Building and construction

Employment regulations in the construction industry

Ocupational health, safety and environment (OHSE)

All those involved in a construction project have a duty to safeguard occupational health, safety and environment (OHSE) at the site. The client has overall responsibility according to the Construction Client Regulations. In addition, contractors and project designers must also ensure the systematic safeguarding of OHSE.

The provisions of the Internal Control Regulations specify a number of requirements relating to activities and routines intended to prevent, uncover and remedy non-compliance. Such internal controls must be implemented in cooperation with the employees and their representatives.

Employment terms and conditions

Pursuant to the General Application of Collective Agreements Act, the wage levels and working conditions specified in the “Generally Applicable Collective Agreement for Construction Sites” shall apply to all employees concerned, irrespective of whether the company is a party to the collective agreement or not. The objective is to protect foreign workers from exploitation and “social dumping”.

The client and the main contractor have a duty to:

  • Provide information about the provisions concerned, and
  • Ensure that these obligations are complied with by suppliers and subcontractors.

Contractors and suppliers who outsource work or hire in labour are jointly and severally liable for ensuring that workers further down the chain receive the wages and working conditions set out in the collective agreement.

Recruitment and the use of foreign labour in Norway

When foreign labour is to be used, questions arise with respect to

  • Work/residence permits
  • Employment law provisions
  • Tax, Employer’s NICs and VAT
  • Various reporting and registration requirements

Foreign workers who accept permanent employment with a company that is permanently established in Norway enjoy the same rights and have the same obligations as Norwegian workers.

You will find further information about the employment law rules applicable in the Norwegian market at: www.arbeidstilsynet.no. If you are thinking of establishing a permanent or temporary company in Norway, you will find further details about the establishment process at: www.workinnorway.no. If you need advice in this connection, please contact us at Advokatfirmaet Hjort. We have extensive experience of employment law and issues relating to construction projects.