Contracts, taxes and employee rights
Having employee rights, safe work contracts and paying taxes are all important components of Norwegian welfare state.
Know your rights
To be sure you get what you are entitled to, you need to know your rights. You should look into information about payment, working hours, contracts and working environment when you plan to work in Norway. You can find information information and videos in English, Norwegian, Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Romanian, Polish, Russian and Ukrainian at The Norwgian Labour Inspection Authoritys (arbeidstilsynet).
All employees must have a written contract of employment. This applies to all types of employment, both permanent and temporary appointments. There are no exceptions to this requirement.
Trade unions (fagforeninger) are associations of employees in the same professional area or sector, they make collective agreement between an employer’s federation and a trade union federation. In Norway, trade unions have a greater influence on employment than in most other countries. Trade unions work to strengthen the member rights, work terms and conditions, and play a key role in salary negotiations. It is common to get information about the active trade unions at your work place. As a member, you can receive help from the union on workplace issues.
Get a tax deduction card
It is important that you get a tax deduction card, so your employer can deduct the correct tax. There are different ways to apply for a tax deduction card, and you can apply with or without a National Identification number. If you do not have a tax deduction card, your employer must deduct 50 percent of your salary.
There are two types of tax deduction cards:
- A tax deduction card for the PAYE (Pay As You Earn) scheme
- An ordinary tax deduction card
You should read about the difference between the PAYE scheme and the general taxation rules and check which is more profitable for you.
The tax administration webpage gives the information you need about applying for a tax card, and you should read it carefully.
The tax office receives a notice from your employer confirming how much you have earned in the past year. In March/April every year, everyone who receives a salary, pension or disability benefit receives a tax return. It is usually a pre-filled tax return and you have to confirm that the information regarding income, allowances, deductions and so forth is correct. If the information is wrong, you must make the necessary corrections.
Tax assessment notice
Once the tax office has processed your tax return, you'll receive a tax assessment notice. If you've paid too much tax, you'll receive a refund paid to the bank account number stated in your tax return. If you've paid too little tax, you will have to pay the underpaid tax.
Contact the Labour Inspection Authority (Arbeidstilsynet) if you do not receive what you are entitled to or if you experience other critical issues in your workplace.
You can call the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority's call service on telephone (+47) 73 19 97 00 or Notify the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority anonymously.