Equal treatment and protection against discrimination

As part of the European Economic Area, Norway has implemented the EU´s directives on equal treatment and anti.-discrimination.

The Working Environment Act Chapter 13 establishes rules relating to protection against discrimination in employment on the basis of political views, membership of a trade union, age and discrimination of an employee who works part-time or on a temporary basis. The protection against discrimination in the workplace is regulated not only by the Working Environment Act, but also by four other laws: the Sexual Orientation Anti-Discrimination Act (sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression); the Gender Equality Act (gender, pregnancy and leave in connection with childbirth or adoption); the Anti-Discrimination Act (ethnicity, religion and belief;) and the Anti Discrimination and Accessibility Act (disability).

Equal treatment provisions should ensure that workers within the protected groups should be given the same rights in the labor market as other workers. All discrimination laws contain general prohibitions against discrimination, but also supplementary rules for employment. The legislation also includes rules regarding enforcement, rules regarding shared burden of proof and the right to compensation for damages for economic and non-economic loss. The anti-discrimination legislation is largely a result of the implementation of Norway’s international obligations, but in some areas the legislation also goes further in establishing protection against discrimination.

To ensure that those who claim to be victims of discrimination have access to an affordable and effective enforcement mechanism, the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud and the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Tribunal have been established to, among other things, deal with complaints from people who experience discrimination.

For employers, it is important to be clear on what decisions you take and what you actually have emphasized both during recruitment processes, during the period of employment and during termination processes. Such clarity is essential to show that you have not actually breached discrimination rules. We are your partner when questions concerning possible discrimination arise.