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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-2021-49/2113 – measures in Norway

New wage support scheme

Ny lønnsstøtteordning

Country Norway , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 December 2021 – 31 January 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category 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 06 January 2022 (updated 04 February 2022)

Background information

On 14 December 2021, the government announced that it would introduce a new wage support scheme to keep employees at work in businesses that face difficulties due to national infection control measures. The employer organisation the Norwegian Hospitality Association (NHO Reiseliv) asked for such a scheme on 2 December and was instantly supported by the central organisations on the employee side, LO and YS. After meetings with the social partners, the government decided to introduce a new wage support scheme and announced that the wage support scheme would be developed in dialogue with several of the parties in working life. I sketch of a new wage support scheme was presented the 22 of December after an agreement between the Labor Party, the Center Party and the Socialist Left Party on Monday 20 December 2021.

Content of measure

The purpose of a new wage support scheme is for a short period to facilitate that the employee can still be at work, including conducting competence-building activity, even though the activity is severely limited by national infection control measures. The support is designed with the aim of covering part of the companies' wage costs for employees who would otherwise have been dismissed or laid off as a result of strict national infection control measures. The scheme will take effect from 1 December 2021 and apply until 31 January 2022. It may be extended until 28 February 2022 in an adjusted version.

The scheme is aimed at enterprises (main unit) that are directly or indirectly affected by national statutory restrictions in their business area, such as number restrictions, requirements for table placement, bar restrictions or the like. The enterprise must have a fall in turnover of at least 20% compared with the corresponding month two years earlier, i.e. December 2019 or January 2020. Alternatively, the enterprise may choose to use the average for October and November 2021 as a reference period to calculate turnover failure for each of the two months December 2021 and January 2022. The scheme applies to permanent employees (full-time and part-time) and temporary employees on fixed-term contracts with an agreed scope of work. In the event of a turnover drop of 100%, the company can apply for support of up to NOK 40,000 (€4,000) per employee per month. In the event of a fall in turnover between 20-100%, the support amount is reduced linearly down to NOK 4,000 (€400) in the event of a 20% fall in turnover. Falling turnover lower than 20% does not entitle to support. Enterprises can receive a maximum of NOK 47 million (€4.7 million) in support per month.

Enterprises whose decline in turnover is due to a lack of access to labour as a result of entry restrictions are not covered by the scheme.

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

Involvement

The initiative to set up a new wage support scheme came from the employer organisation, the Norwegian Hospitality Association (NHO Reiseliv), who asked for such a scheme on 2 December 2021. The initiative instantly won support from the employee side, and the central organisations LO and YS, directed an appeal to the government. The social partners had close contact with the government and took part in the design of the scheme.

Views and reactions

The social partners are supportive of the measure.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2022), New wage support scheme, measure NO-2021-49/2113 (measures in Norway), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/NO-2021-49_2113.html

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