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Temporary lay-offs

An employer can, in whole or in part, be excused from the obligation to pay wages, and an employee can temporarily be excused from the obligation to work, in connection with temporary lay-offs. Reasonable grounds for lay-offs can, for example, be a lack of orders, the over-accumulation of stock, accidents or similar. Even if the employee is temporarily laid-off, the employment relationship persists.

Notification of a lay-off shall be given in writing at least 14 days before it is implemented, and the employee shall receive normal pay during the period of notice. After the period of notice, there is a period during which the employer is obliged to pay wages. This is currently five days, and 15 days if the employee is laid off for less than 40 per cent of his/her normal working hours. The maximum period an employee can be laid off is currently 52 weeks. The number of days the employer is obliged to pay wages and the maximum lay-off period can vary. Contact NAV for up-to-date information.

If an employer dismisses an employee who has been laid off, the lay-off will immediately cease to apply. Employees have a duty to work and employers have a duty to pay wages during the agreed or statutory period of notice, even if the employer has no work to offer. An employee who has been laid off can, however, hand in his/her notice with 14 days’ notice if the period during which the employer is obliged to pay wages has come to an end.

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