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What are the legal responsibilities of an employer in Norway?
Terese Eriksen Eldholm - Lawyer8. May 2024 5 min read

What are the legal responsibilities of an employer in Norway?

We often receive inquiries from foreign companies seeking to register as employers in Norway, regarding their obligations concerning Norwegian labor law and reporting requirements. These responsibilities are outlined across multiple laws and regulations, making it difficult to grasp the full scope. To assist you, we’ve compiled an overview of 16 key registrations and legal obligations that both new and existing employers must adhere to in Norway.

These are the registration obligations and legal responsibilities for employers in Norway


1. Business registration (Brønnøysundregistrene)

All businesses operating in Norway must be registered with the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises (Brønnøysundregistrene). This registration provides the legal framework for conducting business activities in the country. It includes details such as company name, address, organizational structure, and ownership.

2. VAT registration

Employers selling goods or services exceeding NOK 50.000 over a twelve-month period, are obliged to register for VAT in Norway and add VAT onto invoices.

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3. Employer and employee register (Aa register)

Employers must register their employees in the Aa register. Through this register, employers must report employee income, taxes, and other relevant information to the Norwegian Tax Administration in the A-melding system. This includes details such as wages, benefits, working hours, and employment status. The A-melding must be submitted electronically every month. Magnus Legal offers assistance in regard to Norwegian payroll.

3. Occupational Pension Plan (Obligatorisk tjenestepensjon - OTP)

Employers are required to offer the employees membership in an occupational pension plan. This needs to be provided by a Norwegian pension provider or insurance company The most commonly used scheme is known as “Obligatorisk tjenestepensjon (OTP)”. The minimum mandatory contribution is 2 % of the salary.

4. Occupational injury insurance

Employers in Norway are obligated to provide occupational injury insurance for their employees. This insurance covers employees in case of work-related injuries or illnesses. It ensures that employees receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other related costs resulting from workplace accidents or occupational diseases.

5. Assignment and employee register (Oppdragsregisteret)

All assignments given to a foreign contractor on land or on the continental shelf must be reported in the Assignment and employee register (Oppdragsregisteret). It’s the client’s duty to report the assignment. The foreign contractor is obliged to report the employees that work on the assignment.

6. Health and safety registration

Employers have a duty to ensure the health and safety of their employees in the workplace. This may include providing necessary protective equipment, implementing safety measures, and conducting regular health and safety inspections. For enterprises with more than 5 employees, a safety representative must be selected to safeguard the health and safety for the employees. Employees working on building and construction sites, etc. must carry a certain HSE-card (HMS-kort). On many construction sites this card functions as the admission card. To be able to request such a card the employer should be registered in the Norwegian VAT register and the employee must have a D-number.

7. ID- or D-number

Every individual who is resident in Norway or visits Norway to work here is given a specific 11 digits ID number (called “f.nr.“ or “D-number” for foreigners) and a tax deduction card. A non-Norwegian employee obtains this number by undergoing an ID control at a specific tax office. For this control the employee must bring a passport or another acknowledged ID document, a work statement letter from the employer and an application for a tax deduction card. In order to receive HSE-card as mentioned above, foreign employees need to have a D-number.

8. Trade Union registration

While not mandatory, some employers may choose to register with employers' organizations or trade unions to access collective agreements and benefit from collective bargaining. These agreements may cover wages, working conditions, and other employment terms.

9. Register for staffing agencies

Staffing agencies are companies that mainly engage in the rental of labor in Norway. These companies must be registered in the Norwegian Labor Inspection Authority's register for staffing companies.

10. Employment contracts

Employers must provide written employment contracts to all employees, specifying terms and conditions of employment, including wages, working hours, holidays, and other benefits. These contracts must comply with legal requirements and cannot undermine the rights guaranteed by law or collective agreements. As of July 1st, employment contracts need to be signed within one week after commencement of employment.

11. Salary and minimum wages

The Norwegian Working Environment act does not regulate minimum wages in Norway. However, there are some legally binding collective agreements regulating minimum wages, for instance regulating construction works.

12. Working hours and rest periods

Employers must adhere to regulations regarding working hours and rest periods. Normal working hours are 9 hours per day, and 40 hours per week. Employees are entitled to breaks during the workday and minimum rest periods between shifts. Overtime work must be compensated according to legal requirements.

13. Holiday and holiday pay

All employees are entitled to 25 working days of Holiday each working year. It’s the employers responsibility to make sure holiday is taken, and employers shall discuss the fixing of holiday dates and setting up of holiday lists with each individual employee Each employee’s holiday pay is calculated based on wages paid in the previous year. An employee is entitled to holiday pay from his employer amounting to 10.2 per cent of the basis on which holiday pay is calculated.

14. Sick pay

During sick leave, employees receive compensation from the National Insurance scheme, typically covering a percentage of their salary. Employers are generally responsible for paying the full salary during the first 16 days of sick leave, after which the National Insurance scheme takes over.

15. Termination of employment

Employers must follow legal procedures when terminating an employee's contract. This includes discussion meeting, providing written notice as w ell as following rules regarding dismissal for just cause. The financial consequences of a misstep in the dismissal process may be severe. It is therefore a good insurance to have the basis of a dismissal and the actual process reviewed by a lawyer.

How do you ensure that you fulfill all responsibilities as the employer?

Employers in Norway have significant obligations to ensure fully compliance with Norwegian regulations and registrations. Failure to meet these obligations can result in legal consequences and damage to the employer's reputation. Therefore, it's essential for employers to stay informed about their legal responsibilities and fulfill them diligently.

Magnus Legal has extensive experience and expertise in assisting foreign companies with their registration obligations and legal responsibilities in Norway. Reach out to us for guidance and assistance to ensure compliance with these legal requirements every step of the way.

Need guidance in Labor Law?

Contact us to get legal advice on how to navigate Norwegian Environment Act.



Terese Eriksen Eldholm - Lawyer

Terese works primarily with labor law, assisting both Norwegian and foreign companies. She also assists clients with questions related to corporate law, contract law, and GDPR. Terese was initially hired at Magnus Legal in 2019 and returned to us in 2024. During the period from 2022 to 2024, she worked at Elden Advokatfirma, gaining extensive experience in dispute resolution and litigation.