Strikes For Members

How do salary and wages work if you're on strike in Norway

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
How do salary and wages work if you're on strike in Norway
If you're new to Norway's work culture and union arrangement, here's how a strike will affect your salary. Photo by Alicia Christin Gerald on Unsplash

Each year, the wages of employees in Norway who fall under a collective agreement are subject to joint pay settlement negotiations. During this process, strikes often take place. But what happens to your salary during the strike?


A majority of all employees in Norway are covered by a collective agreement, which means that their wages are collectively negotiated on an annual basis.

These negotiations are usually carried out between employer interest organisations and labour union umbrella organisations, and – aside from salaries – they often involve discussions about benefits and working conditions.

In every collective negotiation cycle, the union members must prepare for the possibility of a strike. If you're a newcomer to Norway's work-life and union system, you might have a number of questions about what to expect during a strike.

One of the most pressing ones will likely be related to what happens to your income during the labour dispute.

What happens to your salary during a strike

Companies stop making salary payments to striking employees for the duration of the strike. Note that the salary you have accumulated at the point in time when the strike starts must be paid out.

However, union members on strike receive a strike allowance or compensation from their union. The compensation usually amounts to somewhere around 70 percent of your gross salary, but as it's tax-free, people are typically paid roughly the same as their regular net salary. The strike allowance is intended to provide financial support to union members who are on strike.

Strike compensation payments can be paid starting from the month employees stop receiving wages, although it's more common for the payments to be made the following month, as that is usually when employers register and process salary deductions.


The trade unions are responsible for registering and following up on which type of compensation individual members are entitled to. However, the process is not completely automated - union members often need to (digitally) fill in some paperwork and send it to the union.

Most employers in Norway give the trade unions access to necessary financial information and account numbers so that employees don't have to provide this information to the unions themselves. Nonetheless, it's a good idea to have your payslip from the previous month available during the strike, either as a printout on paper or digitally stored.

After the trade union has made the necessary arrangements, the strike payments are made via online banking. The strike contributions are transferred to members' accounts quickly after approval - as long as the bank account number the unions have registered is correct.

The effects of a strike on benefits

When a strike takes place, your employer's salary obligations cease. The salary earned in the period before the strike occurs is paid out as soon as possible, and at the latest, on the first payday after the labour dispute has ended.

From the time a strike takes place, employees who are working outside the company are no longer entitled to lodging allowance. They are also not entitled to travel money back to their starting destination.

The employees' right to use company cars, telephones, and similar benefits also ceases in the event of a strike, and workers who are on strike are not entitled to sick pay.


Agreed-upon holidays and holiday pay remain in effect regardless of the labour dispute. If the employer fails to pay out holiday pay, the holiday cannot be considered to have been completed during the absence.

Daily allowances are not granted to those who participate in a strike. The same applies to those laid off due to a strike.

Make sure to check for the detailed strike rules that apply in your case with your union organisation, as each union determines the level of the strike compensation - and other details - individually.

You can find examples of strike guidelines and further useful information from the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) and FriFagbevegelse here.


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