Norway's PSA Takes On New Tasks

With effect from December 1, 2004, the regulations relating to publication of collective wage agreements will have effect for seven petroleum facilities on land which are under the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway's jurisdiction. Starting from October 1, 2004, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) and the Directorate of Labor Inspection have also been granted the authority to carry out supervision under the Immigration Act. The following summarizes the consequences of this for the PSA.

The wage board's regulations relating to publication of collective wage agreements is the first decision made after the Publication Act entered into force in 1994.

The purpose of the Publication Act is to prevent foreign workers from being offered wages and working conditions that are demonstrably poorer than those that follow from Norwegian collective wage agreements.

Our task is to ensure that foreign workers receive the same employment and working environment conditions as other workers in Norway, and ensure that laws and regulations governing foreign labor are effectively observed.

Another purpose is to prevent distortion of competition to the disadvantage of Norwegian businesses and employees.

The supervisory task under the Publication Act presumes publication decisions. The task consists of following up to ensure that the published wages and working conditions are complied with in the activities.


When the EU was expanded towards Eastern Europe, many people feared social dumping.

Social dumping means, for example, that foreign workers who work in Norway receive significantly poorer wages and working conditions than Norwegian workers.

To counteract this, transitional rules were adopted for workers from all of the new member countries, with the exception of Malta and Cyprus.

The transitional rules require that job applicants from the new member countries must secure residence permits before commencing work in Norway, and permits are only granted if they have received an offer of work where the wages and working conditions are not worse than the prevailing collective wage agreement, regulative or what is otherwise common for the specific location and profession.

The greatest challenges in relation to the danger of social dumping are probably in relation to service-providers and expatriates on short assignments in Norway.

These groups are not, however, covered under the transitional rules adopted for the new EU member countries (except for Malta and Cyprus), which entail a requirement for residence permits before work in Norway can commence.

Such permits are only granted if they have received an offer of work where the wages and working conditions are no worse than the applicable collective wage agreement, regulative, or what is otherwise common for the specific location or profession.

These regulations are part of the immigration regulations, which are administered by the Police and the Directorate of Immigration.

The Directorate of Labor Inspection and the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway shall carry out supervision to ensure that the conditions for granting work or residence permits are complied with, cf. new Section 11 a of the Immigration Act.

This means that anyone subject to supervision under this provision shall present the information that is regarded as being necessary for the supervision.

If a breach of these regulations is suspected, the immigration authorities/the police must be notified.

With the publication decision (regulations relating to publication), however, service-providers and expatriates at the seven land facilities will also have to follow Norwegian wage conditions.

Note also that the rules of public law - the safety regulations, working hours rules, etc. - apply to everyone who carries out work in Norway.

These rules naturally apply to those workers who have accepted employment in Norway.

The rules also apply to expatriates, regardless of the time period involved, and independently of which country's rules otherwise govern the employment relationship.

The PSA follows up to ensure that these rules are observed in the usual manner, also as regards foreign employees.

Consequences for the PSA

The wage board made decisions for the seven land facilities (not Slagentangen) that the wages and working conditions in three agreements should apply to all employees.

The decision applies to both foreign and Norwegian workers, both skilled and unskilled, who are to work at the seven petroleum facilities.

The decision does not apply to apprentices or persons working on labor market programs.

The amendment to the Publication Act means that the PSA will have a supervisory responsibility for publication decisions.

The decision gives us the authority to demand information, but our reactions are limited to reporting violations to the police.

This means that the PSA shall carry out supervision to ensure that wages and working conditions that follow from the decision are observed.

Anyone (from private individuals to employers) that is subject to supervision under this provision shall, when requested by the PSA and without being impaired by any duty of confidentiality, be able to present information regarded necessary for exercising this supervision.

There will also be a need for coordination between the Directorate of Labor Inspection and the PSA, and good contact between these parties has already been established. Procedures for coordinated action will be referred to in a future cooperation agreement.

Strategy for follow-up - policy instruments

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has stated that, insofar as possible, these tasks should be carried out in accordance with the agency's confirmed strategies, fields of competence and priorities.

In other words, the supervisory authorities shall continue to give priority to the sectors and activities where the risk of serious incidents, accidents and rejection is greatest.

The PSA's follow-up shall be built around a risk-based approach. The changes shall be followed up through ordinary supervision in a comprehensive and systematic manner, in other words, new methods need not be established for supervision of the new area.

We also expect that the "operator" will "ensure that" the rules are followed down through the contract pyramid, by ensuring that this is stipulated in the contract.

Relevant documentation for carrying out supervision in the area includes

  • Governing documentation, as for ordinary supervision
  • Employment contract
  • Wage statements
  • Timesheets

  • In the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway, these tasks will be followed up through the project entitled "The PSA on land".