Who can work in Norway?

Any adult of 18 years or older may take up work. Children under the age of 18 take up work may to a lesser degree, and only if a parent or guardian gives their approval. Children cannot take up work, and children of 13 years and up may gradually take on more work with age.

Foreigners can work in Norway. A person from the EEC/EEA is free to seek employment. Individuals from outside the EEC/EEA must apply for a residence permit for work before they can apply for work. 

What are the main sorts of labour contract that exist in Norway?

Mainly permanent and temporary. 

What are the main features of each of them?


A permanent employment is the most common form of employment and it simply implies that the employment lasts until terminated by either party. This employment can be both full time and part time.


A worker may in some cases be employed in a temporary position. However, there are strict rules on this matter. A temporary position may usually only be used when extra workers are needed for a short time, i.e. when there are special projects or heavy workload in the business.

What information should employees be given in Norway?

The employer is under no obligation to give the employee any special kind of information. The terms of employment should be in writing, but this is not a requirement. If there’s a disagreement on an issue, we have an extensive law that fills any gaps in the terms of employment.


What are the main employment rights in Norway?

The right to work, protection against unlawful layoffs, the right to humane working conditions, the right to vacations and the right to a pension are some of the core values in our employment law framework.  

What are the maximum permitted daily, weekly, monthly and annual working hours?

With some exceptions the limits are 9 hours daily and 40 hours weekly.

Is there any minimum number of hours required?


What is the minimum holiday entitlement?

For workers until the age of 59: 25 work days (5 weeks).
For workers from age 60 and up: 31 work days (6 weeks). 

Can a contract be modified while still valid and in force? If so, under which circumstances?

Yes, when verifiable needs of the company demand it. For example when restructuring. 

Are any particular employment relationships subject to special protection?

Some state and military officials enjoy a special protection. 

Are there any obligations to consult with a works council and/or to undertake collective bargaining?

There’s no general requirement to do so, unless the workers are organized in a union. Many workers are organized under the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions, and in those cases collective bargaining is usually required.


When and how can an employer terminate an employment relationship?

When legitimate reasons on the employee or employer/business side mandate it. For example, if the employee has been disloyal to the employer, or if the business needs to lay off employees because of a recession.

The employer must give proper notice and consult with the employee in addition to giving a formal letter of termination.

When and how can an employee terminate an employment relationship?

As long as proper notice is given to the employer, there are few restrictions on how and when an employee can terminate the employment relationship. 

What are the economic consequences in each case?

Given that the termination is lawful, the employee has both a right and a duty to work for a period of time after the termination. Usually the period is 3 months. There are no economic consequences of note.

Are there any situations in which an employment relationship would terminate automatically and without the need for action by either party? If so, what are they?

Yes, this is the case with temporary employments.