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    Collective labour law

    Area of expertise

    Collective labour law regulates the legal relationship between employee organisations on the one hand and employer organisations on the other. This relationship has its legal basis in the collective agreements entered into by the parties.

    In addition to stipulating the rights and duties of the signatories to the agreement, collective labour law also defines the legal framework regulating the means employed in labour conflicts (strike, lockout etc.), the consequences of illegal actions, as well as the separate dispute process arrangements that apply to both legal disputes and conflicts of interest.

    Even though collective agreements by their nature do vary greatly, many of them contain provisions relating to working hours, including average calculations of working hours and the demarcation between hours spent working and travelling, payroll systems, and the requirement to inform employee representatives of certain decisions made by the employer. These decisions, such as leave of absence schemes, shall be made after consulting the employee representatives and co-determined with them. These stipulations apply in addition to those contained in the Working Environment Act as well as in the employment contracts of individual employees.

    Collective labour law has in recent years gained an international dimension given the move to greater European integration. Collectively agreed adjustments such as minimum wage schemes, as well as the means employed in labour conflicts, must also be viewed against the background of EU-Law’s service regulations and the so-called four freedoms (the free flow of goods, services, capital and labour). Norway is bound by these regulations as a consequence of the implementation of EU-Law provisions in the extended EEA agreement.

    Dalan is one of few law firms with expertise in collective labour law. We advise employers, employees and organisations, including trade unions, on issues pertaining to this branch of the law. We also assist public sector participants on issues relating to adjustments to be made in accordance with the central contractual framework.

    Our assistance comprises the following:

    • legal advice with respect to collective rights and duties,
    • collective negotiations, in connection with entering into and re-negotiating collective agreements, as well with extending collective co-determination and consultation matters,
    • dispute management and the pleading of procedural cases relating to collective regulations and labour conflicts before both the ordinary courts and industrial tribunals.

    Svein Steinfeld Jervell

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    Tonje Liavaag

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