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Employment law

Employees in the public sector

The employment of municipal employees is regulated by the Working Environment Act while the employment of governmental employees is regulated partly by the Working Environment Act and partly by the Government Employees Act.

Employees’ right to holiday and holiday payment

Holiday and holiday pay in employment is governed by the Norwegian Act relating to Holidays (the Holiday Act). The act applies to “persons who work in the employment of others”, i.e. employees. The purpose of the act is to ensure that employees get annual holidays and holiday pay.

Discrimination in employment

Discrimination in employment has been subject to increased attention the latest years, and several questions related to discrimination on the basis of age, gender or ethnicity has been considered by the courts. Discrimination in employment will, in most cases, be a burden for the employee which is subject to the discrimination. Allegations of harassment may also have negative consequences for the company’s reputation. It is therefore important for companies to be updated on the rules which prohibits differential treatment.

Intellectual property rights in employment

Employers do not necessarily get the right to employees’ creations at work. Employers who want to secure such rights should therefore enter into an agreement regarding this.

International Employment Law

Norway’s membership in the EEA means that Norwegian immigration regulations generally comply with the regulations within the EU. Norway has implemented EU Directive 2004/38/EC, regarding the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the member states. Norway has also implemented the Posted Workers Directive (96/71/EC).

Temporary layoff

Temporary layoff is applicable if the employer temporarily has a reduced labor need. Layoffs involves a temporary cessation of the employment relationship where the employee is temporarily discharged from his or her duty at work, while the company is exempted from its duty to pay wages for a specified period.

Social security and social rights

There is a close correlation between employment law and a number of social security issues. Knowledge of the social security system is therefore an important prerequisite for employment law counseling.

Transfer of undertakings

The question of whether a business transfer constitutes a transfer of undertaking pursuant to the Working Environment Act is among the most discussed topics in Norwegian employment law recently. Case law from the Norwegian courts and the Court of Justice of the European Communities has provided some clarification, but has also contributed to new questions.

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