Working in Norway

Source: Arbeidstilsynet

Contract of Employment 

All employees have a right to a written contract regardless of whether the position is temporary or permanent. A trial period, if there is one, must be agreed to in writing and must not exceed six months.

An employment contract should contain at least the following information:

  • Name of the employee and the employer (identity of the parties).
  • The workplace. If there is no permanent workplace or main workplace, the contract of employment shall state that the employee works at different locations, and shall state the business address or, if appropriate, the home address of the employer.
  • A description of the work, or the employee’s title, post or category of work.
  • The date of commencement of the employment.
  • The expected duration if the employment is temporary, and the basis for the temporary employment.
  • Any provisions relating to a trial period of employment.
  • The employee’s entitlement to holiday and holiday pay, and the rules for fixing of dates for holidays.
  • The employee’s and the employer’s terms of notice.
  • The pay rate that applies or has been agreed on commencement of the employment, any supplements and other emoluments that are not part of the salary, e.g. pension contributions and allowances for meals or accommodation, the method of payment and payment intervals for salary payments.
  • Duration and disposition of the agreed daily and weekly working hours.
  • Length of breaks.
  • Agreement concerning a special working-hour arrangement pursuant to the provisions concerning reduced working hours, flexible working hours, etc.
  • Information concerning any collective agreements that regulate the employment. If an agreement has been concluded by parties outside the undertaking, the contract of employment shall state the identities of the parties to the collective pay agreements.

Source: The Norwegian Labor Inspection Authority (Arbeidstilsynet)

If you'd like to know what a standard employment contract looks like, then here are samples drawn up by The Norwegian Labor Inspection Authority in several languages.  

Working Hours

The Working Environment Act in Norway stipulates that normal working hours are between 37.5hrs to 40hrs per week depending on who one works for.


The Holidays Act (Ferieloven) states that employees are entitled to at least 25 working days of holiday per year. Working days include Saturdays but not Sundays and public holidays. While this translates to four weeks and one day of holiday per calendar year, it is common for employees to get five weeks of holiday. Those who are 60 years and older are eligible for an extra week.

All employees are entitled to a holiday pay of at least 10.2 per cent of the previous year's salary. Those over 60 years old get a minimum of 12.5 per cent. It is common for employees to receive their holiday pay on the last normal pay day before the holiday or in June.

Sick Leave

Employees who are ill, are allowed to be absent from work for three consecutive days without a medical certificate. However, a medical certificate is necessary in order to receive daily sickness benefits from the National Insurance Scheme.

Employees can receive a daily sickness benefit that amounts to 100 per cent of their pensionable income from the first day of absence due to sickness for up to 52 weeks.  

It is the employer who pays sickness benefits for the first 16 calender days and the National Insurance Scheme takes over after that.  

Minimum Wage

In general, there is no minimum wage in Norway and salaries are usually agreed to between the employer and employee as part of the employment contract. 

Some guidelines, have however, been introduced in certain sectors adhering to collective agreements.

Last modified 6 November 2023
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