Basic Facts

Norway is a Northern European country that occupies the western half of the Scandinavian peninsula. The country, which gained its independence in 1905, has emerged as a major maritime transporter of the world’s goods, as well as, a world leader in specialized shipbuilding and the world’s leading petroleum exporters. The overwhelming majority of the country’s inhabitants are ethnically Nordic. The country enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the world, reinforced by a comprehensive social welfare system.


*Please note that the official currency is the currency of remuneration when employed through WorkMotion in Norway.

Capital :
Currency :
Norwegian Krone (NOK, kr)
Languages spoken :
Population :
5.41 million (2021 est.)
Minimum wage 2023 :
No general rate
Cost of Living index :
$$$$ (3 of 139 nations)
Payroll Frequency :
VAT - standard rate :
GDP - real growth rate :
3.9% (2021 est.)

Statutory Holidays

The national holidays mentioned below are valid for the year 2024.

Holiday Name
Extra Information
January 1
New Year’s Day
March 28
Maundy Thursday
Movable - Thursday before Easter Sunday
March 29
Good Friday
Movable - Friday before Easter
March 31-April 1
Movable - The first Sunday after the first full moon following the northern spring equinox
May 1
Vappu (May Day)
May 9
Ascension Day
Movable - The sixth Thursday after Easter
May 17
Constitution Day
May 19
Movable - 50 days after Easter
May 20
Whit Monday
Movable - The seventh Monday after Easter
December 25
Christmas Eve and Christmas
December 26
Boxing Day

Contract Sharing Time

The approximate time for sharing the contract with an employee in Norway is 4 business days assuming no special requests or changes to our standard employment contract. Any such requests or changes would need to undergo internal and external review, directly leading to a time delay.

NOTE: This number is subject to change and is only an estimation of the Contract Sharing Time. The estimated Contract Sharing Time begins from the moment that WorkMotion has received all required information from both the client and the employee.

What You Need To Know

  • There is no general minimum wage in Norway, but minimum wages have been introduced in certain sectors in the general application of collective agreements. 
  • The normal working hours may be calculated on the basis of a fixed average.
  • As per the activity obligation, there is a requirement to try one’s hand at work throughout the absence due to illness.
  • The notice period is based on age and employment duration.
  • Severance pay is not provided by law.
  • FOR-2002-07-05-715 sets forth regulations for working from home. Additional clauses are entered into the written employment contract while the employer and the safety representative do not have access to the employee’s home without a special agreement.

Labor Conditions

Working Hours

The limits prescribed by the Working Environment Act for normal working hours are:

  • Nine hours per 24 hours
  • 40 hours per seven days

If an employee works shifts, nights, or Sundays, the normal working hours are 38 or 36 hours a week. The duration and disposition of the daily and weekly working hours must be stated in the employment contract.



The employer may decide that the employee should work overtime for a period of up to: 

  • 10 hours per seven days
  • 25 hours per four consecutive weeks
  • 200 hours per 52 weeks

Total working hours must not exceed 13 hours per 24 hours. Nor must total working hours exceed 48 hours per seven days.

Probation Period

Any trial period must be agreed on in writing, and must not exceed six months. 

The main rule is that employees should be engaged permanently unless a set of conditions that satisfy the need for a temporary contract are fulfilled. 


Termination Notice Period

According to the Working Environment Act, a mutual period of notice of one month, unless otherwise stated in a collective wage agreement is provided.

If the employee has been continuously employed for at least five or ten years in the same enterprise, the mutual period of notice is at least two months.

If the employee is dismissed after ten years’ continuous employment in the same enterprise and they are 50, 55, or 60 years old, they are entitled to a period of notice of four, five, and six months respectively.

The period of notice usually runs from the first day of the month after the employee was dismissed. E.g. if the employer or employee receives the notice on March 15th, the notice period will run from April 1st.

Leave / Time Off

Annual Leave

Everyone is entitled to at least 25 working days holiday each year. From 60 years of age, employees are entitled to one additional week. Normally, six working days correspond to one week. The employee is, thus, entitled to four weeks and one day’s holiday each calendar year.

If the company is bound by a collective agreement, its employees are entitled to five weeks’ holiday a year. Five weeks is the most common arrangement, even in companies that are not bound by a collective agreement. An employee is entitled to holiday pay from their employer amounting to 10.2% of the basis on which holiday pay is calculated. For employees who are over 60 years of age and entitled to extra holidays, the rate rises by 2.3 percentage points.

Sick Leave

Employees who are ill can stay off work for three consecutive calendar days without a medical certificate. However, a medical certificate is required after the fourth day. There are various types of sick leave provided. Employees on sick leave receive a daily sickness benefit equal to 100% of their pensionable income, which is paid from the first day of sickness absence for a period of 260 working days (52 weeks). Sickness benefits are paid by the employer for the first 16 calendar days, and thereafter by the National Insurance Scheme. 

Parental Leave

Parents are entitled to a paid leave of absence for a total of 12 months, paid by the social insurance. In addition to this leave of absence, each of the parents is entitled to an unpaid leave of absence for up to 12 months for each birth. This leave must be taken immediately after the parents’ leave of absence for the first 12 months. 


Maternity Leave

A pregnant employee is entitled to a leave of absence for up to 12 weeks during pregnancy paid through social insurance. All checkups during pregnancy are covered by employer-paid leave. After giving birth, the mother has a leave of absence for the first six weeks unless she produces a medical certificate stating that it is better for her to resume work, paid by the social insurance.

Paternity Leave

In connection with childbirth, the father is entitled to two weeks’ leave of absence in order to assist the mother. There is no statutory requirement for paid leave in this regard. This leave is also extended to the adoptive parents of children up to 15 years of age.

Other Types of Paid Leave

Type of Leave
Care and Nursing of Close Relatives or Other Close Persons
Employees who nurse close relatives or other close persons in the home during the terminal stage are entitled to 60 days' leave of absence per family member paid by the social insurance agency (NAV).
Educational Leave
An employee who has worked for at least three years and who has worked for the same employer for the last two years is entitled to full or partial leave for up to three years in order to attend organized courses of education. Beyond the level of the lower or upper secondary school, the leave is only granted for vocational studies. This leave is paid by the employer (Working Environment, Section 12-11).
Religious Holidays
There is a right to leave in connection with religious holidays for employees who do not belong to the Church of Norway for up to two days a year. The employer may request that days off be worked either in advance or retrospectively.

Unpaid Leave

Care of Family Members

Employees are entitled to a maximum of 10 days’ leave of absence per calendar year to care for their parents, spouse, cohabitant, or registered partner. The same applies in connection with the necessary care of a disabled or chronically sick child from and including the calendar year after the child reaches the age of 18 when the employer is responsible for the care of the child. 

Military Leave & Attendance in Public Bodies

An employee is entitled to a leave of absence in connection with compulsory or voluntary military service or similar national service and for attendance in public bodies. There is no statutory requirement for salary, but accrual holiday pay for up to three months in each accrual year in connection with obligatory service can be utilized.

Welfare Leave

Employers may grant their employees welfare leave in situations where they need time off work for short periods of time. Examples of cases where welfare leave is often granted include doctor’s appointments, moving house, pre-school familiarisation, or the death or funeral of a close relative/friend.

Statutory Benefits

Employees do not make contributions if their wage income is less than NOK 54,650. Once wage income exceeds this floor, an alternative calculation is made where the contributions equal 25% of the wage income in excess of the floor. The actual contributions made would represent the minimum between the alternative calculation and 8.2% of the total wage income. The national insurance tax is paid on pay and other taxable remuneration for work and assignments in and outside of an employment relationship. The tax is regionally differentiated. Each municipality is assigned to a zone with associated differentiated contribution rates.

Health Insurance

Health insurance is available to all citizens regardless of their employment status and even asylum-seekers, refugees, and other immigrants who are lawfully resident in the country. Although all citizens are entitled to medical services, they must pay a fee for using many services. If their fees are substantial, they are entitled to an exemption card. The scope of coverage is broad, excluding only non-medical eye care, adult dental care, and complementary and alternative medicine. User charges are applied to all except inpatient care and are usually moderate.

Other Insurances

Accident Insurance


All employers (i.e. anyone who has someone else working for them) must take out occupational injury insurance for their employees. Occupational injury insurance can be taken out with private insurance companies in which case the employer pays the contributions. This contribution should be at least 2% of payroll for defined contribution schemes; fully funded for defined benefit schemes.

The insurance must pay out compensation for injuries and illnesses suffered in connection with work, without any consideration as to whether or not anyone has any blame in the case.

Unemployment Insurance


In Norway, employees are automatically insured against unemployment through membership of the National Insurance Scheme when they start working and living in Norway. In other Nordic countries, beneficiaries must actively apply to become a member of an unemployment insurance fund (a-kasse) to be insured against unemployment. An employee may be entitled to unemployment benefit if they have become wholly unemployed, or if their working hours have been reduced by at least 50%. If it is their own fault that they are unemployed, there is a waiting time of at least 12 weeks before any unemployment benefit can be paid.

Public Pension

In Norway, the pension system is divided into three parts:

  • Retirement pension from the National Insurance Scheme (folketrygden);
  • Occupational pension or contractual early retirement pension (AFP) from employers; and
  • Private pension savings.

Employers pay contributions of at least 2% of the employee’s earnings between 1 G and 12 G of the national insurance basic amount (G, grunnbeløp) from NAV (Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration) to the pension scheme. 

Other Statutory Benefits

Child Benefit

If the employee has a child under the age of 18 and the child is resident in Norway, a child benefit is paid by the social insurance agency (NAV).

Cash Benefit for Families with Small Children

Employees can receive cash benefits for families with small children if they have a child between the ages of one and two and the child does not have a place in a day-care center. The recipient of the benefit must have a minimum of five years of membership in the National Insurance Scheme.


The information contained in this Country Guide is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. The contents of this Country Guide contain general information and may not reflect current legal developments or address your situation. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this Country Guide without seeking the advice or representation of a licensed attorney. WorkMotion Software GmbH disclaims all liability for actions you take or fail to take based on any content included in this Country Guide.

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