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QUESTION: Hei Roy,

I am working for an oil and gas company. Many companies giving temporary lay-offs to employees now. I was asked to take all my available holidays in October/November. Now I am holidays and til end of November. But today I received a lay-off letter through my email dated 10-11-2015. It says the lay-off notice of 14 days starts from today. But last month, one of colleague from my same discipline in another contract received this warning only after her holidays. I hope the rule for lay-off has not changed in a month. I seek some legal help as per Norwegian law.

1.   Is it allowed by law to issue a lay-off letter when I am using my holidays?
2.   Can the company use my holidays for their 14days notice period on the lay-off?
3.   If yes, Do I have right to postpone my holidays to December as I am not willing/interested to use my holidays as notice period.
4.   If my manager does not approve to change my holidays; Do I have any legal rights to defend that?

Regards,
Krishna

ANSWER: 14 days notice seems very short to me. Are you still in your first 6 months of employment? If you have worked there more than that the law states that you must be given a 1 month notice.

http://www.arbeidstilsynet.no/working-conditions-in-norway.html?tid=240097


Your vacation days does not influence the layoff process. The company can demand that you take out any remaining vacation time before the termination of your employment to avoid having to pay for more working days than they have to.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks Roy.

Thanks for the reply and the link. My question is for temporary lay-off and I understand that for temporary lay-off it is only 14 days.

I checked the link in your reply, which also says:
I varslingsperioden skal man arbeide og følgelig motta lønn som vanlig. Varslingsperioden vil følges av en lønnspliktperiode. Etter denne perioden vil arbeidstaker vanligvis ha krav på stønad fra NAV.


All staffs informed to take their unused holidays as the client delayed the new contract announcement. For me it does not make any difference if I get the "lay-off/permittering" letter by a month before. If that was the case, I would have stayed in the company during this 14 days varsel period and I have still used all my holidays during December for my travel as planned.

I am planning to postpone my remaining holidays to end of December (so that I can use it during Christmas) and start my work from coming Monday so that I can be at work during my 14 days notice period. I hope there is no rules that the employee has to use their available holidays for this notice period. In a it is good for company that they don't have to pay me for 14 days if I accept this notification now. Hence, I will be very thankful if you could clarify the following:

1. Can I deny my permitteringsvarsel or just have to accept it?
2. Can the employer deny to approve changes to my holiday plan and force me to take only during this varsel period?

Regards
Chisam

Answer
Permittering is not quite the same as a layoff. If you had been laid off outright you'd lose all accumulated rights, seniority etc. A temporary layoff (permittering) is an unpaid forced "vacation" in the expectation that better times will soon come and you'll be back at work.

Anyway, since there is not enough work for you to do you cannot choose on how to spend your vacation time. Whatever the company says is how it is going to be here I am afraid. However, they can only force you to take vacation time that you have actually earned "vacation money"/feriepenger to actually have. If you did not accrue any feriepenger in 2014, they cannot force you on vacation in 2015. If you did work full time in 2014, then they can force you on vacation in 2015 when circumstances demand it.  

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Roy Helge Rasmussen

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I live in the southern part of norway and can find my way around most of the country. I will answer questions about social life, culture, language and politics to the best of my knowledge. I am not so good at travel tips outside the south-eastern parts, although I will try to answer.

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