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The Norwegian Government will adopt new regulations on the temporary agency directive in January 2013, the Ministry of Labour reports. Following a meeting in Brussels last week, it has now been announced that the European Agency Worker Directive (AWD) will finally be implemented into national law next year.
The Norwegian Ambassador to the EU, Atle Leikvoll, said in a written declaration that with the introduction of the directive “Norway underlines its commitment to further develop a national policy on safeguarding acceptable and reasonable wage and working conditions for workers employed in temporary work agencies.”
He emphasised that the new regulations are part of the Government’s efforts to prevent social dumping and align “the important principle of equal treatment” between temporary and permanent staff.
But at the same time he argued that permanent employment contracts in the country should still be “the general form of employment relationship”.
The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise has confirmed to Staffing Industry Analysts that the joint liability clause will be introduced separately on 1 July 2013. This will make employment agencies and companies jointly responsible for ensuring equal working conditions are in place when it comes to pay, for instance.
Although Norway is not part of the EU, as a member of the EEA (European Economic Area) it participates in common employment policies. But the AWD has been a point of contention with unions and some politicians fiercely opposing the move.
The AWD ensures the protection of temporary agency workers through the equal treatment principle and lifts restrictions on the use of agency work. However, opponents have argued that this will decrease permanent jobs by increasing the level of temporary hires.