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EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure NO-2020-12/1074 – measures in Norway

Municipalities: New collective agreement expands access to overtime

Ny avtale utvider adgangen til overtid i kommunene

Country Norway , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 18 March 2020 – 16 September 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Bipartite collective agreements
Category Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Change of work arrangements (working time, rota schemes)
Author Aasmund Arup Seip, FAFO and Eurofound
Measure added 08 September 2020 (updated 09 September 2020)

Background information

To facilitate the adaption to crisis management during the COVID-19 crisis, The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS) and the central organisations in the local commune sector (Unio, LO Kommune, Akademikerne and YS ) on 18 March made an agreement on working time. The measures were introduced to make it possible on short notice to increase staffing in nursing homes and in home care, and, for infection control reasons, to reduce the number of shifts.

Content of measure

The agreement was made pursuant to section 10-12 (4) in the Working Environment Act that gives larger trade unions right to enter into a collective agreement that deviates from the law's working hours provisions. The collective agreement expanded the limits to overtime (from 10 to 25 hours per 7 days), and gave the employer the opportunity to averaging working hours. The limit of total working hours in any 24-hour period were raised from 10 to 16 hours. According to the agreement, employers are obliged to discuss the use of overtime with shop stewards before overtime work under the agreement is implemented. The agreement states that overtime cannot be imposed pursuant to the agreement when the extraordinary situation associated with coronavirus no longer exists. The validity period of the agreement was originally 26 weeks, and the agreement could be terminated with one month's notice from each of the parties.

Use of measure

No information to date.


  • Health and safety
  • Working time flexibility

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Workers in care facilities
Workers in essential services
Companies providing essential services
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Social partners jointly
Trade unions
Employers' organisations
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


The collective agreement on working time during the COVID-19 pandemic was negotiated by the parties, The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS) and the central organisations in the local commune sector, on initiative from the state and the social partners jointly, to facilitate crisis management. By taking such action, the social partners wanted to keep regulation of working time in a collective agreement and avoid state intervention.

Views and reactions

The social partners are supportive of regulation through collective agreements and reached an agreement in short time.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      Q - Human Health And Social Work Activities Q87 Residential care activities
    • Occupation (ISCO level 2)
      Health professionals



Eurofound (2020), Municipalities: New collective agreement expands access to overtime, measure NO-2020-12/1074 (measures in Norway), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.