Employment Contracts in Norway

1. Minimum Requirements

The Working Environment Act requires that the employment contract be in writing and contain certain terms and conditions.

2. Fixed-term/Open-ended Contracts

As a rule, an employee shall be hired on a permanent basis. If a person is to be employed temporarily, certain requirements in the Working Environment Act must be met, for instance that the employee shall work for someone who is temporarily absent or that the nature of the work justifies the use of a fixed term contract. If the requirements are not met, the consequence is that the employee is considered as permanently employed.

In addition, it is possible to employ people temporarily on a general basis. This means that the worker is temporarily employed without the employer having to justify the need, as in the other instances. This kind of temporary engagement may not exceed 12 months.

Temporary engagements on a general basis shall not exceed 15 percent of the total number of employees in the undertaking, but it is allowed to enter such an engagement with at least one worker.

3. Trial Period

An employment contract may provide for a trial period of up to six months. The trial period must be regulated in a written employment contract to be valid. The notice period within the trial period is 14 days.

4. Notice Period

During the trial period, the notice period is only 14 days. The employment contract may provide for a shorter or a longer notice period. The notice period may also be agreed upon through collective agreements. Notice of termination given during the trial period runs from the date the employee received the notice. Most employment contracts contain a mutual notice period of three months.

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Norway, please contact Storeng, Beck & Due Lund (SBDL)
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