme Court recently issued a ruling on the insolvency exception in the Lugano Convention and other jurisdictional issues in cross-border insolvencies in a case concerning Danish insurer Alpha Insurance A/S. The Norwegian claimant believed that Section 3 of the Lugano Convention applied, which allows insureds, in matters relating to insurance, to bring actions against insurers before the courts in the insured's domicile state.
The Supreme Court recently confirmed several important starting points relevant to the periodisation of an insurance event for the assessment of cover. The ruling addressed issues relating to both defining insurance periods and determining when insurance events occur. The Supreme Court also addressed the question of what is required to revise an insurance agreement pursuant to Section 36 of the Contract Act on unreasonable contract terms.
In marine insurance, business interruption is covered by loss of hire (LoH) insurance. LoH is a separate insurance for loss of time caused by a casualty and linked to the hull and machinery insurance for the insured vessel or unit when it covers repair costs. The COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions imposed will not be considered a 'casualty' for an insured vessel or unit. However, for marine casualties caused by other perils, it is clear that COVID-19 has led and will lead to significant prolongations of repair periods.
International energy drink giant Monster Energy Company recently lost a trademark infringement claim against energy drinks start-up Manimal Energy before the Borgarting Court of Appeals. The appeal court also rejected Monster's claim that Manimal had copied Monster's products in violation of Norwegian marketing law. Despite this setback, Monster may still consider such action successful due to the chilling effect that it could have on competing brands and products.
The Supreme Court recently handed down a decision in a case concerning screens for iPhones imported into Norway by a mobile repair shop operator. The screens, which were not manufactured by Apple, had originally been branded with the Apple logo, but the logos were covered with marker. The question was whether the screens infringed Apple's trademark rights.
Norway is introducing new rules on customs seizures of goods that infringe IP rights. The new rules are likely to take effect from January 2021 and are more aligned with the comparable EU rules than the current Norwegian regulations. Nonetheless, Norway will not become part of the EU-wide system for submitting and handling applications for border seizures.