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Dismissal

An employer may dismiss an employee if he/she has reasonable grounds for doing so. The reasonable grounds must be based on circumstances relating to either the employee or the employer/ enterprise. An example of circumstances relating to the employee could be serious breach of the employment contract. Examples of circumstances relating to the employer/enterprise could be a necessary reduction in the size of the workforce or reorganisation.

Notice must be given in writing, whether by the employer or the employee. Notice from the employer must be given in writing and must either be delivered in person or sent by recorded delivery in the post. An employee can request that the grounds for the dismissal be given in writing if he/she so wishes. The dismissal must contain information about the employee’s right to negotiations, the right to take the matter to court and the right to remain in the position if he/she requests negotiations. If an employee requests negotiations about dismissal, this must be requested within 14 days of the receipt of the notice of dismissal. In this type of case, assistance should be sought from a lawyer or trade union, and the law courts in Norway settle such cases.

Unless otherwise specified, the period of notice is one month, which starts on the first day of the month after notice has been given. The law also contains absolute rules about periods of notice from 14 days to six months, depending on the length of employment and the employee’s age.

An employee who is completly of partially absent from work cannot be dismissed due to his/her absence during the first 12 months. If the employer cannot prove that the dismissal is unrelated to the illness, the dismissal is unlawful.

After the first year, illness can constitute reasonable grounds for dismissal, but this must be subject to a concrete assessment.

An employee cannot be dismissed because she is pregnat. If the employer cannot prove that the dismissal is unrelated to the pregnancy, the dismissal is unlawful.

An emplyee who is on pregancy leave, compassionate leave, maternity leave or is in the first year of parental leave must not be dismissed with effect during the period of leave when the employer is aware of the reason for the absence. If the employer has reasonable grounds for the dismissal, the period of notice starts when the leave of absence is over. The same applies in relation to adoption.

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