New rules on approval of temporary work agencies

by Sara Kristine Råum


Woman working on laptop

New legislation and restrictions concerning hiring-in of employees entered into force in Norway on 1 April 2023. Following this, the Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion adopted new amendments concerning approval of temporary work agencies on 25 May 2023. Temporary work agencies must currently register with the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority (Nw: Arbeidstilsynet), but the new rules imply requirements for approval by the Labour Inspection Authority to be able to provide services as a temporary work agency. Any hiring-in of employees from a temporary work agency that has not been approved, will be considered unlawful hiring-in once the new rules take effect.

The changes form part of the Norwegian Government's promotion of a serious worklife, and the intention of the new rules is to make it easier to distinguish between serious and not so serious providers of temporary work services. The intention is also to ensure a more efficient supervision of the rules concerning hiring-in of employees.

Several conditions must be met in order for a company to be approved as a temporary work agency. The company must provide documentation showing that the company:

  • Is a Norwegian (or EEA-based) private or public limited liability company or complies with certain other requirements concerning local representative/bank guarantees;
  • Has elected health and safety representatives and a working environment committee as required by the Working Environment Act ;
  • Has written employment agreements which meets the statutory requirements for all groups of employees in the company;
  • Has procedures in place that ensures that the rules on equal treatment of wages and working conditions for hired-in employees are fulfilled;
  • has an arrangement ensuring that employees receive compensation in case of occupational injuries; and
  • complies with obligations to register in the Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities (Nw: Enhetsregisteret), the Register of Business Enterprises (Nw: Foretaksregisteret), the Value Added Tax Register (Nw: Merverdiavgiftsregisteret) and the Employee and Employer Register (Nw: Arbeidstaker- og arbeidsgiverregisteret).

The temporary work agency must confirm that the requirements are fulfilled on an annual basis, and submit updated documentation every three years.

The Labour Inspection Authority will assess the applications and keep a public register of all approved temporary work agencies. The register will also include an overview of companies with pending have applications, and those which have not been approved.

The new regulation enters into force on 1 January 2024. A transitional period will apply between 1 January 2024 and 31 March 2024, during which hiring-in of employees is permitted from companies with pending applications.

In case of unlawful hiring-in, the hirer-in risks fines for non-compliance and the hired-in employee may claim permanent employment with and compensation from the hirer-in. It has been confirmed that the Labour Inspection Authority will focus on compliance with the rules on hiring-in during its inspections in 2023. We strongly recommend that any company reliant on personnel hired-in from temporary work agencies familiarize themselves with the rules concerning such hiring-in and establish routines to ensure that hiring-in only takes place from approved agencies.

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