Norway’s holiday pay regulations will likely change to allow everyone at least four weeks of vacation pay in their first year of employment.
“We want to map out alternative solutions where employees can get both holiday and holiday pay in the first year of work. The investigation will give us answers on how this can be implemented in practice,” State Secretary Maria Schumacher Walberg from the Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion told the newspaper Aftenposten.
Currently, the Holiday Act doesn’t entitle employees to holiday pay in their first year as an employee. However, the ESA, which is the EFTA’s monitoring body and ensures that EEA law is complied with, that Norway’s Holiday Act conflicts with EU regulations on work and employment.
European regulations state that employees must be entitled to as least four weeks of paid holiday each year.
Lise Lyngsnes Randeberg, leader of the Association of Norwegian Academics, told the paper that foreign workers who start working in Norway, new graduates in their first job, unemployed people entering working life and those returning from a long absence on unpaid leave or a stay abroad are some of those that lose out due to current laws.
Norway’s Holiday Act currently has an accrual period for holiday pay. This means workers new to the workforce, or returning after an extended period away, need to work for a year to be eligible for holiday pay. During the holidays in Norway, workers get holiday pay instead of a salary. But to receive holiday pay, you must have earned it during the previous year.
This means that you as an employee are only entitled to paid holiday in the first year if you start a new job on January 1st having worked in Norway the previous year.
If you want to take a holiday in the same year as accrual takes place, you will have the same right to holiday, but not with holiday pay.
Any changes to the Holiday Act, which entitles all workers to four weeks a year minimum, were likely to be introduced next year.