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What should you do if your wage is not paid?

Did you not receive your wage or holiday pay at the agreed time? This may be due to a misunderstanding or to technical problems, but it may also be because your employer either will not or cannot pay you. This is what you should do to receive the pay you are entitled to.

What should you do if your bank account is overdrawn, your pay day has passed and you have not been paid as agreed? (Photo: GettyImages)
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First of all: contact your employer

The first step you should take is to contact your employer and ask for an explanation of why you were not paid. There may be time limits that determine whether or not your claim is covered, so you should not waste any time.

Send a written claim

If your wage is not paid, NITO's advice is that you write a letter to your employer as soon as you fail to receive the pay you are entitled to.

  • In the letter, tell your employer what you believe you are entitled to and ask for payment to be made by a specific deadline, such as within one week.
  • Write that if the money is not paid by the deadline, you will take the matter further.
  • We recommend that you send the letter by registered mail.

NITO can assist you, and we recommend that you contact us if you do not receive your pay.

When your employer cannot pay

If the reason your employer does not pay you is because the enterprise no longer has any money, your wage claim could be covered by the wage guarantee scheme. This is contingent on the enterprise filing a petition for bankruptcy.

You can file a petition yourself to have the enterprise declared bankrupt in order to have your pay claim covered. NITO can assist you in this process.

Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority: instituting bankruptcy proceedings

Once bankruptcy proceedings are instituted, an estate administrator will be appointed. The estate administrator's duties include notifying the employees of their rights in connection with the bankruptcy.

What can be covered under the wage guarantee scheme?

The wage guarantee scheme will ensure that you receive your wages, holiday pay and other employee pay which your employer cannot pay due to bankruptcy.

The wage guarantee scheme can cover:

  • Wages for up to six months.
  • The due date for the pay claim must not date back more than 12 months before the date of filing, i.e., the date on which the petition for bankruptcy was received by the district court. This time limit is absolute.
  • Holiday pay earned in the same year as the date of filing and the preceding year.
  • Pension benefits are covered for a period of six months.
  • Compensation for lost employee pay, such as any outstanding commission, bonus payments and compensatory time off, for up to six months.
  • It is important to note that the wage guarantee scheme does not cover more than twice the national insurance basic amount (G).

You can find more details about what is covered and how you can apply at www.nav.no.

For information on unemployment benefit, visit www.nav.no.

When your employer will not pay

If your employer disagrees with your pay claim, you must proceed differently.

How to proceed when your employer will not pay
  • The first step is to write a letter to your employer stating what you believe you are entitled to and ask for it to be paid by a specific deadline, such as within one week. Write that if the money is not paid by the deadline, you will take the matter further. We recommend that you send the letter by registered mail.
  • If you do not receive your money by that deadline, you can pursue the matter by contacting the Conciliation Board (in Norwegian only).
  • NITO can assist you in this process.

 

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