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Tightening of the hiring rules – how can your business adapt to the changes?

Until July 1st, businesses should review their agreements to determine if any changes need to be made.

The most significant change in the hiring rules

Effective from April 1, 2023, several important changes were made to the hiring rules in the Working Environment Act, which will affect existing hiring relationships from July 1, 2023. The most crucial change is that it is no longer allowed to hire temporary workers from staffing agencies. Further details on the changes can be found here. 

All businesses that use either hiring from staffing agencies (companies whose purpose is to provide leasing services) or service procurement (so-called contracts for services) should review their agreements by July 1 to determine if any changes are needed. 

What requires changes under the new hiring rules?

To determine whether changes should be made, the following measures can be taken: 

  • Since the distinction between hiring from staffing agencies and so-called production companies has become more significant, the company should assess whether the leasing agreements have been entered into with genuine production companies or staffing agencies. It is important to note that the hiring is only permitted from registered employment/staffing agencies, and this also applies if there is a misclassification of the nature of the enterprise/company.  
  • If the enterprise uses temporary hiring from temporary employment agencies, it must be considered whether this can be maintained on the basis of the so-called specialist exemption, or whether the work can be solved by means of a service purchase (contract). It is also possible to enter into a written temporary employment agreement with the employee representatives if the company is bound by a collective agreement concluded with a trade union with the right to make decisions. Alternatively, the hired employee must be directly employed in a temporary position.  
  • If the business has ongoing service agreements (contracts for services), an assessment must be made to determine if these agreements can still be classified as service deliveries or if, under current regulations, they would be considered hiring relationships. A particular review should be conducted for all agreements for service procurement where labor is a fundamental requirement for service delivery. If the contractual relationship does not constitute an undertaking, the Working Environment Act is applicable, and there must be a legal basis for temporary hiring
  • If the enterprise is engaged in construction work on construction sites in Oslo, Viken and former Vestfold, it is prohibited to hire labour from temporary employment agencies. Enterprises engaged in construction work at construction sites within this area must terminate any temporary employment, and must instead enter into agreements on direct temporary employment.  

It is expected that the Labour Inspection Authority will focus more on supervising compliance with the hiring rules in the future. In this regard, the Labour Inspection Authority may issue orders and make individual decisions necessary for the implementation of the hiring rules. 

Businesses should also be aware that hired employees can make claims for both permanent employment and compensation from the hiring company in case of violations of the hiring rules. Trade unions are also authorized to file lawsuits alleging illegal hiring. 

We are here to assist you

Advokatfirmaet Hjort has assisted a number of businesses with adaptations to the new hiring rules, and our experienced lawyers are available to assist with any questions regarding hiring or service procurement. 

You can find more information about our expertise in employment law here.