Ole Kristian Olsby Nina Elisabeth Thjømøe November 3 2021 Extension and reintroduction of coronavirus measures for working life Littler | Employment & Immigration - Norway Ole Kristian Olsby, Nina Elisabeth Thjømøe Employment & Immigration IntroductionCare allowance and sickness benefitWage obligation and unemployment benefitsFreelancers and self-employed personsIntroductionOn 20 October 2021, 294 new cases of covid-19 were registered in Norway. Although the infection rate is significantly lower than in Spring 2021, the virus is still creating problems for parents with children in school, as well as some ongoing uncertainty in the labour market. The government has, therefore, announced that it will extend the current coronavirus measures for working life and reintroduce a measure that was established for freelancers and self-employed persons.According to Hadia Tajik, the newly appointed minister of labour and inclusion, the measures consist of several special rules and are a necessity to create security in what is still a difficult time for many people.Care allowance and sickness benefitThe government's proposal means that parents will be entitled to care allowance if their children need to stay at home in order to quarantine or because their schools are completely or partially closed to manage coronavirus outbreaks. Even if parents have used up their quota for the number of days with the right to care allowance, their entitlement will continue if the above conditions apply. This scheme is proposed to be extended up to (and including) 31 December 2021.During the same period, employees who are absent due to covid-19 or due to suspected infection will be entitled to sickness benefits.Wage obligation and unemployment benefitsThe government has also proposed extending certain special rules on temporary lay-offs and daily unemployment benefits. For employers, the extension will mean that they can be exempted from the wage obligation during temporary lay-off up to and including 31 December 2021. For temporarily laid-off employees and unemployed persons, the extension to the temporary scheme means that the increased daily unemployment benefit rate will continue in the corresponding period.This means that the daily unemployment benefit is calculated with 80% of the calculation basis up to three times the national insurance basic amount (ie, a total of 314 kroner as per 2021), in addition to 62.4% of the calculation basis. Recipients of daily unemployment benefits, who would otherwise have used up the daily unemployment benefit period will be entitled to daily unemployment benefits until 31 December 2021.In addition, the temporary rules on grading daily unemployment benefits will be extended during the same period. This means that an employee who receives daily unemployment benefits can work 60% of their previous working hours without losing the right to daily unemployment benefits.Freelancers and self-employed personsMany self-employed persons and freelancers lost income as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. A temporary scheme was therefore established to compensate for the income lost as a consequence of the health crisis. The scheme was authorised under a temporary law that expired on 1 October 2021. However, the government has recently submitted a proposal for a new temporary law to reintroduce the scheme, which will mean that the scheme with compensation benefits for self-employed persons and freelancers will apply from 1 October 2021 to 31 December 2021.For further information on this topic please contact Ole Kristian Olsby or Nina Elisabeth Thjømøe at Homble Olsby | Littler by telephone (+47 23 89 75 70) or email ([email protected] or [email protected]). The Homble Olsby | Littler website can be accessed at www.homble-olsby.no.