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The Norwegian labour market

Each labour market has some peculiarities. It may be tricky for foreigners to fully understand the payment methods, the taxes and other benefits related to them. In TalentUp, we are starting a series of different blog articles, one for each country. This article analyses the Norwegian labour market.

Even if the national currency is the Norwegian Kronar (NOK), the whole article is in EUR to compare easily across countries and exchange rates.

General data about the Norwegian labour market

Norway’s minimum wage and maximum working hours disclosure. Data for January 2024. Source: https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/norway/

Payroll taxes in Norway

Social security contributions are made by the employer and the employee and are used for funding unemployment, pension, maternity/paternity leave, and sickness or injury.

Share of contingencies applied to the gross salary. Data source: https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/norway/

Once contributions are paid, employees need to pay an income tax that varies depending on their gross salaries. 

Contingencies from self-employees

Individual contributions made by self-employed people to Social Security in Norway total 11.1%.

Example of net salary in Norway

As a reference, we use the average salary of a software engineer. In Norway, on average, software engineers earn 91,400€ annually.

From gross to net salary of a software engineer in Norway.

The employer contributes 12,887.4 to 17,457.4€ to social security, and the employee contributes 4,661.4 to 7,494.8€.

After paying the income tax, the employee has a net salary of 78,305.75 to 81,596.96€, coming from a gross salary of 91,400€. 

Unemployment regulation in Norway

If an employee wants to quit their job, they need to give one month’s notice and submit a written resignation.

If an employer wants to terminate an employee, the notice period varies based on the employee’s age and seniority:

Notice periods in Norwegian contracts. Data source: https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/norway/

Moreover, depending on the age:

  • If the employee is over 50, 4 months’ notice is required.
  • If the employee is over 55, 5 months’ notice is required.
  • If the employee is over 60, 6 months’ notice is required.

The notice period begins on the first day of the month following when the notice was given.

Different kinds of leaves in Norway

The minimum annual paid time off is 21 working days. Having said that, most companies offer 25 working days. For employees over 60, the entitlement increases to 31 days per year.

There are 10 public holidays.

In Norway, employees receive sick pay from their employer at 100% of their salary for the first 16 days of sickness. The maximum sick leave period is 52 weeks. From the 17th to the 52nd day of sickness, sick leave is compensated by a Social Security sickness benefit capped at approximately 60,252 EUR.

Paid parental leave

Female employees in Norway are entitled to 59 weeks of paid maternity leave, which is compensated by national insurance. During this time, the national insurance will pay mothers 80% of their regular income. However, if the employee chooses to take a shorter leave of 49 weeks, they will receive full compensation at 100% of their income.

Fathers receive two weeks of unpaid paternity leave.

A parent can take an additional year of unpaid leave after maternity leave.

Other common Norwegian benefits

Top 5 benefits offered in Norwegian companies. Datasource: TalentUp’s database.

How to employ a Norwegian worker

Based on internal law, the threshold for becoming subject to corporate tax is rather low.

The starting point is that any foreign enterprise will become subject to Norwegian corporate tax if it conducts business activities within Norway or if it hires out employees to work in Norway.

The basic rule in the tax treaty is that a foreign enterprise becomes subject to tax if it has a so called “permanent establishment” or “PE” in Norway.