Leave in Norway
The Holiday Act implies that an employee shall be entitled to at least four weeks + 1 day (21 working days) of vacation each year and that the holiday pay shall be at least 10.2 percent of the salary earned in the calendar year preceding the vacation year. It’s normal that employers grant their employees five weeks (25 working days) of vacation and a holiday pay equivalent to 12 percent of the salary earned in the calendar year preceding the vacation year. The right-to-holiday pay is accrued during the year preceding the vacation year. Hence, if an employee is hired in January 2022, the employee isn’t entitled to any holiday pay in the summer of 2022.
If a company grants an employee five weeks’ vacation, it’s common practice that the company provides the full holiday pay in June each year. At the same time, the company makes a deduction equivalent to the 25 working days’ salary (the annual leave days). The company then pays ordinary monthly salary each of the other calendar months regardless of when the employee actually takes the vacation. Most employees take three/four weeks in July/August and the rest in December.
Employees must take their vacations, accommodating the employer’s needs. The employer and the employee shall discuss the vacation scheduling well in advance; however, if they’re unable to reach an agreement, the employer has the right to decide when the vacation is to be taken. Still, all employees are entitled to at least three weeks’ continuous vacation during the period between June 1 and September 30. The employee may unilaterally decide that up to six of the remaining annual leave days shall be taken continuously. Employees can ask to be informed of the vacations scheduling at least two months before the vacation is due to start.
Upon termination of employment, the employee shall receive pay for days that the employee made deductions for without having used them as holiday/leave days, and holiday pay accrued in the calendar year in which the termination takes place.
2022 Holiday Calendar
||New Year’s Day
||First Day of Pentecost
||Second Day of Pentecost
||Second Christmas Day
If an employee has to stay off work due to illness, the employee has to notify the employer as soon as possible. The employee isn’t entitled to sick pay from the employer until the employee has notified the employer of the incapacity to work, provided that it has been possible for the employee to give such notification.
Employees who are ill can stay off work for up to three consecutive calendar days without a medical certificate, provided that the employment has lasted for a minimum of two months. After three days, a medical certificate from a doctor is required.
An employee’s absence due to illness suspends the work contract and the employer’s obligation to fully compensate the employee. The Social Security Health System (NAV) and the employer provide an employee on sick leave with a daily sick pay.
The employer pays sick pay for the first 16 calendar days. The employer often pays sick pay corresponding to the full salary but may limit the sick pay to an amount based on the annual salary of 6 G.
After 16 days, NAV covers the sick pay. The sick pay is then based on the employee’s normal salary but is limited to the annual salary of 6 G. It’s common that the employer continues to pay sick pay to the employee directly and is then reimbursed by NAV. However, this is up to the employer to decide, and NAV can actually provide the sick pay directly to the employee.
Employees are entitled to sick leave paid by NAV only if they have worked for at least four weeks immediately prior to the illness.
The employer must provide a salary certificate to NAV.
The employee can receive sick pay for a maximum of 52 weeks. The limit is the same whether the employee is fully or partially on sick leave.
If the employee has received sickness benefits for 52 weeks and is still unable to work due to illness or injury, the employee may be eligible to other benefits, but the rate is then lowered to 66 percent.
Of combined 12 months’ parental leave, 15 weeks are reserved for the mother.
Three weeks are taken out prior to birth, and six weeks directly thereafter. The rest may be taken out within the baby’s first year.
The employer must provide a salary certificate to NAV, enabling the employee to receive maternity pay.
Fathers are entitled to 2 weeks’ leave due to childbirth or adoption. Leave must be taken 2 weeks before or after the time of birth. There is no statutory requirement for pay during this leave.
Of combined 12 months’ parental leave, 15 weeks are reserved for the father.
Parents are entitled to combined leave of absence due to childbirth for a total of 12 months. NAV pays parental pay during this period.
An employee on leave is protected from being terminated with effect during the period of absence.
Employees who are to take statutory leave in connection with pregnancy, childbirth, care, and parental leave must notify the employer as soon as possible:
- no later than 1 week in advance in case of absence beyond 2 weeks
- no later than 4 weeks in advance in case of absence beyond 12 weeks
- no later than 12 weeks in advance in case of absence beyond one year
In addition to combined 12 months’ parental leave paid by NAV, each parent is entitled to unpaid leave of absence for up to 12 months per birth. This leave must be taken immediately after parents’ original leave.
Time off for nursing mothers
A nursing mother is entitled to request some time off necessary for breastfeeding. For example, at least 30 minutes’ time off may be taken twice daily, or a working day may be reduced by up to one hour a day.
During the child’s first year, women receiving time off for breastfeeding are entitled to a maximum of one-hour pay on workdays if working for seven or more hours.
A pregnant employee is entitled to leave of absence with pay from the employer in connection with prenatal examinations if such examinations cannot reasonably take place outside working hours.
Pregnant employees are protected from being terminated during pregnancy.
Parental leave may be taken as partial leave of absence, which must be agreed on by the employer and the employee. The employee’s preference regarding the way partial leave of absence is to be taken shall be met unless this involves significant inconvenience for the employer.
Parents are entitled to time off to care for a sick or injured child under the age of 12 regardless of how long they have been employed. Employees are entitled to 10 days off a year to care for their sick children (15 days if employees care for more than one child). Single parents are entitled to such benefits for up to 20 days, or 30 days if they have more than two children, during a calendar year. Employees must present their employers with a medical certificate. The first 10 days are covered by the employer. The employer can demand reimbursement from NAV.
Employees who nurse close relatives and/or other close persons in the home during the terminal stage are entitled to 60 days’ leave of absence to take care of the individual close persons. Employees are entitled to a maximum of 10 days’ leave of absence per calendar year to care for parents, spouse, cohabitant, or registered partner. Such leave is paid by NAV.
The employer can give the employee welfare leave in situations where the employee needs absence from work for a shorter period. Examples when welfare leave is often granted are deaths or funerals of close relatives or moving. Such leave isn’t statutory. It’s up to the employer’s discretion whether the employee is entitled to such leave and leave is granted with or without pay.
Employees adopting a child are entitled to paid adoption leave. The length of such leave varies according to the number of children that are being adopted and those who are already part of the household:
The benefit period last 46 weeks at the full rate and 56 weeks at the reduced rate. If two children are adopted, the benefit period is extended by 85 days if the full rate is chosen. With a reduced rate, the extension is 105 days.
For the leave to be paid by NAV, the mother must have earned the right to parental benefits.
An employee who has worked for at least three years and who has worked for the employer for the last two years is entitled to full or partial leave for up to three years in order to attend organized courses of education. Beyond the level of the lower or upper secondary school, such leave is granted for vocational studies. Vocational studies include all types of continuing education and training of relevance to the labour market.
However, educational leave may not be demanded when it would constitute an obstacle to the employer’s responsible planning of operations and personnel assignments.
An employee who has taken educational leave isn’t entitled to any further educational leave until the period that has elapsed since the commencement of educational leave equals the following:
- twice the duration of leave
- at least one year from the start of educational leave, except when leave was for a course that was shorter than one month
An employee who wishes to make use of the right to educational leave must notify the employer of this in writing. The notification shall include information concerning the academic content of the course, the duration, and, if appropriate, proof of admission to the educational institution. When the course involves education beyond the level of the lower or upper secondary school, grounds must be given for vocational relevance.
Educational leave is unpaid.
Military service leave
An employee shall be entitled to leave of absence in connection with compulsory or voluntary military service or similar national service. The same shall apply to voluntary service of a total of 24 months’ duration in forces organized by the Norwegian authorities for participation in international peace operations, provided that the employee notifies the employer as soon as possible after entering into a binding agreement concerning service in such forces.
Employees who wish to continue their employment after completion of such service must notify the employer before commencing the service. The employer isn’t obliged to allow employees to resume their duties for a period of one month following receipt of the date on which the employee can resume work.
Persons who observe religious holidays that are different from the existing public holidays have the right to time off from work for up to two self-selected days each year. Employees who wish to exercise the right to time off must notify the employer no later than 14 days before the holiday.
The employer can demand that employees make up for lost working time. Upon discussing this issue with the employee, the employer determines when the lost working time is to be made up. Even if such work should exceed normal working hours according to the Working Environment Act, it is not considered overtime.