Lay-off and termination

Lay-off is when an employee is temporarily, fully or partially released from the obligation to work.

This is because the employer decides to reduce or cease operations.

Notify NAV as early as possible

An employer who is considering mass dismissals must notify NAV of this as soon as possible. The duty to notify will ensure that NAV may assist the enterprise and the affected employees. Mass dismissals means that at least 10 employees are given notice within a period of 30 days. When an employer is planning mass dismissals, this will be effective no sooner than 30 days after NAV has been notified.

Employers must provide NAV with similar notification if at least 10 employees will be laid-off without pay, or will have their working week reduced by more than 50% for a period of more than four weeks.

See section 8 of the Labour Market Act and section 15-2 of the Working Environment Act for more about employers’ duty to notify mass dismissals and lay-offs. The form Notification to NAV about mass dismissals may be used to submit the notification.

The notification (form) must be submitted to the local NAV office where the enterprise is located. If operations are spread over more than one region, it is sufficient that the employer notifies NAV in the region where the enterprise has its headquarters.

Duty to notify the regional authorities under the Restructuring Act

If an employer is planning to close down a business where at 30 employees have been working for the last 12 months, or is planning to dismiss more than 9/10 of the employees, the employer must also notify the regional authorities.

See section 3 of the Restructuring Act concerning the information that should be included in such a notification.

Coordination with NAV

When NAV has received notification of mass dismissals or lay-offs, NAV contacts the enterprise to arrange an urgent meeting with the management and the employee representatives.

The object of the meeting is to clarify the situation, inform what kind of assistance NAV may provide to employees who have been given notice or laid-off, and discuss possible solutions. NAV and the enterprise will also agree on future cooperation.

Also read about restructuring and downsizing.

Assistance to affected employees

When an enterprise is planning mass dismissals and lay-offs, NAV may offer the employees concerned

  • joint information meetings about the labour market and job vacancies and about NAV’s services. How to register as a job seeker, how to apply for unemployment benefit, self-service options at and information about other services NAV provides.
  • various labor market measures that are considered follow-up and training measures

The county has initiatives such as In-house training (BIO) that may be available to company employees during major restructuring.

See more under Related information.

Notice to the employees and duty to pay employees who have been laid-off

The employees must usually be notified of being laid-off at least 14 days before the lay-off becomes effective. In case of unforeseen events, the deadline is usually 2 days.

  • The lay-off notice must state the period of notice, the reason for being laid-off and the probable duration of the lay-off period.
  • Employers are responsible for providing minutes from negotiation meetings with the employees, or other similar documentation. It must be evident what measures the employer has taken to avoid lay-offs, and that in this way the employer has done what can reasonably be expected.
  • The provisions of the Basic Agreement will provide the template for how lay-off cases must be dealt with in enterprises that are not covered by the agreement and do not have their own employee representatives.

The circular on unemployment benefit when you have been laid-off provides more information about what employers are required to do in the event of lay-offs. Consensus between the parties on these points will be emphasised:

  1. whether the lay-off is objectively justified within the framework of the Basic Agreement
  2. the lay-off must be due to lack of work or other circumstances beyond your employer’s control
  3. your employer must have tried everything that could reasonably be expected of him to avoid lay-offs

In the minutes of meeting, it is important to document all these three points, and whether there is consensus between the parties.

Also refer to unemployment benefit if you have been laid-off. Under “Legislation” you will find the Act relating to duty to pay employees.

Most of the main information about your entitlements and duties is available here in English. There are also links to other more detailed information; however, some of this information is only available in Norwegian.