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Working in Norway. What do I need to know?

Norway is a country with a vibrant economy, high quality of life and one of the best social safety nets in the world. In addition, education is of high quality and virtually free. If you want to work in Norway, it is still useful to think about a number of things. Here are the most important things you need to know.

How to obtain a work permit in Norway

In Norway they like to employ people from abroad, particularly young talent in the technical sector. It is therefore not necessary for EU citizens to arrange a work permit. Work permits are more difficult to obtain if you are from outside the EU, and often you can only get a work permit if you have an approved residence permit. Work and residence permits depend on a person’s situation. For example, different rules apply to students and highly educated students. On the UDI site you can easily get an overview of what applies to your situation: https://www.udi.no/en/want-to-apply/

Changes for British citizens post Brexit

If you are a British citizen who lived or worked in Norway prior to 31 December 2020, or you are a family member of such a citizen, you are still entitled to stay in Norway. However you must apply for a residence permit according to the Brexit regulations and it is free to apply.

If you are a posted worker from a British company, working in Norway after 31 December 2020, you will be treated as a third country national and you must apply for a residence permit as a skilled worker and you must pay a fee.

You can find out more information about all this here https://www.udi.no/en/want-to-apply/residence-according-to-the-brexit-regulations/brexit-apply-from-norway/

Taxes in Norway

When you work in Norway, you have to pay taxes to Norway. For this, you need a so-called ‘tax card’. You can apply for this at a tax office. All you will need is a valid proof of identity and a work contract. You do not actually get the card yourself; the employer obtains this electronically in order to deduct the appropriate tax from your salary.

A general tax of 22% applies to everyone. On top of that comes an extra percentage, depending on income.

Tax table per 2021

1.7% on amounts exceeding NOK 184 800
4% on amounts exceeding NOK 260 100
13.2% on amounts exceeding NOK 651 250
16.2% on amounts exceeding NOK 1 021 550

There are a number of favourable arrangements for expats and labour migrants. For example, during the first two years of living in Norway, expats may include a standard deductible of 10% of their gross pay with the tax return, up to a maximum NOK 40 000.

You will receive a fully completed tax assessment at the beginning of the second quarter. You must check this properly. It is certainly advisable to hire an advisor.

Health insurance in Norway

Norway has one of the best social safety nets in the world. This includes health insurance and every inhabitant of Norway has access to healthcare. Healthcare is not free, but costs can only go up to a maximum amount per year. Then you get an exemption until the end of the year. This ensures that everyone contributes a bit, but that the sick do not have to worry about very high bills. Children under 16 and pregnant women receive an exemption from medical expenses as standard.

Living in Norway

Relatively speaking, Norway is an expensive country. The Norwegian institute SIFNO has made a budget for an average family (family of four). Altogether, an amount of 282,500 kr (£24,889) per year came out. This is considerably higher than in most European countries. On the other hand Norwegians earn higher salaries than many other European countries.

Culture and language in Norway

Norwegian is spoken in Norway, also called Norsk. This is the spoken language spoken by 4.5 million inhabitants, out of a total of 5.2 million inhabitants. However, dialect plays a much larger role in Norway than in most countries. There is actually no standard Norsk. Locally, several dialects are spoken that can all be understood. In addition to the Norsk as a spoken language, Norway has two written languages, the Bokmål and the ‘Nynorsk’.

Work culture in Norway is a lot more informal than in most countries. It will occasionally be difficult to distinguish the boss from the employees. In addition, there is a work- life balance mentality and often people will only work on Friday mornings, leaving the rest of the day to be spent how people wish.

Freelancer in Norway

It is certainly possible to work as a freelancer in Norway. Norway is a popular country among expats, partly because of the high wages, high quality of life and the social safety net. However, it is not as common to freelance in Norway as it is in the UK or US. Unlike in the UK where many people like to work for themselves, with the prospect of earning more money, or freedom, being an employee in Norway has many benefits. You’re unlikely to be fired, wages for simple jobs are relatively high, and working conditions are some of the most generous and flexible in the world. Norwegian companies are much more used to hiring employees, even if it is on a short term basis. Paying an individual as a supplier rather than an employee is an alien concept to many.

Security via TCP Solutions

With all of the above differences in mind, understanding rules about working in Norway can be quite a challenge. TCP Solutions has solutions for this. Are you a freelancer, agency operating on the Norwegian market, or an employee or employer? Through, for example, payrolling, contract management and our legal service, we guarantee that you comply with all specific national and provincial laws and regulations. That is very important, because many people who work abroad are not aware of the fact that their labour issues are not well organized. It can be very difficult because there are many different rules that you have to meet and if you do not comply, you and your employer will receive a hefty fine.

TCP Solutions are part of the People 2.0 group, the leading provider of contingent workforce engagement solutions globally. We are fully accredited in 40+ countries worldwide and will guarantee that you comply with all rules and regulations.

Whether you are self-employed or just want to get started at a company, TCP Solutions can help you, either in Norway, or any of the countries we operate. Do you want to know more? Please call a member of our sales team on +44 (0)208 5800 800, or send a message via our contact page.