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Norway

2. State Aid

Government subsidies and special relief resources allocated to support employers, and workers, in their efforts to maintain employment and pull through the crisis.

Various measures of state aid have been implemented in order to provide assistance to employers and enterprises during this unprecedented global crisis (e.g. postponing deadlines for payment of diverse company taxes, in addition to providing state guarantees, compensation packages and loans to specific sectors on a vast scale). Information about these national measures is available online at: https://www.regjeringen.no/no/tema/Koronasituasjonen/nasjonale-tiltak/id2693684/?expand=factbox2693813

With working life specifically in mind, the legislator has adopted amendments to the Act on Pay during Temporary Lay Offs. The employer’s payroll during the temporary layoff period has been reduced from the original 15 working days to 2 working days (as of June 2020). Following this lay off period, employees are entitled to 18 days of full salary up to six times the basic (national insurance) amount paid by the National Welfare Administration. As of day 21, the employee is entitled to unemployment benefits, which have also increased slightly during this period. In summation, these amendments have removed a major part of the economic burden imposed on employers and employees as it relates to temporary layoffs. These changes have provided employers with the incentive to carry out temporary layoffs instead of proceeding with redundancies, which in turns has been effective in providing additional employment protections during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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