Insights from Around the Globe: Key Elements in Norwegian Employment Contract

Interlegal Permanent Officer

Interlegal Permanent Officer


In our quest to understand the intricacies of employment contracts in various jurisdictions, we reached out to professionals across the globe. Our member from Norway, Anders G Haug, from Advokatfirmaet Dehn DA, provided valuable insights into the legal landscape regarding employment contracts, focusing on employee protection and imposing strict regulations that employers must abide by in order to avoid significant penalties.

Norwegian labour laws are fairly strict when it comes to protecting the interests of the employee.

Norwegian companies must ensure that they comply with a number of regulations set to protect the employee. Failure to comply may lead to significant fines for the employer.

For instance, it is very difficult for the employer to terminate an employment contract.

In order to protect the employers from “being stuck” with personell that does not live up to the required standard, it is customary to agree on a trial period.

Usually, for the first six months of the contract, the employer may terminate the contract if the employee fails to do the job properly. The employee may in the same period terminate the contract without cause.

After the trial period, the employee may still resign from the position without further cause (after a three month notice). But in order for the employer to terminate the contract, the employer need a just cause. The bar for what constitutes a “just cause” is very high. This is to ensure job security for the employee.

Another important element in employment contracts is to define whether or not the position is a “specific independent position”. If yes, the employee is deemed to have responsibility for their own working hours. Meaning they will not be compensated for overtime. This is usually instead compensated through a higher, fixed salary, and flexible working hours. However, if no, the employee must be compensated for every hour of overtime. There are also limits to how much overtime they are permitted to work within a given timeframe.

For employers, it is also important to put a clause in the contract regarding wrongful payments. If the employer for instance mistakenly pays the employee too much, the employer is not legally allowed to deduct the difference from the next salary, unless it was written into the contract that they may do so.

The insights shared by our Norwegian member provide a valuable glimpse insight into the importance of transparent, informed negotiations between employers and employees, ensuring that contractual terms are aligned with the protective framework established by thec Country’s law.

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