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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-2020-1/755 Updated – measures in Norway

Extended right to care benefit for employed parents

Foreldres rett til omsorgspenger dobles

Country Norway , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 January 2020 – 31 December 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Income protection beyond short-time work
– Support for parents and carers (financial or in kind)
Author Aasmund Arup Seip, FAFO and Eurofound
Measure added 21 April 2020 (updated 30 May 2022)

Background information

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it necessary to close schools and kindergartens across the country. Parents who are entitled to care benefit can receive care money to stay home with children during the closure. The difficult situation can increase the need to care, hence the number of care days a parent can receive care benefit is temporarily doubled for the calendar year 2020. Increased use of care benefit in the current situation can have major financial consequences for employers and the Norwegian business community. To reduce the burden on employers, the employer’s responsibility to pay for care benefit is reduced to 3 days, and the employer can seek reimbursement from The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration for pay from the fourth day.

Content of measure

Employees are usually entitled to care benefit, also called "sick-child-days", when they need to be absent from work if a child, or the person who usually looks after the child, is ill. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of days a parent is entitled to is doubled from 10 to 20 days per calendar year when you have one or two children under the age of 12 and from 15 to 30 days per calendar year when you have more than two children under the age of 12. The employer’s responsibility for paying the care benefit days is reduced to 3 days (regularly 10 days). The employer also offsets other days of care allowance, but may seek a refund from the Labor and Welfare Administration from the fourth day. Self-employed workers and freelancers are entitled to care benefit from The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration from the 4th day of absence (regularly from the 11th day of absence).

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

07 January 2022

The period of extended entitlement to care allowance when using care days due to the coronavirus have been extended to 31 December 2021. On 7 December 2021, after the outbreak of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the Government announced that it will propose to double the number of days with care allowance also in 2022.

29 September 2021

The extended right to care benefit for employed parents has been continued until 31 October 2021. According to information from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV), dated 29 September 2021, the extended scheme is now finalised by the government. Until 31 October 2021, parents can use care days when they have to be home with children because:

  • the kindergarten or school is closed due to the coronavirus
  • the child cannot go to kindergarten or school due to special infection control considerations
  • the child, or the person who normally cares for the child, is in quarantine

This applies throughout 2021:

  • Doubling the number of care days.
  • The employer cannot demand a doctor's certificate from the 4th day.
  • Possibility to transfer care days to another caregiver when the kindergarten or school is closed due to the coronavirus.

Use of measure

No information to date.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Other social actors (e.g. NGOs)
Public employment service
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

Involvement

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

Views and reactions

The social partners have supported the measure.

Sources

  • 27 January 2020: General information on care benefit, utdated January 2020 (www.nav.no)
  • 20 March 2020: Foreldres rett til omsorgspenger dobles (www.regjeringen.no)
  • 21 April 2020: Midlertidig forskrift om unntak fra folketrygdloven og arbeidsmiljøloven i forbindelse med covid-19-pandemien (lovdata.no)
  • 29 September 2021: Which corona measures are discontinued and which are extended? (www.nav.no)
  • 07 December 2021: Government annonce several compensating measures (www.regjeringen.no)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Extended right to care benefit for employed parents, measure NO-2020-1/755 (measures in Norway), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/NO-2020-1_755.html

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