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Overview: The Norwegian government’s aid package for corona-affected companies and employees

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calendar 1 May 2020
globus Norway

Several companies are currently experiencing serious economic challenges due to the corona outbreak and the consequential restrictions both nationally and internationally. The Norwegian krone is historically weak, the price of oil is sinking, and several companies are experiencing fall in turnover. The government has proposed a number of measures to remedy the financial consequence to aid both companies and employees.

Due to the consequences of the corona virus, the government has issued a crisis package to aid companies and employees financially. Several of the proposed measures have already been adopted by the parliament, while measures in connection with taxes will be considered on 19 March 2020. The crisis package is intended to ensure that Norwegian business and industry is kept going, and that employees still have a workplace to come back to when the crisis is over.

Temporary changes to the rules on temporary layoffs

Companies have the possibility to partly or fully temporarily lay off employees as a result of company conditions when the company cannot provide work tasks to employees in an economically sound manner. Under normal conditions, the affected employees are to be notified 14 days prior to implementation and two days for unforeseen events. The company will have to pay full salary for 15 days. Under the current conditions, parliament has adopted a measure where companies only have to pay salary for the two first days after implementation.

The employer period in relation to sick leave and care allowance

The company’s duty to pay salary in the instance of an employee’s illness have also been temporarily reduced due to the corona virus. Normally, the company will have to pay salary the first calendar days og absence when an employer is on sick leave and will be refunded by NAV for salary paid after the 17th day. On 16 March 2020, parliament adopted a temporary measure where the employer period is reduced to 3 days when the illness is related to the coronavirus.

Subsequently, changes have been made to the temporary regulation, in where employees will not be entitled to sick pay when the employee is healthy but put under self-inflicted quarantine. For example, due to unnecessary travel abroad. Companies can dispute the employee’s entitlement to sick pay to NAV, who will make a decision.   

The Norwegian kindergartens and schools were previously closed. In relation to this, NAV has announced that parents who have to stay at home due to this closure will be entitled to care allowance. Normally, the employer period for care allowance will be paid salary the first 10 days, where companies can receive a refund from NAV from the 11th day when the parent is entitled to further care days. On 16 March 2020, parliament adopted a temporary measure where the employer period is reduced to 3 days, and the employee’s entitlement to care days are doubled.

Kindergartens have now re-opened, and elementary schools have opened for the first to fourth grade. Parents with children in the re-opened institutions will not be entitled to care allowance to stay at home with children unless the child is ill, the child is within the risk group or other members of the household is within the risk group. A doctor’s note is required.

Further measures

Besides for the schemes intended to cover costs relating to employees, the Norwegian government has introduced several measures to help companies with covering other costs. You can read more on those schemes here.

IUNO’s opinion

During the present situation, things have and will change consecutively. The parliament has further adopted a law that will give the government an extended authorization to issue measures without prior consideration in the parliament. Practically, it can therefore be difficult for companies to know how to act.

IUNO recommends that companies seek legal advisement when in doubt on how to implement the governments measures.

Due to the consequences of the corona virus, the government has issued a crisis package to aid companies and employees financially. Several of the proposed measures have already been adopted by the parliament, while measures in connection with taxes will be considered on 19 March 2020. The crisis package is intended to ensure that Norwegian business and industry is kept going, and that employees still have a workplace to come back to when the crisis is over.

Temporary changes to the rules on temporary layoffs

Companies have the possibility to partly or fully temporarily lay off employees as a result of company conditions when the company cannot provide work tasks to employees in an economically sound manner. Under normal conditions, the affected employees are to be notified 14 days prior to implementation and two days for unforeseen events. The company will have to pay full salary for 15 days. Under the current conditions, parliament has adopted a measure where companies only have to pay salary for the two first days after implementation.

The employer period in relation to sick leave and care allowance

The company’s duty to pay salary in the instance of an employee’s illness have also been temporarily reduced due to the corona virus. Normally, the company will have to pay salary the first calendar days og absence when an employer is on sick leave and will be refunded by NAV for salary paid after the 17th day. On 16 March 2020, parliament adopted a temporary measure where the employer period is reduced to 3 days when the illness is related to the coronavirus.

Subsequently, changes have been made to the temporary regulation, in where employees will not be entitled to sick pay when the employee is healthy but put under self-inflicted quarantine. For example, due to unnecessary travel abroad. Companies can dispute the employee’s entitlement to sick pay to NAV, who will make a decision.   

The Norwegian kindergartens and schools were previously closed. In relation to this, NAV has announced that parents who have to stay at home due to this closure will be entitled to care allowance. Normally, the employer period for care allowance will be paid salary the first 10 days, where companies can receive a refund from NAV from the 11th day when the parent is entitled to further care days. On 16 March 2020, parliament adopted a temporary measure where the employer period is reduced to 3 days, and the employee’s entitlement to care days are doubled.

Kindergartens have now re-opened, and elementary schools have opened for the first to fourth grade. Parents with children in the re-opened institutions will not be entitled to care allowance to stay at home with children unless the child is ill, the child is within the risk group or other members of the household is within the risk group. A doctor’s note is required.

Further measures

Besides for the schemes intended to cover costs relating to employees, the Norwegian government has introduced several measures to help companies with covering other costs. You can read more on those schemes here.

IUNO’s opinion

During the present situation, things have and will change consecutively. The parliament has further adopted a law that will give the government an extended authorization to issue measures without prior consideration in the parliament. Practically, it can therefore be difficult for companies to know how to act.

IUNO recommends that companies seek legal advisement when in doubt on how to implement the governments measures.

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Anders

Etgen Reitz

Partner

Sofie

Aurora Braut Bache

Associate

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