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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-2021-52/2114 – measures in Norway

Special agreement covers overtime and pay for municipal workers

Avtale om utvidet kompensasjon i forbindelse med koronapandemien

Country Norway , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 20 December 2021 – 30 April 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Bipartite collective agreements
Category Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Mobilisation of a larger workforce
Author Aasmund Arup Seip, FAFO and Eurofound
Measure added 06 January 2022 (updated 04 February 2022)

Background information

Increased demands imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic are being addressed by municipal trade unions and employers through a new agreement setting out temporary rules on overtime. The agreement applies from 20 December 2021 until the end of April 2022.

Rising numbers of infected has led to more people needing treatment and care as well as a lack of caregivers when they have to be quarantined. To make more labour available, the employer’s association KS in the municipal sector has entered into a special agreement with the employee organizations which at least doubles the payment for extra work during the pandemic and increase the amount of overtime employers can impose on employees.

Content of measure

The special agreement on overtime and pay will be applied locally if agreed between the local union and employer and provides for higher overtime rates and limits on overtime hours. Overtime rates are increased to 200% on normal days and 300% on weekends and holidays. The rates also apply to part-time workers above 20 hours a week. The agreement sets a range of daily, weekly and monthly limits to overtime hours. According to the employers’s organisation KS, the agreement allows for more use of overtime, so that the municipalities can mobilise labour. The agreement also gives the employer right to impose more overtime on employees.

Managers who are exempt from the overtime provisions receive in the agreement up to 20 extra days off in 2022. These can also be taken out as extra daytime pay. Teaching staff receive double hourly pay if they take extra tuition (substitute hours) as a result of corona-related absence, or do extra other student-oriented work, such as increased inspection or special follow-up of individual students.

Use of measure

No information to date.


  • Pay increases
  • Working time flexibility

Target groups

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

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Trade unions
Employers' organisations
No special funding required

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative
Form Not applicable Not applicable

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

  • Only employers' organisations
  • Main level of involvement: Sectoral or branch level


Employer’s association and unions in the municipal sector negotiated the special agreement for the sector. The municipal employers found it difficult to staff all services and asked for an measures that could mobilise a larger workforce.

Views and reactions

The social partners are supportive of the measure.

The Leader of the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees (Fagforbundet) says that nobody wanted this agreement, but it was unavoidable on the background of the new round of closure of society.



Eurofound (2022), Special agreement covers overtime and pay for municipal workers, measure NO-2021-52/2114 (measures in Norway), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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