Did You Know about These Changes in the Rules Regulating Overtime?

If your business is bound by the tariff agreement, the amount of hours you can work overtime, subject to agreement between your employer and your representative, is increased.

The Norwegian employment law

The rules from the Norwegian employment law relating to overtime work are changed from 1st July 2015. It is increased from 15 to 20 hours per week, and from 40 to 50 hours per month. The limit for how much overtime the Norwegian Labor Authority are able to allow is increased from 20 to 25 hours per week.

What Constitutes Overtime Work?

With overtime work it is meant work done outside the limits stated for normal working hours by the Norwegian employment law. If you work outside agreed work hours, but within the the limits stated by the law regarding normal work hours, this is referred to as additional work. Only work outside these limits constitute overtime work according to the law. General work hours are, according to the law, nine hours during 24 hours, and 40 hours during seven days.

When is Overtime Work Legal?

Overtime work is only permitted if there is a specific, time limited need for it. Overtime work can, in other words, not be used as a permanent solution.

How Much Overtime can be Imposed on You?

Before overtime work can be initiated, the employer must as far as possible discuss the need for this solution with the employee. According to the Norwegian employment law, the employer can impose overtime work for up to 10 hours during 7 days, 25 hours during 4 coherent weeks, and 200 hours during 52 weeks. These limits can however be expanded through agreement with the employee. Permission from the Norwegian labor authorities is also needed. There are no rules regarding specific forms of notification in relation to overtime work. Nor are there any rules regarding any time limit for such a notification to be given. However, your collected work hours, including both normal work hours and any overtime work, must not exceed 13 hours during 24 hours. Neither can collected work hours exceed 48 hours during 7 days.

If You Want to Increase Your Work Hours

If your business is bound by a tariff agreement, you can through your representative agree with you employer that maximum normal work hours can be increased from 10 to 12.5 hours. However, if such an agreement is made, your health and wellbeing must be given great consideration. Through your representative you can also initiate a written agreement of expanded overtime hours. Overtime can be agreed to for up to 20 hours during 7 days, 50 hours during 4 coherent weeks, and 300 hours during 52 weeks. Overtime work within these limits can only be imposed on employees who willingly accept those hours. The collected work hours cannot exceed 69 hours in any single week.

Overtime Payment

If you have overtime work imposed on you, you have the right to additional payment of a minimum of 40 per cent of your agreed hourly pay. Agreeing to a lower percentage than this is not permitted. If it is agreed that a permanent addition to the payment is made to cover overtime work as well as normal hours, it must be made clear what constitutes normal payment and what constitutes the overtime payment. The overtime payment must at least cover legal criteria for overtime payment.

Average Calculation of Work Hours

If you individually agree with your employer to average calculation of your normal work hours, the normal work hours per day cannot be increased more than from 9 to 10 hours. The limit for such agreements is today 48 work hours per week. A rule has been introduced, stating that the limit of 48 hours per week can be subject to average calculation over a period of 8 weeks. This means that in individual weeks, more than 48 hours can be permitted, as long as other weeks are equivalently shorter. Normal work hours can still not exceed 50 hours in any week. If you are employed according to the new general decision regarding temporarily employment for 12 months, you cannot agree to individual agreements of your work hours being subject to average calculation.

Do you have any questions about overtime work?

Contact Osloadvokatene by barrister Kjersti Bolstad
E-mail kjersti.bolstad@advokat.no or telephone: +47 905 93 204

Related cases:

Worked for more than two years without receiving overtime allowance (Norwegian)
Too much payment – am I obliged to pay this back to the employer?