European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

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-2020-36/1651 Updated – measures in Norway

New business compensation scheme for enterprises with large fall in turnover

Ny kompensasjonsordning for næringslivet

Country Norway , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 September 2020 – 31 December 2021
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Direct subsidies (full or partial)
Author Aasmund Arup Seip, FAFO and Eurofound
Measure added 05 January 2021 (updated 04 February 2022)

Background information

The Norwegian parliament passed 18 December 2020 a new temporary cash benefit scheme for enterprises with a large fall in turnover after August 2020. The scheme was introduced to ensure continued compensation for businesses that experience a large fall in turnover due to the corona situation for the period September 2020 to February 2021.

The scheme is largely based on the compensation scheme that applied for the period March - August 2020 NO-2020-10/730 .

Content of measure

The new compensation scheme applies to the same industries as the previous compensation scheme and is open to enterprises with a more than 30% loss in turnover as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The new scheme emphasises a serious assessment and control of the applicant businesses before payment. Applicants must use an authorised accountant or auditor and the auditor or authorised accountant has to confirm the application before it is submitted.

Companies with a fall in turnover of at least 30% can apply for a subsidy. If the fall in turnover has been 100%, the scheme will cover 70% of the company’s unavoidable fixed costs for the period September and October, 85% of the costs for November and December and 80% for January and February 2021. If the company has had a lower fall in turnover, the subsidy is reduced proportionately. The scheme is applicable to all industries with a few exceptions (finance, oil drilling, electricity production and trade, aviation, kindergartens). The new compensation scheme is administered by the Brønnøysund Register Centre, while the first compensation scheme was administered by the Tax Administration.

Funding of the scheme is estimated at approx. NOK 6 billion (€573 million) for the period from 1 September 2020 to 28 February 2021. The budget proposal is an estimate allocation, which follows from regulations laid down by the Storting.


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

14 December 2021

The 14 December 2021, the government released some of the details concerning the adjustments to the national compensation scheme for business and industry. For the period November-December, the requirement for a fall in turnover will be relaxed, from 40 per cent in the previous period, to 30 per cent. The maximum total paid subsidy per company / group during the life span of the scheme, starting from March 2021, is raised to NOK 120 million (€12 million), valid for applications from November 2021. However, the maximum support amount per company / group will be reduced from NOK 20 million (€2 million) to NOK 15 million (€15 million) for the two-month period.

The government introduces support for lost inventory for companies that qualify for support under the compensation scheme. This means that the companies that are now directly affected by the infection control measures, e.g., restaurants affected by ban on serving alcohol can be covered up to 100 per cent of goods that expire on date because they cannot be sold as a result of the targeted infection control measure.

The government will also introduce dividend restrictions for the companies that receive support.

The proposals require a decision in the parliament. The government will present a proposition to the Storting in January 2022.

07 December 2021

On 7 December 2021, the Government announced after the outbreak of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, that the national compensation scheme for business and industry will be reopened for the months of November and December, with some adjustments. The maximum disbursement will be lower than before, so that the scheme primarily affects smaller businesses. But the requirement for a fall in turnover will be somewhat less strict since the strictest infection control measures only applied in December 2021.

23 September 2021

The 23 September 2021, the Solberg Government announced that the compensation scheme was going to be phased out. As society gradually reopens and activity in business increases, the need for state support for business will gradually diminish, the Government stated. The compensation scheme was planned terminated in October 2021, with a reduced version in the subsidy period September / October 2021.

05 June 2021

A third compensation scheme applies to the period from March 2021 to October 2021, but in a reduced version from July which provides stronger incentives to activity. The scheme is based on the former compensation scheme which applied for the period September 2020 to the end of February 2021 (Act on temporary subsidy scheme for enterprises with a large fall in turnover after August 2020). The government has announced that the new scheme may be terminated before the grant period September-October under consideration of the development of the COVID-19 pandemic. The parliament has given its approval to this. A total upper limit for grants of NOK 100 million (€9.8 million) applies for all grant periods from and including March 2021. Compensation scheme 3 is administered by the Brønnøysund registers.

Main points of the scheme are:

  • Companies with a fall in turnover of at least 30% can apply for a subsidy. If the fall in turnover has been 100%, 85% is covered by fixed unavoidable costs. If the enterprise has had a lower fall in turnover, the subsidy is reduced proportionately.
  • The calculation of turnover falls is made by comparing turnover in the support period with the same period in 2019. Turnover in the comparison period is adjusted upwards in line with the consumer price index.
  • A prerequisite for receiving a grant is that the applicant has a calculated deficit during the grant period. Grants are limited to 90% of the calculated deficit during the grant period for small enterprises and to 70% for other enterprises.
  • In addition to compensation for a large drop in turnover, companies can, for the subsidy period March-April, apply for compensation for lost inventory as a result of the authorities order to stop serving alcohol or closing the shop. This also applies to companies that do not have a loss during the grant period.
  • From July onwards, the compensation rate starts at zero at a 30% drop in turnover and goes up to 85% at a 100% drop in turnover. Estimated grant amount over NOK 40 million (€3.93 million) for a grant period is reduced by 50%.
  • For September-October, the maximum grant per company or group is NOK 20 million (€1.96 million). Estimated grants over NOK 10 million (€980,000) are reduced by 50%.
23 February 2021

In February 2021, the Storting (parliament) approved for Business Compensation Scheme to be extended until the end of June with a compensation rate of 85%. The compensation rate for May / June can be set lower if the infection control measures and the infection situation change.

At the same time, the Storting instructed the Government to make certain extensions to the scheme, including compensation for inventories that have been lost because of infection control measures. The extension of the scheme and the other amendments must be approved by the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA). Hence, there is a possibility that some measures will not be implemented.

06 January 2021

To meet a demand from employers, unions and the political opposition, the government decided 6 January 2021 to extend the compensation scheme until end of April 2021. The opposition in parliament reacted by demanding an extension until the summer 2021. This might be the outcome after deliberations in parliament.

Use of measure

Summary of the scheme by 06 April 2021:

  • Assigned so far: €291 million (NOK 2,929,849,794)
  • Number of grants: 15,022
  • Number of enterprises that have received support: 9,342

The top 5 industries to receive support, measured in NOK, are in descending order: accommodation, food and beverage service activities, passenger water transport abroad, passenger water transport inland and sport activities.

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
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal

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

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


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

Views and reactions

The social partners are supportive of the measure.

Both the employers and the unions criticised the Government’s proposal of 6 January 2021 to extend the Business Compensation Scheme. The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) asked for better compensation rate and that compensation must not be limited by the scheme’s total budget. The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) wanted to prolong the scheme further than the government, to reduce uncertainties for business. The social partners largely support the Parliament’s amendments to the Government’s initial proposals.

Regarding the amendment to the business compensation scheme for November and December 2021, Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) expressed in its consultation response of 4 January 2022 to the amendment that the government's proposal provides more unpredictability. The employer’s organisation does not support that a company must repay grants if the company makes profit for the year as a whole. Neither does it support the requirement to repay grants before the company pays dividend. Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) regards the grants as compensation for loss caused by the authorities’ infection control measures and believes this should also apply to companies that are able to make a profit. Regarding the restriction on pay of dividend, the employer’s organisation argues that company owners with weak liquidity who want to move capital from one company to another to secure necessary investments and jobs will not have the opportunity to do so. Owners who need to take out dividends to pay wealth tax can not do so either, without repaying grants. Hence, the requirement to repay grants before the company pays dividend can work against its purpose, in that the support does not go to those who need it most, the employer’s organisation argues.



Eurofound (2021), New business compensation scheme for enterprises with large fall in turnover, measure NO-2020-36/1651 (measures in Norway), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


Eurofound publications based on EU PolicyWatch

30 January 2023


Measures to lessen the impact of the inflation and energy crisis on citizens

Governments across the EU continue to implement policies to support citizens and businesses in the face of rising food and energy prices caused by the COVID-19 crisis and intensified by the war in Ukraine. This article summarises the policy responses as reported in Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch database from January to September 2022.


12 September 2022


First responses to cushion the impact of inflation on citizens

Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


12 September 2022


Policies to support EU companies affected by the war in Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.


5 July 2022


Policies to support refugees from Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses of EU Member States, including those of the social partners and other civil society actors, enabling refugees to exercise their rights under the Temporary Protection Directive.


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