‘Overtime’ means work in excess of the Working Environment Act's limit for ordinary working hours, normally nine hours per day.
If work is carried out in excess of the agreed working hours, but within the statutory limits for ordinary working hours, this is known as 'added work'. Overtime as defined in the law will not commence until work in excess of this commences.
Overtime must be remunerated with a krone supplement of at least 40 percent in addition to the employee's ordinary salary. Higher rates may be agreed in collective agreements. By written agreement, overtime hours worked may be taken as time off in lieu in full or in part instead of being paid. However, the overtime supplement may not be taken as time off in lieu and must therefore be paid.
Ola Hansen normally works eight hours on Monday-Friday. He has fixed working hours between 08.00 and 16.00. A major delivery must be completed tomorrow and Ola is therefore asked to work until the order has been completed. Ola works that evening until 20.00, i.e. an extra four hours. He receives a supplement for his extra work in accordance with the Working Environment Act. Payment for these four hours will then be made as follows:
Hourly pay for added work for 1 hour (when he has worked 9 hours).
Hourly pay and 40 percent overtime supplement for 3 hours (when he works in excess of 9 hours).
When can overtime be worked
Overtime can only be imposed when there is a specific and temporary need for it. Scheduled overtime and fixed agreements concerning overtime are not permitted. Before overtime is commenced, the employer must, wherever possible, discuss the need for the work with the employers' elected representatives.
Limits on overtime
Overtime must not exceed:
10 hours over a period of 7 days,
25 hours over a period of 4 consecutive weeks, and
200 hours over a period of 52 weeks.
In the case of enterprises bound by a collective agreement, the employer and elected representatives can agree expanded overtime. Upon application, the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority may approve additional expanded overtime in special cases. The need for overtime must be discussed with the elected representatives wherever possible. The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority can provide more information on this.
Exemptions from overtime
Employers have the right to be exempted from working in excess of the agreed working hours at their request for health or compelling social reasons. Employers must also exempt employees from overtime at their request provided the work can be deferred or carried out by others without harming the business. Adolescents under 18 must not work overtime.
Overview of working hours
Employers must have an overview showing how much each individual employee has worked. The overview must show the number of hours worked within ordinary working hours, the number of hours of overtime and the total number of working hours. The overview must be presented to the Norwegian Working Environment Authority upon request. Many salary systems have a function for extracting such an overview.
Exceptions for senior executives and independent positions
The provisions of the Working Environment Act concerning working hours and overtime do not apply to employees in senior positions and employees in independent positions. However, the rules stating that employees must not be subjected to excessive physical and mental strain and that safety must be ensured apply to all employees.