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Working in Norway For Members

The probation period rules new employees in Norway need to know

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
The probation period rules new employees in Norway need to know
Probation is a common work practice in Norway .Pictured is a person at work. Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash

A new year may also mean that you’ve started a new job recently. We’ve covered the probation rules employees in Norway need to know about, and when they do or do not apply.

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Many use the turn of the year, or at least the early months, to start a new role. A practice that is extremely common in Norway is the probation period.

Firms use probation to establish whether workers can adapt to the role’s demands and behave professionally.

During the probation period, the grounds for dismissing an employee are much lower, and if the worker isn’t so fond of their new surroundings, their notice period is also shorter if they are unhappy and wish to resign.

READ ALSO: The verdict on working for a Norwegian firm

How does probation work in Norway?

You should first be made aware of your terms of probation when you are offered a work contract. All probation periods need to be in writing when the contract is signed. Should the employer wish to add a probation clause after signing the contract, they will need your consent.

However, this rule primarily applies to the private sector. Public sector employees are subject to a mandatory six-month probation period in any employment relationship unless the law on public sector workers applies otherwise.

The probation period also means that the worker must receive the necessary training to perform the role and proper feedback and follow-up on their work. If this isn’t provided, the grounds for dismissal during the probation period would be considered unfair.

How long is probation?

Typically, it should be between three and six months. Six months is the legal limit. Probation can be extended if you are off work sick during probation but can only be extended by the length of time you were away from your job.

If you start a new role within the same company, you may be asked to undergo another probation period.

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Notice during the probation period

Typically, the notice period during probation is 14 days unless otherwise stated in the contract. The notice period for those in the public sector is much longer, at one month.

If you are unlucky enough to be dismissed during the probation period, it will need to be made in writing before the end of the probation period. Should you wish to quit, you aren’t obliged to put your resignation in writing, but it is strongly recommended.

What can get you dismissed during the notice period?

As explained previously, the reason for dismissal during probation must be based on the worker’s adaption to the work, professional competence, and reliability.

Coming to work late, taking long and frequent breaks and poor treatment of clients, customers or colleagues all fall under this category.
Employees can also be dismissed for reasons unrelated to probation, but these have a higher threshold, and the “normal rules” for dismissal should apply.

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Being fired during your probation period shouldn’t be a shock to the employee, though. Typically, for there to be a valid reason for an employee to be fired, they will already need to have been assessed and instructed on how to do the job repeatedly and be informed that their work isn’t to an acceptable standard.

The employee will also need to be allowed to improve their performance and shown how to perform their tasks.

Suppose an employee is to be dismissed for not performing at the level required. In that case, the validity of the firing should be measured against the job advertisement, the type of role, the employee's education and experience and the job advert.

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