Effective from 1 September 2020, the period for which the employer pays salary during temporary lay-off is extended and the employer must pay salary to laid-off employees the first ten days.
When COVID-19 forced Norway to a shut-down in March, several measures were implemented by the Norwegian Government to help business survive, and to protect jobs. One of these measures was that the period for which the employer pays salary during temporary lay-off (the "employer's period"), was reduced from 15 to two days. Effective from 1 September 2020, this period is extended and the employer must pay salary to laid-off employees the first ten days of their temporary layoff. The change apply to temporary layoffs that took effect on or after 1 September 2020. Layoffs that is already in force by this date are not affected, even if the two days employers period runs past 1 September.
The Government has also announced a proposal to extend the maximum temporary layoff period from 26 to 52 weeks. The purpose is to protect businesses that continues to have reduced activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The extended period for temporary layoffs will allow companies to hold on to employees it is expected can be taken back to work when the pandemic is over, and avoid that important skills and expertise is lost.
Following the extended period for temporary layoffs, the Government has proposed to introduce a new employers period II of 5 days. The new employers period will apply to layoffs exceeding 30 weeks, and is intended to prevent that temporary layoffs are extended unnecessary. The employers will have to make a new assessment of whether temporary layoffs are still needed. The new employers period will take effect 1 January 2021.
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