Time worked in excess of the statutory limits for normal working hours shall be regarded as overtime. Overtime is only permitted when there is an exceptional and time-limited need for it. Overtime may not therefore be used as a permanent arrangement. 

Limits for overtime

The employer may decide that you shall work overtime for a period of up to: 

  • 10 hours per 7 days
  • 25 hours per 4 consecutive weeks
  • 200 hours per 52 weeks

Total working hours must not exceed 13 hours per 24 hours. Nor must total working hours exceed 48 hours per 7 days.

The limit of 48 hours may be calculated on the basis of a fixed average over a period of 8 weeks. This means that more than 48 hours may be worked in some weeks in exchange for working correspondingly shorter hours in other weeks.

Overtime by agreement with the employees’ representatives

In undertakings bound by collective agreements, the employer and employees’ representatives may agree on extended overtime of up to: 

  • 20 hours per 7 days.
  • 50 hours per 4 consecutive weeks.
  • 300 hours per 52 weeks.

Overtime work within these limits may only be assigned to employees who are willing to carry it out. Exceptions from the rule for total working hours may be agreed, but it is not permitted to work more than 16 hours during a 24-hour day. 

Overtime with the permission of the Labour Inspection Authority

In response to an application from the employer, the Labour Inspection Authority may permit extended overtime work of:

  • up to 25 hours per 7 days
  • up to 200 hours during a period of 26 weeks

Overtime work within these limits may only be assigned to employees who are willing to carry it out. You may maximally work 400 hours overtime per 52 weeks.

Overtime pay

When you work overtime, you are entitled to a supplement of at least 40 per cent of the agreed hourly pay. It is not permitted to agree a lower percentage rate.

Time off in lieu of overtime may be agreed on an hour-for-hour basis. However, time off in lieu of the minimum overtime supplement of 40 per cent may not be agreed. This shall be paid.

In collective agreements, more favourable terms are often agreed than the minimum entitlements provided by the Act. Examples are: 

  • Overtime supplement higher than 40 per cent
  • Entitlement to overtime pay for work in excess of the agreed working hours (e.g. in excess of 37.5 hours, and not 40, which is the statutory limit for normal working hours)

Exemptions from the rules on overtime

In general, the rules on working hours and overtime apply to all employees. However, the Norwegian Working Environment Act stipulates the following exemptions for employees:

Managerial positions mean senior positions with clear management roles.

Examples of such roles are heads of departments, office managers and others

  • with major responsibility
  • who to a large extent can make independent decisions on behalf of the enterprise
  • who can make independent decisions regarding how much work is required and who can, to a large extent, determine their own working hours.

Positions with a high level of independence mean employees with no direct management functions, but who nevertheless hold senior positions and positions of responsibility.

This means employees who can choose how to prioritise their own tasks. They decide independently what to do, what to delegate to others, and when and how the work should be carried out.

Even if an employee is exempt from the rules on working hours, the working hours must still be arranged in such a way that the employee:

  • is not exposed to adverse physical or mental strain
  • is able to pay due regard to safety considerations.