Norway - HR & HR Software Guide

Country Overview:

Norway’s stable economy is driven by a large state sector, vibrant private sector, and an extensive social safety net. The country has rich natural resources, including hydropower, oil and gas, minerals, and forests.

As a member of European Economic Area (EEA), it provides sizable contributions to the European Union budget. To reduce the dependency of the economy on oil and attract foreign investment, a multi-year measure has been undertaken to lower the top corporate tax rate to 23%. When it comes to trading, the total value of imports and exports is equal to 68.5% of GDP.


Norwegian krone

Principal Language:

Norwegian, Nynorsk, Northern Sami, Bokmål


Parliamentary Representative Democratic Constitutional Monarchy

Capital City:


Major Provinces:

Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim

General work schedule is usually limited to the maximum 9 hours per day and 40 hours per 7 days. Both employers and employees can agree in writing that normal work hours be averaged to 52 weeks and that work hours do not exceed 9 hours in a day or 48 hours in a week.

Special rules apply to people who work underground, to shift workers, to people who work on Sundays or at night, and persons under 18 years of age.

Employees can also work flexible work hours if such an arrangement doesn’t result in a major inconvenience to the employer. For example, employees who are 62 or older are entitled to reduced work hours if the arrangement doesn’t cause any significant inconvenience to the employer. Rest breaks of at least 30 minutes duration are compulsory after 5.5 hours of work.

Employees can take 11 hours off duty between shifts and 35 hours per week unless agreed otherwise in a collective agreement.


Employees are entitled to the following 10 paid public holidays:

  • Jan. 1: New Year’s Day
  • Maundy Thursday (Thursday before Easter)
  • Good Friday (Friday before Easter)
  • Easter Monday (day after Easter)
  • May 1: Labor Day
  • May 17: Constitution Day
  • Ascension Day (sixth Thursday after Easter)
  • Monday after Pentecost
  • Dec. 25: Christmas Day
  • Dec. 26: Boxing Day

Work on public holidays is not allowed unless it is necessary due to the nature of the employment. Public holidays that fall on a weekend are not moved to weekdays.

Parental Care Leave

Each parent can take 10 days of paid leave annually to care for a sick child below 12 years of age. The duration of leave can go up to 15 days if caring for 2 or more children. The leave duration is increased to 20 days if the child is below 18 years, is disabled or chronically ill. The leave duration is doubled for single parents.

Maternity Leave

Women employees who have worked for the last 6 months in the previous 10 months and who receive at least half the National Insurance base amount are entitled to maternity leave. Expectant mothers can take a maximum of 12 weeks of leave before the expected birth date and 6 weeks immediately after the childbirth.

Paternity Leave

The father can take 12 weeks of paternity leave if both he and the mother qualify to receive parental benefits. This requires being employed and receiving a pensionable income for a minimum of 6 months out of the 10 months before the benefit period begins. A new father is entitled to two weeks’ unpaid leave of absence.

Religious Leave

Workers who are not enrolled with the Church of Norway can take a maximum of 2 days of unpaid leave every year to observe religious holidays. Employers can ask employees to work extra hours, without giving overtime pay, to compensate for the religious leave. Employees who want to take religious leave are required to give 14 days’ notice to the employer.

Military Service Leave

An employee can take a leave of absence for military service, on the condition that they notify the employer before the military service begins and wish to return to employment after completing their military service. The employer can allow the employee to resume work only a month later after receiving notification of the day and date on which the employee will rejoin.

Employees can retire at the age of 67 years with a full pension if contributions have been made to the insurance fund for at least 40 years.

All employers must make mandatory social security contributions to the National Insurance scheme to fund disability pensions, retirement pensions, and other social benefits. These contributions are calculated based on allowances and gross pay.

Universal Old-age Pension

Employees aged 67 with a minimum of 3 years of residence qualify for the universal old-age pension.

Retirement from a job is not mandatory. Special conditions apply if the employee is living abroad.

Universal Disability Pension

The universal disability pension is paid to insured individuals aged 18 to 66 with an estimated loss of at least 50% of earning capacity. The National Insurance Administration is responsible for assessing the degree of disability. The insured must have a minimum of 3 years’ coverage before the date of the claim.

Universal Survivor Pension

The universal survivor pension is paid to the spouse if the deceased had a minimum of 3 years’ coverage before the date of demise or was getting a pension from the National Insurance Administration. It is mandatory for the surviving spouse to have been married to the deceased for a minimum of 5 years or to be providing care for at least one dependent child.

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