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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-2020-27/1206 – measures in Norway

Wage support to re-employ previously laid off staff

Lønnsstøtte for å ta egne permitterte tilbake i jobb

Country Norway , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 July 2020 – 31 December 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Active labour market policies, incl. subsidised job creation
Author Aasmund Arup Seip, FAFO and Eurofound
Case created 01 October 2020 (updated 16 October 2020)

Background information

The government proposed in June 2020 a new and temporary wage support scheme for companies that take their own laid off employees back to work. The aim of the proposal is to promote a faster returning to work, and the proposal imply that the company receives a cash subsidy per employee that is taken back from redundancy. The scheme applies to companies, non-profit organisations and foundations that have laid off employees as a result of the virus outbreak. A first round was introduced for July and August 2020 and a second round will cover October, November and December.

Content of measure

The government's wage support scheme will open for applications 1 October. Two rounds of wage support are introduced. First round of the scheme will apply to all employees who are taken back from redundancy at the beginning of July and August, provided that the employee was laid off from a company seeking support and is taken back in at least as high a position as before the layoff. People for whom support is sought cannot be laid off again during the support period, nor can the company lay off other employees during the period. The cash subsidy can be up to NOK 15,000 (€3,500) a month in support for each laid-off person who is taken back to work.

Round two was introduced 10 September, and will apply for October, November and December. The prerequisite for receiving support is that the employee was laid off as of 31 August 2020 and will be brought back to work at the beginning of the month for which support is provided. Total cost of round two is uncertain but is estimated to NOK 30 million (€7 million), taking effect in the 2021 budget.

Use of measure

No information to date.

Target groups

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

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Social partners jointly
Trade unions
Employers' organisations
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


The government says the wage support scheme is a targeted and temporary measure based on assessment of various models. The government has received input from The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO), the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) and an expert group.

Views and reactions

Wage support to get the laid off back to work has been a demand from The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) since early in the COVID-19 crisis. The measure has also been an important demand from the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO), which has proposed that all completely unemployed people - laid off and others - after at least three months as unemployed, can be taken back to the company they are laid off from, or employed in any other private company, with a wage subsidy.



Eurofound (2020), Wage support to re-employ previously laid off staff, case NO-2020-27/1206 (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.