Norway updates

Employment & Immigration

Contributed by Homble Olsby | Littler
LO and NHO agree temporary changes to temporary lay-off rules
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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?
  • 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
  • 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.


Energy & Natural Resources

Contributed by Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig AS
What security options are available for lenders to offshore wind projects?
  • Norway
  • 15 June 2020

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.

Government abandons national framework for land-based wind power
  • Norway
  • 09 March 2020

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.

Security options for lenders in offshore wind projects
  • Norway
  • 02 March 2020

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.

NVE will not extend commissioning deadlines beyond 31 December 2021
  • Norway
  • 17 February 2020

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.

Raudfjell and Kvitfjell wind farms commence operation
  • Norway
  • 30 September 2019

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.


Insurance

The Thorco Cloud and Stolt Commitment collision: a long-lasting battle on courts' jurisdiction
  • Norway
  • 30 March 2021

The Supreme Court is currently considering whether it will, for the third time, grant leave to appeal in respect of a procedural dispute in the wake of the 2015 collision between two vessels. Jurisdiction in Norway was originally sought on the basis that one of the vessel's protection and indemnity insurers was Norwegian. The previous decisions concerned the interpretation of the Lugano Convention and the question of whether the Norwegian courts are competent to assume jurisdiction in this matter.

Insurer's bankruptcy: Supreme Court rules on Lugano Convention's insolvency exception
  • Norway
  • 22 December 2020

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.

Insurance event and periodisation of insurance cover – interpretation and revision of insurance contracts
  • Norway
  • 20 October 2020

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.

Pandemic delay clause in Nordic marine loss of hire insurance
  • Norway
  • 15 September 2020

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.


Intellectual Property

Contributed by Bryn Aarflot AS
Implementation of new Customs Act
  • Norway
  • 10 May 2021

By 1 July 2021 a new Customs Act will be implemented in Norway, with simplified procedures relating to the destruction of consignments which contain counterfeit goods. The amendments aim to align Norwegian customs control with EU regulations and practice. For IP owners, the new procedures are long overdue and will be welcomed. Under the new rules, counterfeit goods are more likely to be detained and destroyed, which in turn may result in fewer attempts to import counterfeit products overall.

Patent prosecution: FAQs
  • Norway
  • 03 May 2021

The Patent Act constitutes the basic legislative framework regarding patents and their extent under Norwegian law. The Patent Act and its accompanying rules regulate the filing, formalities and substantive examination of patent applications and the registration, administrative opposition, cancellation and invalidation of granted patents. This article answers FAQs about patent prosecution in Norway.


Shipping & Transport

Contributed by Wikborg Rein
Full City: key takeaways from limitation fund proceedings
  • Norway
  • 10 February 2021

The limitation fund established following the grounding of the Full City near Langesund in 2009 was recently distributed. The limitation fund proceedings, which ran parallel to the proceedings concerning the limitation fund established following the Server casualty in 2007, have helped to clarify several procedural aspects of limitation funds. This article examines the key takeaways from the limitation fund proceedings now that they have come to an end.

Offshore floating wind turbines and deep-water fish farms: different frameworks for success
  • Norway
  • 03 February 2021

The regulatory framework that exists within the shipping and offshore industries is long established. The general principle is that maritime assets above a certain size must be registered in a national ship registry, and vessel registration plays an important role in the financing of maritime and offshore assets. While the existing framework effectively extends to the offshore floating wind sector in Norway, the same cannot be said for deep-water fish farms.

Withdrawal of wreck removal order following consideration of proportionality
  • Norway
  • 27 January 2021

In a recent administrative appeal decision, the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) Head Office reversed the wreck removal order issued by the NCA Emergency Response Centre in respect of a cargo ship which sank in northern Norway in 2017. The decision confirms that the pollution authorities will consider the proportionality of the measures ordered when exercising their administrative discretion.

Beefing up emission and fuel standards in the Arctic
  • Norway
  • 20 January 2021

The 75th session of the International Maritime Organisation Marine Environment Protection Committee recently approved a ban on the use and carriage of so-called 'heavy fuel oil' in the Arctic. The proposed amendments are expected to be formally adopted in June 2021. However, more stringent standards have already been proposed by the Norwegian government for the area surrounding Svalbard.

Maritime casualties in the High North
  • Norway
  • 23 December 2020

As noted in the white paper on Norway's Arctic policy, maritime activities in the High North are expected to increase due to improved accessibility resulting from melting sea ice, the high potential for increased commercial exploitation of marine and offshore resources and the successful marketing of the Arctic as a tourist destination. With increased activities comes an increased risk of accidents, and these additional risks must be taken into account by those operating in the area.