Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints - Norway - 2019
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- Act (No. 62 of 2005) relating to working environment, working hours and employment protection, etc. (Working Environment Act, hereafter [WEA]), as last amended by Acts 38 of 15 June 2018 (in force 20 July 2018) and nos. 46 of 22 June and 98 og 20 December 2018 (both in force per 1 January 2019)
Date: 20 Dec 2018; view website » (view in NATLEX »)
- Act (No. 51 of 2017) relating to equality and prohibition of discrimination (Equality and Anti-Discrimination Act) [as amended by Act 115 of 19 December 2017, in force per 1 January 2018]
Date: 16 Jun 2017 (view in NATLEX »)
- Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud Act- No. 50 of 16 June 2017, as amended by Act No. 111 of 19 December 2017, in force 1 January 2018. [this Act accompanies the 2017 Equality and Non-Discrimination Act]; view website »
- Labour Market Act (No. 76 of 2004), last amended by Act 98 of 20 December 2018 (in force 1 January 2019).[Lov om arbeidsmarkedstjenester (arbeidsmarkedsloven) - available in Norwegian only]
Date: 01 Oct 2015; view website » (view in NATLEX »)
- Act No. 90 of 17 June 2005 relating to mediation and procedure in civil disputes (The Dispute Act / Tvisteloven), last amended by Act No. 80 of 22 June 2018, in force 1 January 2019.
Date: 01 Jul 2017; view website »
- Arbitration Act No. 25 of 14 May 2004, last amended by Act No. 127 of 21 December 2007, effective as of January 1st, 2008. [Lov om voldgift]
Date: 21 Dec 2007; view website »
- Act (No. 9 of 2012) on Labour Disputes.
Date: 27 Jan 2012 (view in NATLEX »)
Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: Yes
- Art. 15-12(2) WEA states that employees may claim compensation if the dismissal is effected in violation of the provisions on protection against certain types of dismissal (including dismissal during the probationary period, unfair dismissal, dismissal in the event of sickness, dismissal during pregnancy .... (art. 15-6 to 15-11 WEA).
Compensation shall be fixed at the amount the court deems reasonable in view of the financial loss, circumstances relating to the employer and employee and other facts of the case.
Compensation for unfair dismissal - Are there legal limits?: No
Reinstatement available: Yes
- -In Norway, employee may claim that the dismissal is invalid and request that the employment relationship continues. Such shall be initiated within or 8 weeks from the end of the negotiations between the employer and employee unlike compensation claims for which the timeframe is 6 months (art.17-4(1) WEA).
-When claimed by the employee, a notice of termination may be declared invalid if it is not based on objective grounds or in violation of the provisions on the protection against dismissal in certain cases (pregnancy, sickness, ....).
In the case of a dispute concerning the validity of a notice of termination, the employment may remain in force until the final settlement of the dispute.
In special cases, if so demanded by the employer, the court may decide that the employment shall be terminated if it finds it clearly unreasonable that employment should continue (art. 15-12 WEA).
- According to OECD table on Employment Protection Legislation in Norway (2008), reinstatement orders are fairly frequent in practice.
Preliminary mandatory conciliation: No
- In Norway, most civil disputes are considered initially by the Conciliation Boards (forliksrċdet). However, according to Art. 17-1 (3) WEA, the Conciliation Boards do not hear individual complaints related to unlawful dismissals and other claims mentioned in Art. 17-3 WEA. These cases are to be brought before the district court directly. [See also Ch. 6, Art 6-2 (f) of the Mediation and Civil Proceedings Act (No. 28 of 2012) ( Lov om mekling og rettergang i sivile tvister (tvisteloven).]
It is worth noting that according to art. 17-3 WEA, employees claiming that a dismissal with notice or summary dismissal is unlawful, or that it is a breach of the provisions of this Act concerning preferential rights may demand negotiations with the employer within 2 weeks from the date of the dismissal or the date the employer rejected a claim from an employee concerning preferential right to a new post.
The employer has an obligation to ensure that a meeting for negotiations is held as early as possible and, at the latest, within two weeks of receiving the request.
The negotiations must be completed not later than two weeks after the date of the first negotiation meeting unless the parties agree to continue the negotiations.
Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): ordinary courts
- - Individual disputes (for instance dismissal and termination of employment) are handled by ordinary courts (alminnelige domstoler) according to Art 17-1 WEA, the Mediation and Civil Proceedings Act (No. 28 of 2012) and the Courts of Justice Act (No. 5 of 1915).
- According to art. 17-4 WEA, the time period for claiming an unfair dismissal is eight weeks from conclusion of the negotiation between the parties or from the date of the dismissal if no negotiations took place).
- If an employee claims compensation only, the time limit shall be six months. In individual cases, the parties may agree
upon a longer time limit for initiating legal proceedings. If the dismissal does not meet the formal statutory requirements with regard to notice of dismissal, there is no time limit for such claims.
- In Norway, the National Labour Court's jurisdiction is essentially, confined to collective disputes of rights -- not to individual disputes.
There are however, two exceptions:
1) Individual workers (members of trade unions) and employers are liable in damages for breach of a collective agreement or of the peace obligation. Claims for indemnification in such cases lie within the Labour Court's jurisdiction (Sections 9 and 10 of the Labour Disputes Act);
2) In addition, in a case concerning a collective agreement, the Labour Court may give a decision on individual claims being contingent on the decision given on the collective agreement issue at hand. Solely provided that this can be done without it being necessary to resolve further questions on evidence or legal problems in order to dispose of the individual claims. (Section 34 of the Labour Disputes Act (lov om arbeidstvister (arbeidstvistloven) )
Existing arbitration: Yes
- - In Norway, parties may agree to have the dispute settled by arbitration. This is regulated by the Arbitration Act of 2004 (last updated 2017). Section 10 of the Arbitration Act, provides that "the parties may agree to submit to arbitration disputes that have arisen and all or certain disputes that may arise between them in respect of a defined legal relationship.(...)"
- In addition, in respect of the chief executive of the undertaking, Art. 15-16 WEA provides that "the employer may enter into a written agreement with the chief executive of the undertaking to the effect that disputes in connection with termination of the employment relationship shall be settled by means of arbitration".