Hiring rules
Statutory right to full-time employment

The government has proposed amendments to the Working Environment Act to restrict access to hiring from staffing companies and strengthen the right to full-time employment. The two bills have been submitted to Parliament and will likely be passed in Autumn 2022.

Hiring rules

On 17 June 2022, the Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion submitted a bill to tighten the rules on hiring from staffing companies. The proposal means that:

  • hiring from staffing companies will no longer be permitted for temporary positions;
  • the right to permanent employment will expand to all hired workers, who will be entitled to full-time positions after three years;
  • the definition of "hiring" will be amended to clarify the delineation between a hiring contract and a staffing contract; and
  • a new approval scheme for staffing companies will be introduced.

In addition, the government will stipulate a ban on hiring from staffing companies on construction sites in Oslo, Viken and the former county of Vestfold (now Vestfold og Telemark).

The bill is essentially the same as the consultation bill that was sent out in January 2022 (for further details please see "Government to limit scope and role of staffing industry"). However, a couple of key changes have been made since then:

  • The limit for the right to permanent employment by hiring is set at three years, not two years as first proposed.
  • The ministry will be able to issue regulations on time-limited hiring of healthcare personnel and specialists in order to ensure the proper operation of healthcare services.

Statutory right to full-time employment

The Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion has also submitted proposals to strengthen the right to full-time employment. The proposed changes will:

  • legislate a main rule on permanent employment in a full-time position;
  • impose an obligation on employers to document where there is a need for part-time employment;
  • impose an obligation on employers to discuss and document the need for part-time employees with employee representatives; and
  • extend the preferential rights of part-time employees to also apply when their employer hires new staff and offers additional shifts.

The document was also sent out for consultation in January 2022.

Except for one aspect, the details of this proposal have not changed: originally, it was proposed that the preferential right to be offered extra shifts could be limited to apply to workplaces with at least 50 employees. In the final bill, however, the preferential right applies to the entire business, but employers can limit this to work units with at least 30 employees after discussions with employee representatives. By agreement with employee representatives, a different or narrower scope can also be determined.

For further information on this topic please contact Ole Kristian Olsby or Lise Gran 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.