Below you will find the most important areas where the benefits available to the self-employed persons and owners of unlimited companies differ from what an employee may receive.
The illness benefit scheme is poorer for self-employed persons than for employees. The entitlement to illness benefits starts on the 17th day of absence. The benefit equals 65% of the ordinary income.
See also the section on occupational injuries below.
According to the regulation on social security the self-employed person is not entitled to social benefits as a result of occupational injuries or occupational illness. It is however possible to sign for a voluntary insurance. Information about the scheme is available at the local office of the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Organization (NAV).
Occupational injuries insurance
A self-employed person is not entitled to occupational injuries insurance from the principal of an assignment. He/she may however sign for his/her own insurance. If an injury is caused by a negligent action from a colleague or other persons, the injured may sue the person causing the injury. Self-employed persons are required to make sure his/her employees are covered by the national insurance scheme.
Working Environment Act
Self-employed persons are not entitled to particular protection measures pursuant to the Working Environment Act. A self-employed person who employs other people is by definition an employer and must provide a healthy working environment in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Working Environment Act. The Act is partly effective for sole proprietorships within the building industry.
Holiday leave and holiday pay
The self-employed person is not entitled to holiday leave nor holiday pay. As an employer he/she must make sure the employees both are granted holidays according to the Annual Holidays Act (Ferieloven) and receive the corresponding holiday pay.
In case of bankruptcy, the employees of the business are entitled to compensation from the National Wage Guarantee fund if the business is unable to meet the employees' wage claims. Such a guarantee is not available to self-employed persons.
Self-employed persons are not entitled to monetary compensation during a lay-off. However, his/her employees are covered by the Wage Compensation Act and thus entitled to such compensation.
As a general rule, the self-employed persons cannot claim unemployment benefits. There is however, an exemption for self-employed persons older than 64 years. A self-employed person who also is a wage earner, is entitled to unemployment benefits calculated on the basis of the income as an employee.
Last changed: 17/01/2012 Print