Latest updates

ECtHR ruling on use of boycott in labour conflict
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Norway
  • 23 June 2021

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) recently ruled in the 'Holship' case. Two unions had made a complaint against Norway because they believed that the Supreme Court had violated the freedom of association under the European Convention on Human Rights when it declared a notified boycott to be illegal. The ECtHR acquitted Norway but recognised that boycotts as a tool in labour conflicts may be protected and that restrictions on the right to boycott require a proper balancing of interests.

Supreme Court clarifies that provisions in terminated collective agreements can remain effective
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Norway
  • 16 June 2021

In its judgment in the 'Grefsenhjemmet case', the Supreme Court clarified that provisions on salary increases for long service in a collective bargaining agreement must be regarded as wage terms incorporated into individual employment contracts, and that they do not lapse following the termination of the collective agreement. This decision was eagerly awaited; earlier proceedings in this case provoked heated debate among the employment bar.

New ruling on termination and offer of new employment on new terms
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Norway
  • 02 June 2021

The Gulating Court of Appeal recently issued a decision which considered whether an employer had issued an unjustifiable termination and offer of new employment on new terms. As opposed to the district court, the majority of the Gulating Court of Appeal accepted the employee's claim and awarded her compensation.

Employers' obligation to pay wages during employer period
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Norway
  • 26 May 2021

In the revised Budget 2021, the government has refrained from introducing an 'employer period II' in the event of temporary lay-offs (known as 'furlough' in some jurisdictions). The rationale for this is that based on the current situation, employer period II would not serve as an incentive to bring employees back to work and would merely constitute an extra cost for companies which are already in a difficult financial situation.

Proposed amendments to home office regulations published for consultation
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Norway
  • 19 May 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised questions as to the rules that apply to home offices and placed greater relevance on the Regulations on Work Carried Out in Employees' Homes. There have also been numerous social and technological developments since the regulations entered into force, which has given rise to a need for a review of their provisions. As such, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs recently published proposed amendments to the regulations for consultation.

LO and NHO agree temporary changes to temporary lay-off rules
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Norway
  • 12 May 2021

The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions and the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise recently agreed to temporarily extend the interruption period for temporary lay-offs from six weeks to 10 weeks. This change will last until 30 September 2021 and makes it easier and less risky for employers to bring temporarily laid-off employees back to work.

Government proposes new measures to combat work-related crime
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Norway
  • 05 May 2021

The government has proposed several new measures to prevent and counteract work-related crime, including with regard to penalising wage theft, requiring that wages be paid via bank transfer rather than in cash and approving certain businesses to limit rogue actors. Parliament will now consider the proposals.

Alleged retaliation cases after whistleblowing may be processed in the Anti-discrimination Tribunal
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Norway
  • 28 April 2021

The government recently submitted a proposal to Parliament for the establishment of a low-threshold service in the Anti-discrimination Tribunal for the processing of alleged unlawful retaliation in notification cases. The proposal means that the Anti-discrimination Tribunal will have the authority to assess the existence of an illegal retaliation and provide redress for non-economic loss and, in some cases, compensation for damages to an employee who has been subjected to illegal retaliation after notification.

Must jobseekers inform potential employers that they were dismissed by their former employer?
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Norway
  • 21 April 2021

The Supreme Court recently issued a decision concerning jobseekers' duty to provide information about previous employment relationships to potential new employers. The court highlighted a set of principled guidelines with regard to the content of the information to be provided and the extent of jobseekers' duty to provide such information. The key takeaway from the judgment is that it is primarily up to employers to clarify qualification requirements and skills that are of significant importance to the position.

Overview of current temporary lay-off rules
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Norway
  • 17 March 2021

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have experienced a reduction in their workload and have had to temporarily lay off employees. However, it can be difficult for employers and employees to stay up to date with the rules on temporary lay-offs. This article highlights the key terms and procedural rules relating to temporary lay-offs, providing an overview of the current rules and proposed changes.

New rules on tax-free gifts from employers and tax exemption for influenza and COVID-19 vaccines
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Norway
  • 10 March 2021

The government has made several changes to the regulations concerning the reporting and taxation of benefits in kind. The changes aim to simplify how employers apply the regulations in practice. Previously, gifts from employers were tax free only when they were part of the company's general scheme; however, this requirement has been repealed. The government has also decided that influenza and COVID-19 vaccines covered by employers will be tax free from 2021.

Sickness benefits, work assessment allowance, unemployment benefits and entry quarantine rules extended
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Norway
  • 03 March 2021

As part of the COVID-19 crisis package, the government has proposed to extend the schemes for sickness benefits, the jobseekers' work assessment allowance, unemployment benefits and employers' expenses relating to foreign nationals' entry quarantine and employees' quarantine hotel stays.

Proposal to extend increased daily unemployment benefit and temporary lay-off periods until July 2021
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Norway
  • 24 February 2021

The government has proposed to extend until 1 July 2021 both the period in which the increased daily unemployment benefit rate applies and the temporary lay-off period. The government stated that the extended measures aim to give employees and employers more predictability during a difficult time.

Supreme Court's ruling on workplace sexual harassment provides clarification
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Norway
  • 17 February 2021

The Supreme Court recently pronounced a judgment in which a female employee was awarded damages for non-economic loss after being subjected to sexual harassment by customers. The verdict provides useful clarifications regarding the conditions, and especially the lower limit, for sexual harassment. For employers, the various aspects of the matter are a reminder of the importance of complying with their duty to actively prevent and seek to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

New stricter entry restrictions for foreign nationals: legal impact on working life
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Norway
  • 10 February 2021

The government has tightened foreign nationals' access to Norway with effect from 29 January 2021. This article discusses the legal impact for affected employers and employees, including with regard to temporary lay-offs, employers' right to prohibit employees' outward journeys, remuneration and support schemes, termination and tax and social security.

New requirements for companies' reporting on equality and non-discrimination in the workplace
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Norway
  • 03 February 2021

Many companies are subject to a statutory activity and reporting obligation relating to equality and non-discrimination. The obligation is regulated in the Gender Equality and Discrimination Act, which imposes a mandatory working method on employers that includes documenting and managing risks of discrimination and obstacles to gender equality within companies. Many companies will have to spend time and resources on implementing sufficient systems and routines to comply with the new rules.

Remote working: topics and issues to consider when introducing a more permanent scheme
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Norway
  • 27 January 2021

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.

Key employment and immigration developments in 2020 and 2021 – interview
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Norway
  • 20 January 2021

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.

Invalid termination? Court rules on termination of graphic designers following business transfer
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Norway
  • 13 January 2021

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.

Historic ruling on compensation for gender discrimination
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Norway
  • 06 January 2021

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.

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