Norwegian public prosecutor expects more cases in NAV social security scandal

Around 80 criminal cases related to the NAV social security scandal have so far been referred to public prosecutor Henry John Mæland and could be reopened.

Norwegian public prosecutor expects more cases in NAV social security scandal
Photo: Depositphotos

Mæland has said he thinks the number will increase, news agency NTB reports.

“There are about 80 cases. I stress that I haven't counted them exactly. The figure is also likely to increase,” the attorney general NTB.

Norway's Labour and Welfare Administration, NAV, is embroiled in an ongoing controversy after it incorrectly interpreted EU rules on certain types of social security, resulting in people being wrongly convicted of benefit fraud.

When the Nav scandal erupted almost two weeks ago, at least 48 people were reported to have been wrongly convicted of benefit fraud after receiving Norwegian social security assistance in other EEA countries.


District courts have subsequently reported around 30 more cases which must also be reviewed by the attorney general.

With Director of Public Prosecutions Jørn Sigurd Maurud recused, Mæland was appointed to take over the case.

“I have been oriented as to the challenges facing the public prosecution authority, but must fist prioritize organizing staff to assist me, which requires time including a good deal of meetings, writes Mæland told NTB via email.

He hopes to have a team in place by the beginning of December.

So far, the NAV scandal encompasses cases from after June 1st, 2012 and for certain types of social security only.

But NAV is currently investigating whether rules were also misinterpreted for other benefits as well as prior to this date, NTB reports.

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Norway plans to issue holiday pay to people furloughed and unemployed in 2020

Nav, Norway’s public welfare agency, is preparing to issue holiday pay on unemployment benefits before the summer, even though the scheme is yet to be adopted.

Norway plans to issue holiday pay to people furloughed and unemployed in 2020
Photo by Andrew Neel from Pexels

According to Norwegian employment law, employees have the right to holiday pay  amounting to 10.2 or 12 percent of annual salary from the previous year. Freelancers and independent contractors normally do not.

Under a recently-proposed scheme, people who are eligible will receive 10.2 percent of their unemployment benefits as holiday pay from Nav, the national agency which administers public welfare.

Earlier this year, the ‘green’ and ‘red’ parties on Norway’s left made demands for holiday pay on unemployment benefits for the unemployed and laid-off workers (permittert in Norwegian). Permittering refers to people laid off or furloughed or not working their full hours due to Covid-19 restrictions or their consequences.

The government agreed to part of those demands and presented proposals at the end of March. 

READ MORE: ‘Fellesferie’: What you need to know about holiday pay in Norway

Holiday pay on unemployment benefits is scheduled to be be reviewed again in parliament to smooth over some of the finer details of the proposal. But Nav plans to pay out the holiday before the summer and it should automatically enter your account if you are registered and eligible, the agency has said.

“Nav has initiated work on such a solution, so if it is adopted, it now looks like we will receive payment before the summer holidays,” Nav preparations manager Yngvar Åsholt told trade union news media FriFagbevegelse.

Many people will probably be entitled to holiday pay on unemployment benefits that they received in 2020.

The government’s proposal allows for:

  • Holiday pay on unemployment benefits, calculated at 10.2 percent of paid unemployment benefits during the calculation period.
  • The calculation for payment in 2021 is set for April-December 2020. Only people who received unemployment benefits during this period will be entitled to holiday pay.
  • Only those who were unemployed or laid off for more than eight weeks receive holiday pay.
  • A maximum of 25,000 kroner will be paid in holiday pay. If this limit had not been set, people who were out of work for the entire period could have received up to 33,000 kroner in holiday pay for the period April-December 2020. 
  • Persons who, as of June 8th, 2021, are entitled to four weeks holiday with unemployment benefits, will not receive holiday benefits.
  • Persons who have been laid off for 52 weeks on June 8th or later can both take four weeks holiday with unemployment benefits this summer and receive holiday pay benefits for unemployment benefits.