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HR Legal

Temporary measures on sick pay and care allowance extended

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Legal news
calendar 10 October 2021
globus Norway

Due to the status of the ongoing vaccination program, the Norwegian government has decided to phase out and extend temporary measures for sick pay and care allowance. Declining infection rates and more lenient quarantine requirements have also reduced the need for some measures. At the same time, the increasing infection among the younger population has made it necessary to extend other measures.

The need for temporary measures in relation to sick pay are declining as infection rates are decreasing and the number of vaccinations is increasing. At the same time, infections are now more frequent among the younger part of the population, making it necessary to extend measures relating to care allowance.

Reduced employer period is being phased out

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, a reduced employer period has been introduced as a temporary measure in circumstances where an employee’s absence is related to coronavirus. Now that everyone over the age of 18 has been offered the second vaccine dose, the need for the measure is not the same. The measure of a reduced employer period will therefore no longer apply from 1 October 2021.

Quarantine rules have become more lenient but employees’ entitlement to sick pay in the event of absence related to the coronavirus has been extended to 31 October 2021. This can, for example, be absence due to quarantine obligations or suspected infection with coronavirus.

Care allowance extended in case of school closures

Normally, employees have a right of minimum ten care days each calendar year to stay at home with sick children under the age of 13. With the closure of schools and kindergartens, several measures were introduced to expand the right to both care allowance and care days. As there are currently no approved vaccine for children under the age of 12, many of these measures have been extended.

Until 1 November 2021, employees will have the right to be absent from work due to their child’s quarantine obligation or because the school or kindergarten is fully or partly closed. However, the employee must be able to document the closure. Employees will also have a right to absence when the child must be kept at home due to special infection considerations, subject to documentation from a doctor. Employees will have this right regardless of how many care days the employee has left on their yearly quota.

In addition, until 1 January 2022, employees remain entitled to the double of their normal, yearly quota of care days. Employees can also transfer care days to their co-parent.

IUNO’s opinion

Even though employees have an extended right to care days and care allowance compared to before the pandemic, the company’s employer period for care allowance has not been extended. As a result, the employer period is still ten days per calendar year. Companies are therefore entitled to a refund from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration for any care days that exceed ten days.

Measures on sick pay when absence is related to coronavirus, and care allowance due to quarantine, closure of schools and kindergartens and special infection considerations are currently only extended for a month, but it is expected that they will be extended further during 2021. IUNO therefore recommends that companies stay up to date on the at all time current rules on sick pay and care allowance.

[Temporary regulation on exemptions from the Norwegian National Insurance Act and the Norwegian Working Environment Act in connection with the covid-19 pandemic of 24 September 2021]

The need for temporary measures in relation to sick pay are declining as infection rates are decreasing and the number of vaccinations is increasing. At the same time, infections are now more frequent among the younger part of the population, making it necessary to extend measures relating to care allowance.

Reduced employer period is being phased out

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, a reduced employer period has been introduced as a temporary measure in circumstances where an employee’s absence is related to coronavirus. Now that everyone over the age of 18 has been offered the second vaccine dose, the need for the measure is not the same. The measure of a reduced employer period will therefore no longer apply from 1 October 2021.

Quarantine rules have become more lenient but employees’ entitlement to sick pay in the event of absence related to the coronavirus has been extended to 31 October 2021. This can, for example, be absence due to quarantine obligations or suspected infection with coronavirus.

Care allowance extended in case of school closures

Normally, employees have a right of minimum ten care days each calendar year to stay at home with sick children under the age of 13. With the closure of schools and kindergartens, several measures were introduced to expand the right to both care allowance and care days. As there are currently no approved vaccine for children under the age of 12, many of these measures have been extended.

Until 1 November 2021, employees will have the right to be absent from work due to their child’s quarantine obligation or because the school or kindergarten is fully or partly closed. However, the employee must be able to document the closure. Employees will also have a right to absence when the child must be kept at home due to special infection considerations, subject to documentation from a doctor. Employees will have this right regardless of how many care days the employee has left on their yearly quota.

In addition, until 1 January 2022, employees remain entitled to the double of their normal, yearly quota of care days. Employees can also transfer care days to their co-parent.

IUNO’s opinion

Even though employees have an extended right to care days and care allowance compared to before the pandemic, the company’s employer period for care allowance has not been extended. As a result, the employer period is still ten days per calendar year. Companies are therefore entitled to a refund from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration for any care days that exceed ten days.

Measures on sick pay when absence is related to coronavirus, and care allowance due to quarantine, closure of schools and kindergartens and special infection considerations are currently only extended for a month, but it is expected that they will be extended further during 2021. IUNO therefore recommends that companies stay up to date on the at all time current rules on sick pay and care allowance.

[Temporary regulation on exemptions from the Norwegian National Insurance Act and the Norwegian Working Environment Act in connection with the covid-19 pandemic of 24 September 2021]

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Anders

Etgen Reitz

Partner

Sofie

Aurora Braut Bache

Associate

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The team

Akina

Ørum Masaki

Legal assistant

Amalie

Starup Poulsen

Senior legal assistant

Anders

Etgen Reitz

Partner

Caroline

Wochner

Communication assistant

Cecillie

Groth Henriksen

Associate

Julie

Meyer

Communication assistant

Kirsten

Astrup

Senior associate

Mathilde

Baudry

Communication assistant

Nora

Tägtgård Coter

Legal assistant

Salam

S. A. Al-Khafaji

Senior legal assistant

Sofie

Aurora Braut Bache

Associate

Søren

Hessellund Klausen

Partner