Working in Norway: A weekly roundup of the latest jobs news and talking points
Every week The Local brings you a roundup of the latest jobs news and talking points related to working life in Norway. This week we’re looking at a proposed crisis package for tourism, potential income tax cuts and asking whether you think tax in Norway is fair.
Income tax cuts on the horizon?
Several of Norway’s nine political parties have pledged to cut interest tax for most people on middle-to-low incomes in Norway. However, the tradeoff to this is that higher earners will be taxed more on their income.
Residents of Norway pay an income tax of 22 percent, in addition to a bracket tax that is calculated based on your income. For example, those who earn between 260,100-651,250 kroner per year will pay a bracket tax of four percent. The bracket tax can be as high as 16.2 percent for high earners. You can read more about tax in Norway here.
So far, Labour, the Centre Party, the Socialist Left Party, the Liberal Party and the Red Party have pledged to cut taxes for those on lower to middling incomes with income tax being raised for high earners and wealthy individuals.
The Conservative Party hasn’t pledged to cut income tax but has suggested introducing tax breaks for younger workers.
Poll: Is income tax in Norway fair?
For this weeks poll, we want to hear whether or not you think income tax in Norway is fair.
Norway and Scandinavia as a whole is known for high taxes, but are the taxes worth it considering the higher wages in general, the generous welfare state and the subsidised healthcare system? Let us know your thoughts in the poll below.
Results: How important is it for foreign workers to speak Norwegian?
On the subject of polls, we have the results of last weeks survey where we asked you whether or not it was important for foreigners working in Norway to speak Norwegian.
The majority who responded, 60 percent, said that they thought foreign residents being able to speak Norwegian in the workplace was fairly important, while 40 percent said it was fairly unimportant.
Susan Borgeteien, a project manager in Oslo, said that Norwegian language skills were essential for her job.
“I am a native English speaker working in Norway for a large international company. However, all internal meetings and documentation are in Norwegian. This demands that even international companies require Norwegian knowledge,” Susan told our survey.
William, a software engineer from South Africa, agreed also.
“It allows for greater familiarity in the workplace and a cultural benefit,” he told the survey.
Many companies in Norway will use English as their operational language, but there are benefits to having Norwegian language skills, according to Arjen, a delivery manager in Jessheim.
“Well, in many industries these days, it doesn’t matter much anymore as the working language is English. However, socially it is better to learn and is also very much appreciated by the Norwegians,” Arjen told the survey.
Having Norwegian language skills doesn’t appear to be essential, however, especially in some industries. Suzana, a software engineer responded.
“My opinion is in regards to the IT industry. Every IT issue in the world can be solved in English,” She explained to the survey.
If you want to read more in-depth about the pros and cons of Norwegian in the workplace, then check out one of our articles on the topic here.
Centre Party proposes crisis package to prevent job cuts in tourism industry
The Centre Party are proposing a crisis package aimed at protecting jobs and businesses in the tourism sector.
An extension of the permittering scheme, where workers laid off or made redundant due to the pandemic receive a percentage of their salary, for industries still being struck by Covid.
“We believe that extensions of the redundancy schemes that are targeted at the hardest-hit industries must now be put in place. We are talking about several thousand employees in the tourism industry,” member for parliament of the Centre Party, Sigbjørn Gjelskvik, told press agency NTB.
Last week it was reported that the tourism sector would be facing heavy job losses once various government schemes come to an end in October. If you want to read more on that, then you can check out last weeks roundup.
Did you know?
The working culture in Norway can be characterised as a flat structure with many laws set in place to protect employees. It may be hard to spot who the boss is on your first days of work as he or she is likely dressed the same way as everyone else and is working in the same space.
Below you’ll find a couple of helpful articles, guides and resources put together by The Local, which cover key aspects of working life in Norway.
Is this useful?
Please get in touch with me at [email protected] to let me know if this weekly feature is useful and any suggestions you have for jobs related articles on The Local Norway.