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In this article you’ll find answers to the most frequently asked questions about salary

Advice and Tips


Written by Tekna’s legal department Modified: Dec. 19 2022

Tekna helps answer your questions and offers salary advice either through your representative or our legal department. Salary is more than an annual wage adjustment, and you’ll find answers here to the most frequently asked salary questions.

What’s included

Salary is the payment an employee receives from an employer for work they’ve performed. It is often called a fixed annual salary and is comprised of a monthly gross salary x 12.

An employee is also entitled to overtime pay when he/she is assigned overtime work, unless employees have a «managerial role» or «uniquely independent position” that does not include overtime pay. There are often other negotiated benefits in addition to an employee’s annual salary, for example pension and insurance schemes.

Bonus schemes often apply to all employees, but they can also be reserved for only a certain number of positions in an organization.

Performance pay is most often given to individual employees as a reward for their achieved results. For more information on performance pay, please look at our article on bonus schemes and stock options.

Salary and holiday

Whenever you take a holiday, you are not entitled to be paid any salary during this time period. The Holiday Act stipulates that holiday pay is to compensate for your loss of salary during the time period you take out your holiday. Holiday pay is calculated by the previous year’s income (what you earned last year). So you are not entitled to receive any holiday pay if you do indeed take a holiday during your first year of employment. You do have the right to take time off (holiday), but if you do so, it will be without pay. According to the law, holiday pay is calculated at 10.2% of the previous year’s earned income. However, most employees receive holiday pay calculated at 12% because they have a contractual right to five weeks of holiday.

Become a member

As a Tekna member, you receive many professional and financial benefits. We may help you with your salary, career and professional development and legal challenges. You get access to one of the country's best banking and insurance deals which can save you a lot of money. Becoming a Tekna member is a good idea!

Salary and parental leave

During their leave period, employees are entitled to receive a salary amount up to six times that of the National Insurance Act’s basic benefit. Several organizations provide full pay in accordance with internal schemes or collectivebargaining agreements. State and municipal employees receive full pay in accordance with collective bargaining agreements.

As a general rule, employees are not entitled to a specific salary adjustment while on leave. However, they are entitled to be evaluated in the same manner as other employees in the organization. They are also entitled to receive general supplements if these have been negotiated in advance. If an organization provides a bonus scheme, the employee is entitled to receive bonus pay equivalent to the time period they were present in the workplace.

If a salary remains unpaid

If an employer cannot make payroll, it will be appropriate to send a bankruptcy notice. If this happens, we recommend that Tekna members contact Tekna’s legal department, which will provide guidance. If an employer refuses to pay wages, a wage claim must be submitted to the courts; should this occur, Tekna’s legal department can also provide assistance.

We advise you to contact Tekna as soon as possible if you are not paid your salary on the date it is due (and this is not because of a mistake or misunderstanding).

Salary deductions may as a rule not be taken unless the employee accepts it on an individual basis. Exceptions may be made in cases where the law allows these deductions, for example as part of a collective bargaining agreement.

Salary adjustment

All employees should have an annual salary review.

Local negotiations

In cases where there is a company/government agency group, representatives usually conduct negotiations on behalf of their members. This means that representatives negotiate salaries for members of Tekna’s local groups at a collective level. After these negotiations have been completed, it is up to the employer to divide this amount among individual employees based on predetermined criteria.

Centrally-based negotiations

In the state sector and Oslo municipality, there are additional, centrally-based negotiations between the parties, where Tekna is represented by Akademikerne. In the various collective bargaining agreements, there are settlements that allow discussion about salary levels outside of the annual negotiations. For example, in the state and municipal sectors there is the opportunity to conduct salary negotiations if 1) significant changes have taken place in the conditions forming a basis for determining employees’ salaries and 2) there are difficulties in recruiting or keeping specially qualified workers. Please contact Tekna for more information regarding the situation at your own place of work.

Individual adjustments: ask for a salary discussion

Wherever there are no collective bargaining agreements, salary adjustments are determined on an individual basis. In this case Tekna recommends that members take part in salary discussions, which they are entitled to in accordance with collective bargaining agreements. Members should find out if they are covered by a collective bargaining agreement that includes this right. If this is the case, the member is allowed to demand a salary discussion where the representative negotiates on behalf of the members. If an employee has no representative, they can ask their employer for an individual salary discussion.

Salary reduction

In certain cases, an employee might wish to reduce an employee’s salary. If the employee has the same position, a salary reduction requires that an agreement be reached between the employer and employee. Salary is in this case a part of the employment contract and cannot be reduced without agreement.

In the event an employee changes position, the situation will differ if the employee’s work tasks and areas of responsibility are changed significantly. If the parties agree to the position change, salary and other terms will normally change as a result of this alteration.

Salary during a lay-off

An employer must pay an employee for 10 days after a lay-off has gone into effect.

Salary during a notice period

An employer is required to pay an employee his/her salary during a notice period. The legal minimum requirement for a notice period is 1 month, but most employees receive 3 months in accordance with their work contract. Elderly employees may have a longer notice period. Read more about this topic in the article on termination.

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