Latest updates

Proposal to extend increased daily unemployment benefit and temporary lay-off periods until July 2021
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Employment & Immigration
  • 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
  • Employment & Immigration
  • 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
  • Employment & Immigration
  • 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.

Full City: key takeaways from limitation fund proceedings
Wikborg Rein
  • Shipping & Transport
  • 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
Wikborg Rein
  • Shipping & Transport
  • 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.

New requirements for companies' reporting on equality and non-discrimination in the workplace
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Employment & Immigration
  • 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.

Withdrawal of wreck removal order following consideration of proportionality
Wikborg Rein
  • Shipping & Transport
  • 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.

Remote working: topics and issues to consider when introducing a more permanent scheme
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Employment & Immigration
  • 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.

Beefing up emission and fuel standards in the Arctic
Wikborg Rein
  • Shipping & Transport
  • 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.

Key employment and immigration developments in 2020 and 2021 – interview
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Employment & Immigration
  • 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
  • Employment & Immigration
  • 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
  • Employment & Immigration
  • 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.

Government proposes to extend right to care and sickness benefits and increased unemployment benefit rate
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Norway
  • 23 December 2020

As it is difficult to predict the impact that the COVID-19 infection control measures will have on the labour market, the government has proposed to prolong the extended right to care and sickness benefits until the end of June 2021 and March 2021, respectively. In addition, the government has put forward proposals for a continued increase in the unemployment benefit rate until the end of March 2021.

Maritime casualties in the High North
Wikborg Rein
  • Shipping & Transport
  • 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.

Insurer's bankruptcy: Supreme Court rules on Lugano Convention's insolvency exception
Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS
  • Insurance
  • 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.

Money, money, money: pension scheme reform to enter into force in early 2021
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Norway
  • 16 December 2020

Earlier in 2020, draft regulations on 'own pension accounts' were released for consultation. The new rules will enter into force at the beginning of 2021. The changes aim to make it easier for employees to receive the best possible pension. Employees will be able to choose who will manage their pension capital, which will lead to greater competition in the market.

Promises of early retirement: Supreme Court rules on employers' right to manage
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Norway
  • 09 December 2020

The Supreme Court recently ruled on whether agreements regarding severance packages in the event of voluntary resignation, which were entered into during a downsizing process, could be partly set aside because they were contrary to good business practices or unreasonableness. To answer this question, the Supreme Court had to decide whether the employees were entitled to an early retirement pension in such a process based on the previous employer's promise.

New ruling on principle of equal treatment for hired workers
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Norway
  • 02 December 2020

The Supreme Court recently ruled on whether hired personnel were entitled to a company bonus on an equal footing with permanent employees and apprentices in the company in which they were hired pursuant to the equal treatment rule in Section 14-12a of the Working Environment Act. This article analyses the ruling and highlights the key points for employers.

Insurance event and periodisation of insurance cover – interpretation and revision of insurance contracts
Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS
  • Insurance
  • 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.

Proposal to maintain increased unemployment benefit throughout 2020
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Norway
  • 23 September 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has implemented several measures to secure jobs, boost the labour market and maintain stability for the workforce, including increasing the unemployment benefit. This temporary amendment originally applied until 31 October 2020. However, the government is set to propose a budget resolution before Parliament to extend the increased unemployment benefit to 31 December 2020.