Pay and minimum rates of pay
There is no general minimum wage in Norway. Wages are subject to agreement between the employer and the employee as part of the written employment contract.
Although there is no general minimum wage in Norway, minimum rates of pay have been introduced in certain sectors:
- Construction sites (for construction workers)
- The maritime construction industry
- The agriculture and horticulture sectors
- Cleaning workers
- Fish processing enterprises
- Freight transport by road
- Passenger transport by tour bus
- Hotel, restaurant and catering
Employees who hold a residence permit in order to work for an employer in Norway shall have pay and working conditions in accordance with the conditions of the residence permit. This applies regardless of whether you work in a sector where there is a minimum wage.
When are wages paid?
In Norway, it is usual to agree on payment of wages once a month. On payment of wages, the employer must provide you with a pay slip stating the pay, tax deducted and any other deductions.
What to do if you are not paid
If the employer fails to pay wages or pays less wages than agreed, you must contact your employer to find out why you have not been paid. The reason may be that you employer refuses to pay, or that the employer is not able to pay.
The procedure for making your claims depends on the reason why your employer has not paid.
It is important that you do not wait too long before dealing with the matter. If you delay too long, you may risk losing your rights in relation to the State Wage Guarantee Scheme.
If you are not paid at the agreed time, you must send a claim to your employer by registered mail as soon as possible. The claim letter must state what the claim concerns, the amount that the employer owes you and the earning period. Give the employer one week’s notice to pay.
When the employer refuses to pay
If the wages have not been paid because the employer refuses to pay, you must send a claim letter to your employer by registered mail.
If you are not paid by the final date you have stated in your claim letter, you can bring the matter before the conciliation board.
All municipalities in Norway have their own conciliation boards (in Norwegian only)
When the employer is not able to pay
If the employer has failed to pay because he is unable to pay, the undertaking can be declared bankrupt. When bankruptcy proceedings are instituted, you can claim payment of the wages from the State Wage Guarantee Scheme (in Norwegian at nav.no).
Joint and several liability
In sectors with a statutory minimum wage, the contractor at the top of the chain is liable for the obligation of contractors further down in the contractor chain to pay the minimum wage (joint and several liability). This means that you can claim payment of the minimum wage all the way up to the contractor at the top of the chain, from whom the work was ordered.
To claim payment of wages from contractors higher up in the contractor chain, you must:
Submit a claim in writing within three months after payment of the wages is due
Document the claim by means of the employment contract, time sheets, pay slips, etc.
The contractor has a time limit of three weeks to pay. If there are several contractors in the chain, you can decide yourself who to send the claim to.