The Supreme Court recently ruled on whether the Labour Court has jurisdiction to declare a termination invalid. The Labour Court rules on matters concerning the establishment, termination and interpretation of collective agreements, as well as on the individual consequences of a breach of a contractual obligation agreed in a collective agreement.

The termination of employment contracts generally falls under the ordinary courts' jurisdiction. Conversely, the termination of union representatives falls under the jurisdiction of the ordinary courts and the Labour Court, resulting in two possible roads to a final result.

In this case, the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise agreed that the employer had violated the collective agreement when terminating the employee's contract. Nonetheless, it argued that the Labour Court had not had jurisdiction to declare the employee's termination invalid, as the collective agreement did not explicitly mention the consequences of a breach of contractual obligations.

The Supreme Court concluded that the Labour Court had had jurisdiction to rule on how the employer was required to act in order to fulfil its contractual obligation. Thus, the Supreme Court clarified that the Labour Court can use general rules of obligation to determine how to restore a situation in accordance with a contractual obligation.

The Supreme Court's judgment is relevant to all employers that are bound by collective agreements.

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For further information on this topic please contact Ole Kristian Olsby at Homble Olsby Advokatfirma AS by telephone (+47 23 89 75 70) or email (olsby@homble-olsby.no). The Homble Olsby Advokatfirma website can be accessed at www.homble-olsby.no.