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-2020-27/1206 – Updated – measures in Norway
|Country||Norway , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 01 July 2020 – 31 August 2021|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Active labour market policies (enhancing employability, training, subsidised job creation, etc.)
|Author||Aasmund Arup Seip, FAFO and Eurofound|
|Measure added||01 October 2020 (updated 19 October 2021)|
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.
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.
By June 2020, over 54,000 companies had received support through one or both of the measures. During 2020, 60,803 companies received money. Most companies (14,000) are found in wholesale and retail trade (NACE G), followed by 6,000 companies in construction industry (NACE F). Accommodation and food service activities (NACE I) and Professional, scientific and technical activities (NACE M) each had 6,000 companies receiving support through the wage support measure and/or payment to laid off employees. (See statistics on business policy instruments at Government’s web site: regjeringen.no .)
Companies that have taken employees back from redundancy can apply for a subsidy to cover part of the wage costs. In 2020, NOK 198 million (€20 million) was allocated to 2932 recipients, and from Marsh to June 2021, NOK 42,6 million (€4,3 million) was allocated to 513 recipients. At the Norwegian Tax Administration’s web site , you will find updated statistics of the number of recipients and an overview of all companies that have been allocated money.
Employees in standard employment
|Applies to all businesses||Does not apply to citizens|
Social partners jointly
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Form||Direct consultation outside a formal body||Direct consultation outside a formal body|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
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.
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, measure NO-2020-27/1206 (measures in Norway), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/NO-2020-27_1206.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.