The government will reintroduce collective right to bring an action

The government will reintroduce collective right to bring an action

On Tuesday 2 November 2021, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs sent out a proposal to reintroduce collective right to bring an action for consultation.

In the Hurdal platform, the Støre-government announced several rule changes in the Working Environment Act. Read our summary of the announced changes in the political platform here.

Among the changes announced by the government is the reintroduction of collective right to bring an action in the case of illegal hiring by staffing companies. A scheme with collective right of action gives trade unions the right to bring legal action in their own name in the event of a breach of statutory hiring rules in companies that have hired employees from staffing companies.

Such a right of action for trade unions was originally introduced in 2013 but was later repealed by the Solberg government in 2015. Now the new government has sent out a proposal to reintroduce similar rules for consultation.

Surveys show that few cases of illegal hiring are brought before the courts. In the consultation letter, the ministry points to fear of conflict and loss of work / assignments as a possible cause. Hiring assignments are also often short-lived, and many hired people are foreign and / or unorganized employees. In the Ministry's view, this suggests that there is a need for strengthened measures to respond to illegal hiring, such as collective right to bring an action.

The Ministry points out that hired employees with a scheme with collective right to bring an action will be able to avoid the burden of suing themselves, and that trade unions can generally have a better insight into the hiring company's hiring practice, also over time.

Furthermore, such an arrangement will provide an opportunity to sue in situations where this is of less interest to the person hired, but where there is an illegal practice that is important for the company's own employees and for the overall conditions in the workplace.

Violations of the hiring rules can further have social consequences and affect the competitive conditions for the companies that comply with the regulations.

If the proposal is adopted, it may mean that several claims are made against companies with regard to illegal hiring. This can contribute to more illegally hired people getting permanent employment and / or compensation.

The deadline for submitting consultation responses is 14 December 2021.

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