Norway Leave Laws

In this page, we’ll break down all you need to know about leave laws in Norway.

Read on to learn about employees’ rights in regards to paid time off/annual leave, sick leave, parental leave, national/public holidays, and more.

This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.


Employees in Norway are entitled to 25 working days of holiday (aka vacation/annual leave) per year. This amounts to four weeks and one day, as a working day in Norway is considered any day that is not a Sunday or a public holiday.

Both employees and employers are obliged to ensure that the employee takes their holiday entitlement each year. Employees can request three weeks’ continuous leave during Norway’s main holiday period, between June 1st and September 30th.

Holiday pay amounts to 10.2% of the employee’s gross pay from the previous year.

Employees who are over 60 years old are entitled to one extra week of holiday per year, and holiday pay of 12.5% of their pay from the previous year.

PTO Payout & Use It or Lose It

Any vacation days that have not been used by the end of the year must carry over to the next year, and any outstanding PTO will be paid out upon termination of employment.

Learn more about Use It or Lose It policies here.

Sick Leave in Norway

Employees in Norway are entitled to sick leave, and payment of a sick leave benefit while they are unable to work.

Employees are required to notify their employee about their sickness as soon as possible. Their right to a sickness benefit only begins from the time their employer has been notified about their illness or injury.

Employers must cover sick pay for the employee for the first 16 calendar days of their illness or injury. After that time, sick leave is covered by social insurance.

Norway Public Holidays

Norway has 10 statutory public holidays:

January 1New Year’s Day
Thursday before Easter SundayMaundy Thursday
Friday before Easter SundayGood Friday
March/AprilEaster Sunday
Monday after Easter SundayEaster Monday
39 days after Easter SundayAscension Day
50 days after EasterPentecost Sunday
7th Monday after EasterWhit Monday
December 25Christmas Day
December 26Boxing Day

May 1st (Labour Day), May 17th (Norwegian National Day/Constitution Day), Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are all commonly provided as days off, but are not classified as public holidays.

Parental Leave in Norway (Maternity Leave & Paternity Leave)

In Norway, parents are entitled to a total of 12 months’ leave for the birth of their child.

Included in this, the mother can take 12 weeks of maternity leave during pregnancy and six weeks after the birth. Fathers can take two weeks’ paternity leave following the birth.

The rest of the 12 months can be taken by either parent. On top of this, each parent is entitled to an additional one year of leave, which must be taken as soon as the first 12 months ends.

Employees are not obligated to be paid for parental leave (including maternity leave). However, parents can apply for a parental benefit from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) during this time.

Partial Parental Leave

Parents can also apply for partial leave, which allows them to work part-time while also taking leave to care for their new child, and apply for parental leave to cover part of the difference. Employees can take partial parental leave for a maximum of three years.

Carer’s Leave

Parents are entitled to take up to 10 days off a year to care for their sick children under the age of 12. This increases to 15 days if the employee has more than one child under their care, and is doubled (20 days for one child, 30 days for multiple children) for a single parent.

The first 10 days of carer’s leave is covered by the employer.

Bereavement Leave in Norway

Bereavement leave is covered by individual employment agreements in Norway, and not entitled by law. It’s up to the discretion of employers whether to grant bereavement leave, in which situations, and for how long.

What is Bereavement Leave? Click here to learn more.

Other Leave Types

Military Leave

Employees are entitled to unpaid leave for compulsory or voluntary military service.

Official Resources

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