Your Contract of Employment


In this article, let’s make sure that your Contract of Employment is in compliance with Norwegian regulations.


Written contracts vs verbal agreements


First of all, you should have your contract in writing. There are no exceptions to this rule and you can demand your contract to be in writing. 


However, there are unfortunate cases where a worker has only a verbal agreement. The verbal agreement is also binding in Norway and is subject to Norwegian Labour Law conditions. Having a verbal agreement creates problems regarding what was agreed upon and whether it was agreed anything at all. Therefore, please always seek to get the contract in writing.


Checklist: what your contract must state


Make sure that your contract has the below information and ticks off all the boxes:


  • Your name & the company’s name/employer’s name
  • Location of your work (the workplace with the address). If you will have several locations, the contract should state this as well. 
  • Your title and type of work which you will be doing
  • The start date in the company
  • Information on trial period
  • Information on holiday and holiday pay
  • Terms of notice/termination
  • Information on remuneration (salary/bonuses/commission, etc). How is it paid and on which date
  • Working hours and length of breaks. Any special working-hour arrangements (flexible hours, reduced working hours, etc)
  • If the employment is regulated by a collective agreement, the contract should state which one exactly


For contracts of temporary employment:

  • All of the above
  • Duration of the employment/end date
  • The basis for the temporary employment (reasons for the contract to be temporary instead of permanent)

If anything of the above is missing - please, do not hesitate to contact your Employer, so that you can get this corrected. It is the Employer’s responsibility to make the contract. 


When the contract should be ready


The contract must be ready as soon as possible - I would not advise to start working without having it, although the regulations define the absolute deadline as “one month after the employment has started”. From my experience this situation is unusual and, as a rule, all contracts are made available as soon as possible prior to the starting date. 


What if my contract conditions contradict the law?


Contract conditions can NEVER be worse than what is provided by Norwegian law. Even if the contract contains information which might contradict the law and it is signed by both you and your Employer, Norwegian law will overrule these particular conditions.


Example: the contract says that the termination notice period is one week and the contract is signed by both parties. In this case, one week termination notice is VOID and you should consult Norwegian Labour Law to determine what is the correct termination notice for you.


Next time we will talk about permanent employment vs temporary employment and changes in contracts.


Any questions or comments, please let me know - here