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No, the aim of the ban on labour hire in the Oslo area is not to get rid of foreign workers in Norway. Find out more here.

No, the aim of the ban on labour hire in the Oslo area is not to get rid of foreign workers in Norway. Find out more here.

Erlend Angelo

Working in Norway: staffing agency (bemanningsbyrå), labour hire (innleie)

Labour hire could be made illegal on construction sites: 13 answers for employees of staffing agencies

The Norwegian government intends to ban the use of staffing agencies in the construction industry in the Oslo area. Employees are worried. Fellesforbundet answers some of their questions.
04.04.2022
09:59
04.04.2022 10:05

foreignworkers@lomedia.no

The Norwegian government intends to make it illegal for the construction industry in Oslo, Viken and the former county of Vestfold to hire workers from staffing agencies. The government is also proposing that the rules on hiring out agency personnel should be made stricter in the rest of the country.

The proposals now being debated by the Storting have created widespread uncertainty amongst employees in the staffing industry.

Fellesforbundet, whose members include workers in the construction industry, is receiving a great many enquiries about this issue.

Here are some of the questions that Fellesforbundet has received and the answers they have given worried building workers employed by staffing agencies.

1) When will the new laws on labour hire come into force?

We don’t know yet. The amendments to the law and the regulations will first need to be passed by the Storting and then some time will pass before they come into force.

2) I work for a staffing agency. Will I lose my job when the law comes into force?

Operating staffing agencies in Norway will still be permitted. Personnel employed by the agencies can still be hired out in other parts of Norway if the agency has contracts. If the staffing agency has no contracts, it is likely that it will terminate its personnel.

3) Many of the people working in the staffing industry are foreigners. Is this bill an attempt to remove foreigners from the Norwegian job market?

No, these proposals are not directed specifically at foreigners. On the contrary, Norway needs foreign labour. The purpose of these new rules is to ensure that the foreign workers are employed by companies in Norway on normal terms and conditions of employment.

4) The staffing agencies also find accommodation for their employees. What will happen to this accommodation?

There is no reason why your current employer should not continue to rent out the accommodation to you even if your contract of employment has come to an end. Furthermore, a new employer might also help you to find accommodation. It is quite common for employers in the construction industry to provide accommodation for personnel who are not able to live in their own homes in the area that they are working in.

5) How will hours banked in the time bank be worked out/settled when an employee moves to a different company?

If the staffing agency you work for intends to terminate its personnel, you will need to check with your employer how this is being handled. Union members will be entitled to assistance from their trade union if the company they work for is terminating its personnel.

6) How will the transition to other companies be arranged? Will the terms of the collective agreement/salary scale/wage agreement be continued?

No, as a rule these terms and conditions will not be carried over. If you successfully apply for a new job, a contract of employment will be drawn up with your new employer. If the company has a collective agreement, this is what will apply. If the company has no collective agreement, it must as a minimum follow the conditions of what are known as the General Application Regulations for Building Sites in Norway. This includes minimum pay rates.

Related article: These are the current minimum wages within nine industries in Norway

7) My employer has been paying the premium for my AFP pension for many years. Is it possible for the AFP to be transferred?

If you move from a job that may entitle you to a contractual retirement pension scheme (AFP) to a job that also operates the AFP scheme, your earnings period in these two schemes will be combined. In practice, nothing will happen to your AFP and the transition will be automatic. If you change from a job with an AFP scheme to a job without an AFP scheme you will no longer be eligible for a contractual retirement pension.

8) Are there any plans to introduce financial compensation for employees who lose their jobs in connection with the changes to the law?

There is no state scheme in Norway for financial compensation for employees who involuntarily lose their job as a result of being made redundant. For this reason, it is up to the company to decide whether they wish to pay any form of severance payments or package if they terminate their employees.

9) What will happen to employees who are on sick leave, on holiday, on paternity leave, etc.?

Trade unions can advise members who find themselves in these situations. Personnel on sick leave may enjoy specific protection against redundancy, but this will have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

10) What will happen to personnel who are working on rota shifts and spend their time off in their home country?

It important to remember that staffing agencies will not be made illegal and nor will it be illegal for them to employ personell. The government wants to prohibit the hiring of personnel but only in the construction industry in the Oslo area. If, for example, the staffing agency wishes to retain personnel who are currently employed in Oslo they will still be able to send them on jobs in other parts of the country.

11) Will the Norwegian state help employees who lose their jobs? At NAV they will only receive 62.4 per cent of their salaries in unemployment benefit.

If someone loses their job and is unable to find new employment, they are entitled to unemployment benefit. The state will not be paying any benefits over and above this. This is why it is important that anyone who loses their job should find a new job as soon as possible. Demand for construction workers is heavy in both the Oslo area and elsewhere in Norway and this will definitely make it easier to find new employment.

12) Does NAV have a programme in place for assistance and support in connection with these changes to the law?

Fellesforbundet has suggested that NAV should set up a programme for helping employees in the construction industry in Oslo, Viken and Vestfold to find new jobs. The programme will have to be easily accessible both for employees and employers and assistance must be available in multiple languages. We have also proposed that money should be set aside for language teaching and further training and that this money should be available for trade unions and companies to apply for.

13) The goal of the trade unions has been that people like us who are employed by staffing agencies should lose our jobs. Is there really any point in continuing to be a member of a trade union? 

The trade unions have not been campaigning for employees of staffing agencies lose their jobs. Their goal has been that these workers should be taken on in permanent positions in production companies under proper terms and conditions of employment. The trade unions can also provide essential help in ensuring that if they are necessary downsizing and redundancies will be done properly.

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Article in Polish: Wynajem pracowników może zostać zabroniony na placach budowy. Oto 13 odpowiedzi dla pracowników zatrudnionych przez agencje rekrutacyjne

Article in Lithuanian: Statybų aikštelėse gali būti uždrausta personalo nuoma: štai 13 atsakymų įdarbinimo agentūrų darbuotojams

Translated by Robert Lovering

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Here you will find articles relevant for foreigners working in Norway. Articles in Polish, Lithuanian and English will cover topics such as the rights, rules and laws that apply.

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04.04.2022
09:59
04.04.2022 10:05

FriFagbevegelse for foreign workers

Here you will find articles relevant for foreigners working in Norway. Articles in Polish, Lithuanian and English will cover topics such as the rights, rules and laws that apply.

The website is made by FriFagbevegelse, a news site about working life and the trade union movement.

Please share the articles with colleagues and friends.

Got a story to tell? Contact us: foreignworkers@lomedia.no

> Read more news in English

> Więcej wiadomości po polsku

> Skaitykite daugiau naujienų lietuvių kalba