A country famous for its high wages, Norway doesn’t actually have a minimum wage – and won’t have to adopt one either, the European Commission has decided, trade union and working life news outlet FriFagbevegelse reports.
Earlier this year, the EU ruled that a minimum wage will be mandatory in 21 of its 27 member nations. The European Commission investigated whether Norway would have to adopt the new law as it is a member of the European Economic Area.
However, the European Commission has ruled that the directive on a minimum wage is not relevant to EEA countries.
Norway’s government has welcomed the decision, saying the European Commission’s findings were in line with its own.
“I am very satisfied that the European Commission considers the directive not EEA-relevant. It is in accordance with the ministry’s assessment,” Minister for Employment and Inclusion Marte Mjøs Persen stated in a government announcement.
Norway, much like Sweden and Denmark, doesn’t have a minimum wage per se. Instead, salaries are based on collective bargaining agreements. In Norway, wages are set following negotiations between unions and employer organisations annually or every few years.
These negotiations set specific wages, and working conditions in the sectors the unions and employer organisations represent.
Peggy Hessen Følsvik, head of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO), welcomed the decision.
“There is not the same need for a national minimum wage in Norway (compared to other countries). It is then gratifying that the European Commission has confirmed that Norway is not obliged to include the minimum wage directive in the EEA agreement. This does not make it Norwegian law,” she told FriFagbevegelse.