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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 (5)

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.