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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

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

Factsheet for case NO-2020-12/726 – measures in Norway

Reduction of employer's responsibility for funding sick leave to three days if illness is Covid-19-related

Arbeidsgivers finansieringsansvar for koronavirusrelatert sykefravær reduseres til tre dager

Country Norway , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 16 March 2020 – 31 December 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Income protection beyond short-time work
– Paid sick leave
Author Aasmund Arup Seip, FAFO and Eurofound
Case created 19 April 2020 (updated 05 May 2020)

Background information

Temporary reduction in employers’ funding responsibility for sick pay for employees related to COVID-19 is a measure aimed at companies and the business sector and have as its main objective to reduce costs and improve liquidity during the period of loss of income. The goal is that otherwise healthy and viable companies should not succumb to the fight against viruses. The measure is estimated to entail increased expenses for the state.

Content of measure

Employer's funding responsibility for coronavirus-related sick leave is reduced to three days. In an ordinary situation, the employer must pay sick pay for a period of up to 16 calendar days (the employer period). In its decision 390, 16 March 2020, the Storting asked the government to reduce the employer period for the payment of sick pay to employees from 16 to three days for sick leave related COVID-19.

The exemption provision is stipulated in the temporary regulations on exemptions from the National Insurance Act and the Working Environment Act in connection with the corona pandemic, and expires on 31 December 2020 or when the Ministry / King decides. The exemption provision means that the National Insurance Scheme reimburses employers' expenses for sick leave for coronavirus-related absences from day four to day 16. The employer offsets sick pay and may claim reimbursement from the Labor and Welfare Agency for the number of days exceeding three. The temporary reduction in employer funding responsibility for sick pay for employees related to the coronavirus is estimated on an uncertain basis to result in increased sick pay payments of NOK 4,700 million in 2020.

Use of measure

No information to date.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Social insurance
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

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

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



Views and reactions

Social partners have been consulted regularly during design and implementation of the measure.



Eurofound (2020), Reduction of employer's responsibility for funding sick leave to three days if illness is Covid-19-related, case NO-2020-12/726 (measures in Norway), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

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