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03 March 2021
As part of the COVID-19 crisis package, the government has proposed to extend the schemes for:
The government has proposed to prolong the extended right to sickness benefits in the event of infection or suspected infection until June 2021. This proposal means that employees, freelancers and self-employed individuals will be entitled to sickness benefits when they are absent from work due to COVID-19 or in the event that they are suspected of having COVID-19. For employers, the employer-financed sick leave due to COVID-19 will still be reduced from 16 to three days.
The government has proposed that jobseekers who receive a work assessment allowance have their benefit period extended from 1 March 2021 to 30 June 2021 because many activities that allowance recipients do are still on hold and opportunities of returning to work are still reduced.
The previous extension applied from 20 March 2020 to 31 October 2020. According to the government's proposal, jobseekers who have lost the right to the work assessment allowance after 31 October 2020 will now be able to apply for the work assessment allowance from 1 March 2021.
The government has proposed that the lower income limit for entitlement to unemployment benefits be lowered from 1.5 times the National Insurance basic amount (G) (NKr152,026.50) to 0.75 times G (NKr76,013.25) for the previous 12 months or 2.25 times G (NKr253,377.50) for the previous 36 months. This applies to temporarily laid-off employees and unemployed individuals.
In addition, the government has proposed that the requirement for reduced working hours for entitlement to unemployment benefits be reduced from a minimum of 50% to a minimum of 40%. This means that the unemployment benefit does not lapse, unless a temporarily laid-off employee works more than 60% of their previous working hours. The change will lead to more flexibility for both employers and employees.
These rules also applied for a period in 2020 but were discontinued on 1 November 2020 because there was an improvement in how the labour market developed. The government has now proposed that the rules be reintroduced up to and including 30 June 2021.
The government has proposed to extend the reduced individual share of NKr500 that employers must pay per day for employees' stay in quarantine hotels on entry to Norway. The scheme will last until June 2021. The government has also proposed to extend until April 2021 the compensation scheme for employers' expenses relating to the entry quarantine of foreign nationals. The extensions are based on the fact that companies still need help to cover the additional costs relating to salaries, accommodation and follow-up of foreign nationals who are quarantined.
For further information on this topic please contact Ole Kristian Olsby or Nina Elisabeth Thjømøe at Homble Olsby | Littler by telephone (+47 23 89 75 70) or email (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org). The Homble Olsby | Littler website can be accessed at www.homble-olsby.no.
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