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Compensation claims in the travel, room and board dispute

Posted by Aase Herkules on February 3, 2017 at 6:25 AM Comments comments (4)

Norwegian Industry threatens government with compensation claims in the dispute about travel, board and lodging. Director of the organization for the Construction Industry (BNL) is afraid of extensive consequences for the construction industry in Norway.


Last week the Norwegian newspaper VG wrote about the CEO of Norwegian Industry Organisation (NI) threatening the government with compensation claims in the travel, room and board dispute. If the Government are to follow the ESA requirement to overrule the obligation for employers to pay travel, food and lodging for posted EEA workers, it will have extensive consequences for the Norwegian construction industry.


In October it was announced that the EFTA Surveillance Authority opens proceedings against Norway to end the requirement for employers to pay travel, food and lodging for posted EEA workers in certain sectors - including the industrial sector and construction industry.


ESA believes the rules in the shipbuilding industry, on construction sites and in the cleaning industry violates EEA Agreement and prevents the free movement of services - and the government was given two months to respond.


The Government has not yet sent its reply and in Thursday's VG Norwegian Industry Leader Stein Lier-Hansen expresses his concerns and claims towards the government, and threatens with legal action if they do not respect the requirements of ESA.


A prolonged case

In 2013 NHO, with Norwegian industry in lead, asked ESA to look at the legality of the Norwegian regulations. After the Supreme Court concluded that the General Application Regulations in the shipbuilding industry was in accordance with the EEA Agreement.


In a letter, referenced in VG, CEO Stein Lier-Hansen in Norwegian Industry asked Anniken Hauglie minister of labour to confirm that they will accommodate ESA, who believes Norway can not oblige Norwegian companies to pay travel, food and lodging expenses for foreign workers in Norway.


The construction industry as a major traveling industry will be the most effected if the government were to give in to the demands of ESA. BNL-director Jon Sandnes is therefore not pleased with how this matter is progressing.


- When the construction industry was included into the letter from ESA, we as an industry had to engage seriously in this matter. Expenses for travel, food and lodging are significant element in the total cost picture in the construction industry. The projects are structured so that workers are moved from construction site to construction site, and when moving people it represents a significant cost, says Sandnes to Byggeindustrien. The result of the dispute will therefore have much larger consequences for the construction industry than for the industrial sector in Norway.


-The Norwegian companies can not have greater obstacles than the foreign companies!

BNL-director Jon Sandnes points out that if they overrule the obligation to pay the expenses for travel, food and lodging, the foreign companies will have a lower costs then the Norwegians.

Fighting workplace crime

Posted by Aase Herkules on February 3, 2017 at 6:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Another 25 million NOK reserved to fight workplace crime. The Norwegian government has assigned 25 million NOK to several centers in the fight against workplace crime.


The parliamentary representative stressed that a secure workplace will be even more prioritized by the government, which last year developed a stricter strategy towards workplace crime.


- Cooperation between the public control authorities have been strengthened and made more systematic. Among other things, there has been created co-located units against workplace crime in Bergen, Stavanger, Oslo, Kristiansand and Trondheim, said Elvenes.


25 million NOK has been reserved from the state budget for next year between the cooperating parties, Police, Tax Administration, Labour Inspectorate, NAV, Customs and other public offices.


Finance committee chairman Hans Olav Syvers expresses that he is pleased to have strengthened the means to combat undeclared work and the black economy through the budget compromise. It is the best remedy against social dumping and shady business.

Changes in the new Norwegian Working Environment Act

Posted by Aase Herkules on March 13, 2015 at 4:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Norway's conservative two-party government coalition, has reached a compromise with its two support parties in Parliament, Venstre and KrF, on its plan to reform and liberalize national work rules. The support parties agree with the government on the following changes in the new Working Environment Act:

 

 

  • Regular employment is the general rule within labor, but there will be a general admission to temporary employment
  • The 70-years limit for dismissal protection in the Working Environment Act is changed to 72 years
  • No companies can have lower internal age limits than 70 years, unless it is justified by an extended risk within the areas of health or security in the workplace.

  • Calculation of ordinary average working hours where there is local agreement with union in business determined by a collective agreement, has been changed to 12.5 hours per day
  • Calculation of ordinary average working hours through the consent of the Norwegian Work Authorities will be increased to 13 hours.
  • Businesses bound by a local collective agreement and with permission from the Norwegian Work Authorities, will be allowed to increase overtime from 15 hours to 20 hours weekly and from 40 hours to 50 hours monthly.
  • The collective right to law suits, will be removed
  • Increased penalties for violations of the Working Environment Act and the General Application Act
  • A statutory duty for recipients of social assistance to perform activities will be introduced.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new and more ambitious climate policy for Norway

Posted by Aase Herkules on February 4, 2015 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)

The Norwegian Government will present a White Paper on a New Norwegian Commitment for the Period After 2020. The Paper will discuss the suggested commitment, the reasoning behind the reduction target and how it can be fulfilled.


The Norwegian government suggests that Norway by 2030 reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 per cent compared to the 1990 level. The EU is leading the way in the efforts to combat anthropogenic climate change. The Norwegian government aims for Norway to join the EU 2030 framework for climate policies in order for Norway and the EU to jointly fulfil their climate targets.


- There is a need to transform the Norwegian society. An important reason is the need to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid dangerous, anthropogenic climate change. At the climate change negotiations in Paris in December, Norway and the world needs to take brave new steps towards a low-carbon economy, says Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.


Under the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, Norway is committed to reducing global emissions of greenhouse gases equivalent to 30 per cent of Norwegian emissions by 2020 compared to 1990. Norway will now submit to the UN its 2030 climate targets. In the White Paper about a New Norwegian Commitment for the Period After 2020, the Government will suggest a commitment that will increase the level of ambition in Norwegian climate policies.


Prime Minister Erna Solberg says: Norway will reduce emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2030. This will increase the level of ambition in Norwegian climate policies.


The Norwegian climate target will be in line with the overall target to avoid an increase in global average temperature of more than two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.


Co-operation with the EU on a joint fullfillment


The suggested Norwegian target is in line with the EU’s climate targets. Norway will take the initiative to enter into an agreement with the EU about a joint fulfilment of the targets, based on the EU’s framework for climate policies.


- We are suggesting a reduction commitment for Norway that is equally ambitious as the EU commitment. With our suggestion there will be a need to reduce domestic emissions, requiring a will to make use of more potent climate measures in the years to come, says Minister of Climate and Environment.


The EU has decided that the emissions that are covered by the European Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) are to be reduced by 43 per cent in 2030 compared to 2005. This will be achieved by gradually reducing the number of available allowances in the scheme. Approximately half of Norwegian emissions – mostly businesses – are covered by the EU ETS. Norwegian enterprises taking part in the EU ETS will therefore contribute to reducing emissions within this scheme in the same way as businesses located in other parts of the scheme.


Furthermore, in the sectors not covered by the EU ETS, the EU will reduce emissions by 30 per cent compared to 2005. This reduction will be distributed so that each Member State will need to reduce emissions by somewhere between 0 and 40 per cent. The distribution will be determined in a fair manner based on GDP per capita, adjusted for level of cost. If Norwegian commitments are to be fulfilled jointly with the EU, Norway will take on a specific emissions reduction target for the sectors not included in the EU ETS in line with the EU Member States.


The EU intends for some flexibility in the fulfilment of the reduction commitments in the sectors not included in the EU ETS, either by allowing Member States to purchase ETS allowances or by reducing emissions in other EU Member States. The level of flexibility has not yet been determined.


Norway and the EU have common interests when it comes to climate policies, we have common instruments to combat climate change and we cooperate closely in the climate change negotiations. A large part of the EU legislation on climate change and energy is already binding to Norway through the Agreement on the European Economic Area.


- The EU is our most important collaborator and partner. A joint fulfilment with the EU allows for a more efficient climate policy and will give more predictable conditions for Norwegian businesses, says Minister of Finance.


An agreement with the EU would mean that Norway would not purchase UN emission reduction credits in order to fulfil the 40 per cent reduction target. Norway will nevertheless contribute greatly to reduced emissions in developing countries, for instance through our development aid policies, Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative and the Green Climate Fund.


- This way, our efforts in developing countries will come on top of – not in place of – emission reductions in developed countries, says Minister of Climate and Environment.

The Norwegian government will as soon as possible start talks with the EU. If an agreement on a joint fulfilment is not reached, the Norwegian commitment to reduce emissions by 40 per cent will still apply. The target would be conditional on access to flexible mechanisms (reductions in other countries) to fulfil our commitment in the new agreement at the same level as the flexibility that will be available within the EU to the EU Member States. It is also conditional on Norway being credited for its participation in the EU ETS towards our international commitment. If an agreement on joint fulfilment with the EU is not reached, the Government will come back to Parliament with a domestic emissions reductions target for sectors not included in the EU ETS.


The White Paper will be presented on the 6th of February 2015. The Paper will discuss the suggested commitment, the reasoning behind the reduction target and how it can be fulfilled.


- The Government will come back to Parliament in relevant processes, for instance in the annual budget proposals, with measures to fulfill the targets. The Government has already introduced specific instruments and measures that will reduce domestic emissions. Our spending on railways and public transport is at a record level, we have made it more attractive for businesses to develop new climate technologies and we are building more renewable energy, Minister of Climate and Environment rounds off.


Source: The Norwegian government 

The African Union and Norway enter into strategic partnership

Posted by Aase Herkules on January 27, 2015 at 5:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Chairperson of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Børge Brende, yesterday signed a strategic partnership agreement. ‘This is a historic step for Norway’s engagement in Africa,’ said Mr Brende.


The agreement was signed today in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, where the African Union (AU) headquarters are based. Mr Brende is in Ethiopia in connection with the annual AU Summit.


‘This agreement will broaden our existing cooperation with the AU, and strengthen Norway’s engagement, particularly in matters relating to peace and security. The leading role played by the AU in dealing with security challenges on the African continent has been significantly strengthened in recent years,’ Mr Brende said.


Norway and the AU have agreed to hold regular political consultations to discuss a broad range of matters of importance to peace and development in African countries. The agreement covers three main areas of cooperation: peace and security, democracy and governance, and sustainable development and job creation.


‘Norway and the AU will cooperate on the challenges identified in Africa’s own development strategy, Agenda 2063. In particular, we place emphasis on ensuring that the young people of Africa, both women and men, are able to contribute to value creation and the development of the continent. Norway is heavily involved in efforts to ensure that children and young people receive a quality education, as this will enhance their prospects of finding jobs in the future,’ said Mr Brende.


Source: The Norwegian Government

Sole proprietorship

Posted by Aase Herkules on January 24, 2015 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Do you want to set up a company in Norway, but don't want to start a NUF or an AS (limited company)? Maybe setting up a sole proprietorship will suit you better. A sole proprietorship is an organizational form where a single person is responsible for the business. You run the business on your own account and at your own risk. This means that you are liable in full for any liabilities and obligations. 


Requirements

The owner must in general be minimum 18 years old. He or she does not have to be a resident of Norway. However, the enterprise is required to have an address in Norway. The owner of a sole proprietorship is not obliged to set aside funds for the enterprise, since he or she is personally liable in any case.

 

Taxation

For tax purposes, a sole proprietorship is assessed together with the person who owns it. This means that the net profit is liable to tax as part of the owner's total income, including, for example, income from employment. In the same way, the net loss will be deductible.


Registration of company

All sole proprietorships can register with the Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities, and will then be assigned an organisation number. Registration in the Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities is free of charge. Sole proprietorships are also entitled to register with the Register of Business Enterprises. This is subject to a charge. On registering with the Register of Business Enterprises, the enterprise will be issued with a certificate of registration. If a sole proprietorship has at least five employees or is a wholesale or retail enterprise, registration with the Register of Business Enterprises is mandatory.

 

Large sole proprietorships

Sole proprietorships that have employed more than 30 people (on average) during the past three financial years are subject to some of the same requirements as partnerships. These requirements concern the rights of employees to be represented at partnership meetings and, if applicable, on the board.


Increasing the limit for registration in the Norwegian VAT Register

Posted by Aase Herkules on November 21, 2014 at 5:40 AM Comments comments (0)

The proposal from the Norwegian government suggesting that the general limit for registration in the VAT Register should be increased from NOK 50.000 to NOK 150.000 from January 1th 2015, has not been approved. Therefore the limit for registration in the VAT register stays at NOK 50.000.


Norway: The most prosperous country in the world

Posted by Aase Herkules on November 13, 2014 at 4:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Norway has been listed as the most prosperous country in the world by the Legatum Institute 2014 Prosperity Index.

The index, which ranked Switzerland in second place, bases a country’s prosperity performance on eight variables: Economy, Governance, Personal Freedom, Social Capital, Education, Health, Security and Entrepreneurship and Opportunity. Norway’s best performance came in the Social Capital category, while its worst (seventh) was in Entrepreneurship and Opportunity.


The Scandinavian country retained its place at the top of the rankings from last year, while New Zealand moved from fifth place up to third. Russia is now the worst performing country in Europe in 68th position.


The study showed that 90 per cent of Norwegians think the Nordic nation offers immigrants a good place to live, while 94.9 per cent believe their fellow citizens would help them in troubled times. 


However, 29.7 per cent of Norwegians surveyed think corruption within the government and in business is a big issue. In the Central African Republic, ranked the world’s least prosperous country, 75 per cent of the population think corruption is widespread.


The Legatum Institute study has been running for eight years and aims to give an insight into how prosperity develops and changes across the globe. It studies 142 nations, and represents 99 per cent of global GDP and 96 per cent of the worldwide population.


By Olafur Kr. Olafsson 08:39 am November 10, 2014, www.icenews.is

VAT in Norway

Posted by Aase Herkules on November 12, 2014 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

We are happy to inform that Enter Norway Business Consulting has become partner with Arborealis - VAT representative in Norway.

Information from Arborealis: You would like to do business in Norway, or maybe you already have business in Norway. Like in all European countries, VAT is chargeable on most of your sales and purchases in Norway. Moreover, like all Norwegian companies when you do business in Norway (even if you are not permanently based in Norway) you have to comply with the Norwegian legislation for VAT. A VAT representative needs to be appointed. This is how it works.

 

Norwegian VAT rules are different from other EU countries. The most distinct difference is the fact that the reverse charge does not exist at such in Norway. Do you have time yourself to find out how the VAT system work in Norway? Alternatively, do you rather outsource this to an experienced professional? This will give you more time to focus on your commercial activities. Whatever you chose, the legislation in Norway states specifically that foreign businesses that establish business activity in Norway without having a permanent place of business or place of residence in Norway shall be registered through a VAT representative, see the Value Added Tax Act section 2-1 (6) and section 11-1 (3). VAT representation is often referred to as a VAT agent or a fiscal representative. When registered through a VAT representative, the foreign national has the same rights and obligations as follow from normal registration in the VAT Register. This implies when registered in VAT register one can also deduct the VAT paid (pending on certain rules). The representative must have a place of residence or a place of business in Norway.

 

By choosing Arborealis as your VAT representative, you select a partner with international experience, and who is aware of different legislation in Europe, a partner that will support you in growing your business. How do we work? It is fully possible that you make the VAT calculations yourself, and then we only do the filing part of the VAT returns (as legally required). You are then yourself fully responsible for complying with the VAT legislation. We can also do your VAT administration, based upon the data you return to us. We will then make sure that you comply with the VAT legislation. In addition, we can register your company in the VAT register, advise you about the Norwegian VAT rules, and some other fiscal legislation. Do you need a VAT-representative, please visit our partner Arborealis at www.arborealis.no 

NOK will stay weak into year-end

Posted by Aase Herkules on November 12, 2014 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

If you are thinking about entering the Norwegian market, this might be the right moment

According to FXStreet (Barcelona) - Senior Analyst, Pernille Bomholdt Nielsen at Danske Bank sees NOK staying weak into year-end due to the downside risks of oil prices and the Norwegian growth.

 

“We still believe that the market is too bearish on Norwegian growth and too dovish on Norges Bank. Hence, we continue to expect that the NOK will strengthen in 2015 against trading-partner currencies. Meanwhile, EUR/SEK trades close to our 1M forecasts at 9.20 and we expect it to consolidate here.”

 

You may read the whole article by clicking here

 



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