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Selling in Europe with Incoterm DDP. Eurofiscalis handle your VAT registration & declarations | I want to learn more

VAT Expert in Europe

Book a meeting
Contact us
VAT Expert in Europe

Selling in Europe with Incoterm DDP. Eurofiscalis handle your VAT registration & declarations | I want to learn more

Selling in Europe with Incoterm DDP.

Eurofiscalis handle your VAT registration & declarations

I want to learn more

Are you a European company planning to expand your operations into Norway? Navigating the process of posting workers from the EEA to Norway can be complex, but it’s essential for legal compliance and safeguarding employee rights. Our in-depth guide breaks down the necessary steps and important considerations for successfully sending your employees to Norway for work. Whether you’re working on facilities or sending staff, this guide is your go-to resource for all things related to posting workers in Norway. 

Illustration posting workers to norway

Table of Contents

Background

Understanding the Posted Workers Directive (PWD) is essential for any EU-based business sending employees to Norway. This EU legislation sets the framework for the treatment and working conditions of staff on temporary assignments in other member states. It safeguards posted workers’ rights, ensuring they get fair treatment and suitable working environments. Our article helps you comprehend the PWD’s implications and how it affects posting workers to Norway, a key step for a successful and compliant business operation. 

The Essence of The Posted Worker Directive

The EU’s pivotal policy ensuring the free movement of services within the European Single Market. It’s designed to harmonize the freedom of service provision with the protection of workers’ rights across the EU. The PWD guarantees that employees temporarily working in a host country are entitled to the host’s standard labour rights. This includes equal pay, fair working hours, ample rest periods, paid leave, and strict health and safety regulations. The directive also enforces non-discrimination and gender equality in the workplace. The PWD shapes the posting of workers in Norway, maintaining a fair and competitive market. 

 

The PWD applies to all economic sectors and industries within the European Economic Area (EEA)—not just limited to construction or transport. This directive impacts service providers, recipients, and employees alike, ensuring comprehensive coverage. It’s important for businesses in all EU countries, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, to understand how the PWD applies to their operations. 

Who is a posted worker?

Who qualifies as a posted worker under the PWD? 

 Any employee assigned by their employer to perform tasks in another EU or EEA member state temporarily fits the definition. This includes intra-company transfers, employees visiting client locations, or individuals engaged through temporary staffing agencies. Crucially, these workers must stay under the original employer’s payroll throughout their assignment and are anticipated to return home post-completion. The key element is that the worker remains employed by the sending company during the posting period and is expected to return to their home country after the assignment.  

Example

Imagine you work for a company that sells and installs machinery. Your company sells a machine to a client in another EU country. Instead of the client coming to you, your employer sends you to the client’s location in another country to install the machine. During this period, you are considered a posted worker because you are working in another country for a limited time but are still employed by your original company.  

Employer Obligations under the Posted Workers Directive

Employers must navigate a set of responsibilities under the Posted Workers Directive when posting workers to Norway. Compliance with the host country’s employment laws is mandatory, including minimum wage, working hours, and health and safety regulations. Additionally, employers must formally declare the posting to the host country’s authorities and maintain detailed records of the workers sent abroad. The obligations employers face under the PWD, ensures that they meet all legal requirements for cross-border employee postings. 

The Revised Posted Workers Directive

In 2018, the EU adopted a revised PWD to further enhance the protection of posted workers. This directive introduced the ‘equal pay for equal work in the same place’ principle, ensuring that posted workers earn the same as local employees for the same job. It expanded the list of elements constituting compensation, provided precise regulations on allowances, and specified accommodation standards for posted workers.  

Notification of the Posting

Before posting workers in Norway, the essential first step is to inform the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority (Arbeidstilsynet). Employers must submit a detailed notification in writing before work begins. The notification must encompass your company’s profile, each posted worker’s information, and an outline of the services to be performed in Norway. Adhering to this protocol not only aligns with Norwegian labour laws but also sets a solid foundation for your operations in Norway. 

Ensuring Adequate Insurance Coverage

Ensuring your employees have sufficient insurance coverage is a critical aspect of posting workers to Norway. Employers must secure comprehensive health and liability insurance for their workers throughout their stay. It’s essential to recognize that insurance requirements can differ based on the duration of the worker’s posting and the type of work involved. Also, stay informed about the specific insurance mandates to ensure full compliance with Norwegian regulations. 

Understanding and Obtaining the HSE Card

One of the essential obligations when posting workers to Norway includes the critical step of securing an HSE (Health, Safety, and Environment) card for each worker/employee (“HMS-kort” in Norwegian). This card is mandatory proof of legal employment within Norway and must be carried by all posted workers during their time on the job. Understanding the legal necessity of the HSE card is paramount for employers, as it complies with Norwegian work environment laws. Obtaining the HSE card ensures that your workers are fully prepared, and your business meets all Norwegian legal obligations. 

What is a HSE card?

The HSE Card in Norway is a document that verifies a worker’s legal employment status and their association with a specific employer. Additionally, it confirms their registration with the tax authorities. This card details personal identification, employer information, and the scope of the employee’s work.

Understanding and Obtaining the HSE Card Norway

Grasping the intricacies of the Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) card is vital for businesses in for example the construction and cleaning sectors operating in Norway. This card is not just a formality; it’s a crucial instrument for upholding safety standards and ensuring legal compliance within these industries. For companies posting workers to Norway, securing an HSE card for each worker is a fundamental step.  

 

The HSE card is designed for upholding transparency and integrity in Norway’s construction and cleaning sectors. It streamlines the inspection process and ensures that industry standards are enforced, allowing authorities to verify that workers comply with all legal and safety regulations. For international workers posted to Norway, the HSE card offers an additional layer of security by affirming their legal employment status and work entitlements. 

How to obtain a HSE card?

Obtaining an HSE Card Norway involves several steps

 

  1. Register the company: The company must be registered in the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises and the VAT register. Please note this is not establishing a new legal entity, it is the registration of your existing company in Norway.
  2. Register the employee: Each employee must obtain a D-number 
  3. Apply for the HSE card: Once the company and employee are registered, you can apply for the HSE card. The application process involves submitting personal identification details, employment information, and a recent photograph. 

D-number

D-number is temporary Norwegian identification numbers for individuals that don’t have a Norwegian passport, citizenship or residence. An ID control at one of the police stations is mandatory and part of this process to get a D number. If some of your employees have already been to ID-control and received a Norwegian D-number, they might be exempted from a new ID control. A D-number is normally valid for 5 years. 

Ensuring Equal Treatment

When posting workers to Norway, businesses must ensure their employees receive equal treatment compared to their Norwegian counterparts. This involves abiding by Norway’s minimum wage laws and work conditions, among other things. This principle of equal treatment is pivotal in the Posted Workers Directive, which governs the posting of workers within the EEA. 

 

By understanding and fulfilling these preliminary obligations, businesses can ensure a seamless and legally compliant process when posting workers to Norway. Taking the time to prepare adequately not only safeguards your business against potential penalties but also protects your workers’ rights and welfare. The Norwegian labour market is known for its high standards and regulations, and adherence to these is crucial when posting workers to this Nordic nation. 

Working and Salary Conditions Applicable During the Assignment to Norway

Posting workers to Norway from an EEA country is not just about fulfilling preliminary obligations; understanding the working and salary conditions applicable during the assignment is also vital. 

Compliance with Norwegian Working Conditions

When you’re posting workers to Norway, it’s essential to remember that Norway, like all EEA countries, adheres to the Posted Workers Directive. This ensures that the posted workers receive the same working conditions as Norwegian employees. These conditions cover various aspects, including work hours, rest periods, vacation time, and more. Therefore, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with these working conditions to ensure compliance. 

Adherence to Norwegian Salary Standards

In addition to adhering to the working conditions, when posting workers to Norway, businesses must ensure their employees receive salaries commensurate with Norway’s pay standards. This means the posted workers should receive at least the minimum wage prescribed in Norway. The Norwegian government strictly enforces this to prevent undercutting of wages and to maintain a level playing field. 

Equal Treatment and Non-discrimination

Another aspect to consider when posting workers to Norway is the principle of equal treatment. The Posted Workers Directive mandates that posted workers must be treated equally compared to the local workers in the host country. This applies not only to salary but also to benefits and other aspects of employment. 

 

Understanding and adhering to these working and salary conditions can ensure a smooth and successful assignment when posting workers to Norway. It protects your workers’ rights and promotes fair competition, making it a win-win situation for all parties involved. 

Health & Safety Provisions Related to the Posting of Workers to Norway

The process of posting workers to Norway requires careful attention to various health and safety provisions. Norway maintains high health and safety standards, which are designed to protect all workers within its borders, including those posted from other EEA countries. 

 

When posting workers to Norway, businesses must ensure their employees are working in conditions that meet Norway’s health and safety regulations. These regulations cover a broad range of issues, from physical safety measures to psychological work environment considerations. Compliance isn’t optional – it’s a requirement for all businesses operating in Norway, including those posting workers from abroad. 

Emergency Preparedness and Response

As part of the health and safety provisions, companies posting workers to Norway must also have an appropriate emergency response plan. This includes having procedures in place for medical emergencies, accidents, and other potential incidents. Having these plans in place ensures that if something does go wrong, the situation can be handled swiftly and effectively. 

 

By ensuring these health and safety provisions are met, companies can protect their employees and maintain a positive working environment. Posting workers to Norway doesn’t have to be a daunting process, as long as you’re prepared and understand the requirements. The focus on health and safety is part of what makes Norway an attractive location for businesses and workers alike. 

Social Security & Income Tax in Norway for Posted Workers

When it comes to posting workers to Norway, it’s not just about understanding the working conditions and health and safety provisions. Companies operating within the EU also need to grasp how social security works in Norway, ensuring that their employees are covered during their posting period. 

The General Principle: Home Country Coverage

Generally, when posting workers to Norway from another EEA country, these workers will continue to be covered by their home country’s social security system. This arrangement, which typically applies for postings of up to 24 months, helps prevent workers from losing benefits accumulated in their home country. 

Applying for a Certificate of Coverage

To verify that posted workers remain under their home country’s social security scheme while in Norway, the employer must apply for a Certificate of Coverage (A1 Certificate) from their home country’s social security authority. This certificate confirms that the posted worker is covered by their home country’s social security system while working in Norway. 

Potential Enrolment in the Norwegian System

However, if the duration of posting exceeds the standard period, or if certain conditions are met, the posted workers might need to be enrolled in the Norwegian social security system. This would mean that social security contributions would be made in Norway, providing the workers with coverage for various Norwegian social benefits. 

 

Understanding the intricacies of social security when posting workers to Norway is crucial. It ensures the rights and benefits of your employees are protected while they are on assignment, contributing to a more seamless and worry-free posting process for both you and your workers.

As always, it’s best to consult with a professional or legal advisor to fully understand these requirements when operating your EU business in Norway. 

Document Availability During the Assignment to Norway

When posting workers to Norway, EU-based companies must also ensure that all necessary documents related to their employees’ assignment are readily available in Norway during the posting period. This is crucial for legal compliance, and it aids in the prompt resolution of any issues or queries that may arise. 

Mandatory Documentation

Documentation should cover various aspects of the worker’s employment and posting details. This may include the employment contract, proof of salary payments, timesheets, proof of social security coverage (such as the A1 Certificate), and the HSE card. By maintaining these documents, companies ensure transparency and accountability in their operations when posting workers to Norway. 

 

The availability of these documents must be immediate; in other words, they must be readily accessible from the moment the posted worker begins their assignment in Norway. This immediate access can be facilitated through digital storage, as long as the documents can be easily accessed and provided in case of inspections or inquiries from the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority (Arbeidstilsynet). 

 

In addition to making these documents accessible, when posting workers to Norway, it may also be necessary to have the documents translated into a language that is understood by local authorities, which, in this case, would likely be Norwegian or English. 

 

Proper document management and availability are crucial when posting workers to Norway. It not only fulfils the legal requirements but also ensures smooth operations and protects the rights of the workers. Understanding these requirements can help EU companies navigate the process of posting workers to Norway more efficiently. 

Documentation for a posted worker in Norway

The A-report

The A-report (A-melding) is a crucial component of Norwegian reporting obligations, requiring employers to submit detailed monthly information about their employees’ employment conditions and salary payments to the Norwegian Tax Administration. This reporting is key in ensuring accurate calculation of taxes, employer contributions, and social security contributions. Understanding and adhering to the requirements of the A-report is essential for all employers in Norway to ensure compliance and avoid fines or penalties. The A-report contributes to a more efficient and transparent labor market and serves as a vital resource for both employers and public authorities. 

The income tax declaration for employees

Tax return, also known as a tax declaration, is an overview of income and assets provided by a taxable individual or business. This overview is submitted annually to the Norwegian Tax Administration (the tax authorities) and forms the basis for calculating the tax due. This process plays a crucial role in ensuring accurate tax payments. Even though your employee is not taxable in Norway, this needs to be reported. So, you need to file a tax return even though the amount is zero 

 

Want to know more about income taxation for foreign workers in Norway? We have the information you need – click here!

ID check

All employees working in Norway must go to ID-control and apply for a tax deduction card (RF-1209) as soon as possible after arrival, to avoid tax claims from the Norwegian tax authorities. Companies and employees from the EU will normally not be considered as taxable to Norway if the project lasts for less than 1 year and the employee stays in Norway for less than 183 days within a period of 12 months. Please note that the stay is important and includes also resting and holidays in Norway. 

Possible penalties

Penalties for Non-Compliance as Defined in the Norwegian Legislation

Operating in a foreign country like Norway requires compliance with local laws and regulations. When posting workers to Norway, it’s important for EU-based companies to understand the potential penalties for non-compliance as defined by Norwegian legislation. 

Penalties for Failing to Comply with Working and Salary Conditions

Norway enforces strict regulations to ensure fair working and salary conditions. Non-compliance with these conditions, such as failing to adhere to Norwegian minimum wage laws or working time regulations, can result in significant fines. In some severe cases, it could lead to the temporary or permanent cessation of business operations in Norway. 

Penalties for Breaching Health & Safety Provisions

Norway places a high emphasis on health and safety in the workplace. Consequently, non-compliance with health and safety regulations, including failure to provide HSE cards to posted workers or neglecting necessary safety measures, can lead to substantial fines or, in serious instances, business closure. 

Penalties for Social Security Non-Compliance

Companies posting workers to Norway must ensure appropriate social security coverage for their employees. Failure to provide valid A1 Certificates for posted workers or non-compliance with the Norwegian social security system, when applicable, may also result in significant fines. 

 

It’s essential to remember that these penalties not only affect the company financially, but they can also impact its reputation. Therefore, understanding and adhering to Norwegian laws and regulations is critical when posting workers to Norway. Non-compliance is a risk that businesses operating within the EU can’t afford to take when posting workers to this Nordic nation. 

Other reporting obligations

In addition to the information you just received about posting workers to Norway, there are also other reporting obligations you may be aware of in case you are doing other activities in Norway.  

Register for Norwegian VAT

In order to be required to register for VAT in Norway, foreign companies must meet certain criteria. The criteria is having yearly supplies exceeding NOK 50,000 (approx. €5000) and carrying out certain types of activities, such as providing services or selling goods. It is important for foreign companies to understand these criteria and determine whether they are obliged to register for VAT in Norway in order to avoid penalties for non-compliance from the Norwegian Tax Authorities. Companies can also register before the sales activities have started. This can be a good choice to make if the company is importing goods to Norway.  

To read more about Norwegian VAT – we invite you to read this! 

Corporate Tax & Annual Accounts

In certain cases, Corporate Income tax declaration should be reported. Companies based in Norway are generally taxed on their global income, known as Corporate Income Tax (CIT). On the other hand, non-resident companies face CIT in Norway if they run or manage a business from within the country. Understanding these tax obligations is key for businesses operating in or with Norway.  

 

If you are going to do work in Norway, you have to comply with the same reporting obligations as a Norwegian Company.  

If you are posting workers to Norway we made this checklist for you as an overview of different requirements!

At Eurofiscalis, we have extensive experience in helping foreign companies posting workers to Norway. If you want to ensure compliance with Norwegian worker’s regulations, you can contact us and spend your time on other duties. 

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