From July 1, 2024, the minimum requirements for the content of the employment contract will change. The purpose of these changes is to create more predictable and secure working conditions for employees, particularly those in part-time or temporary positions. This is justified by the current evolution and need for adaptability in the labor market.
While there are several changes, we have highlighted what we consider the most significant ones. Most important are the changes on minimum requirements for the contents of employment contracts and alterations in probationary period rules. It is essential for employers to be aware of these upcoming changes and adapt their employment agreements accordingly well in advance.
Changes to minimum requirements in the employment agreement
Here are some of the modifications on the minimum requirements for a written employment contract:
- Employment contracts lasting over a month must be in writing no later than seven days after the commencement of the employment relationship.
- If the employee does not work at a fixed or main location, it can be stated that the employee is free to determine their work location.
- The agreement must contain the procedure for termination of employment.
- The elements of salary and any additional allowances must be specified separately in the agreement.
- If work is performed periodically or if the daily and weekly working hours vary, this must be disclosed in the employment agreement.
- Details about shift changes, work schedules, and payment for overtime work must be provided.
- If the employer leases employees through a staffing company, the agreement must include information about the hirer's identity as soon as the identity its known.
- If the employer offers extraordinary development training to its employees, this must be stated in the employment agreement.
- Benefits provided by the employer for social security and the institutions receiving them must also be mentioned.
Presumption in temporary employment and the scope of the position
A new provision states that if the employment agreement does not specify that the employment is temporary, it will be presumed that the employee has a permanent position unless proven otherwise.
Similarly, if the scope of the position is not mentioned in the employment agreement, the employee's opinion about the scope will be presumed unless proven otherwise.
For these presumptions the burden of proof lies with the employer. This will require the employer to be more conscious when entering into employment agreements and ensure to specify in writing whether the position is of a temporary nature or represents a specific percentage of employment.
Clarification of minimum requirements for employees sent abroad
In addition to the regular minimum requirements in the employment agreements, there are additional requirements for employees working abroad:
- The agreement must specify the country where the work will be performed.
- Details about repatriation terms and covered expenses.
For Norwegian companies providing services in the EEA-area, the agreement must also include:
- The employee's entitlement to wages in the host country,
- Any benefits and reimbursement schemes,
- A link to the official national website established in the host country.
New rules regarding probationary period
A probationary period can only be agreed upon for a period of up to 6 months. From now on, in temporary employments, the probation period cannot exceed half the duration of the employment. For instance, in a 6-month temporary employment, the probation period cannot be more than 3 months.
Furthermore, if an employee continues in the same or in a significantly similar position, the employer cannot agree to a new probation period. However, if an employee goes from temporary to a permanent employment, a new probation period can be agreed upon, provided that the total employment duration and new probation period do not exceed 6 months in total.
Employers must be aware of their obligations and ensure that probation periods agreed upon does not exceed the legal limits.
Our recommendations for Employers
It is crucial for employers to understand the new requirements to ensure that their employment agreements comply with the legal standards. Additionally, any changes in employment covered by the minimum requirements of the employment agreement must be implemented within seven days of the changes taking effect.
We encourage employers to actively study the upcoming changes and assess which elements are relevant to their businesses.
When will these rules come into effect?
The legal changes come into effect on July 1, 2024. Nevertheless, we recommend reaching out to us now if you are uncertain about how this will impact your business. It is crucial to act early, and we can assist in aligning your employment contracts with the new regulations.
However, we recommend contacting us if you're uncertain about how this will impact your business. We can assist in aligning your employment agreements with the new regulations.