New rules relating to absence due to illness from 1 July 2011

The new rules relating to follow-up of employees on sick leave entail changes for employees, employers and physicians. The requirements relating to earlier and closer follow-up will be stricter, as will the sanctions for those who do not follow up their responsibility in the work against absence due to illness.

The new rules relating to follow-up of employees on sick leave entail changes for employees, employers and physicians. The requirements relating to earlier and closer follow-up will be stricter, as will the sanctions for those who do not follow up their responsibility in the work against absence due to illness.


The most important changes

  • A follow-up plan must be ready no later than within four weeks 
  • A dialogue meeting must be held within seven weeks
  • Sanctions for failure to follow up


Download the information folder describing the changes:


Overview of legal amendments (pdf)

 


Checklist for dialogue meeting (in Norwegian)_(pdf)

 

Q & A about the changes in rules for follow-up of absence due to illness:

 
 

The employer must:

  • facilitate the work situation in dialogue with the employee when the employee becomes ill 
  • prepare a follow-up plan in cooperation with the employee as early as possible and no later than within four weeks after the first day of the sick leave. The follow-up plan must be sent to the physician/sick-leave certifier
  • hold a dialogue meeting with the employee as early as possible and no later than within seven weeks of the first day of the sick leave 
  • report to NAV that a plan has been prepared and a meeting held no later than within nine weeks of the first day of the sick leave. If this is not done, NAV may issue a notice of sanctions. If the employer, in spite of notice of sanctions, does not fulfil its duties within three weeks, the employer can be ordered to pay a fine of NOK 5000 for each offence 
  • participate in dialogue meetings under the auspices of NAV in accordance with summons (within 26 weeks of the employee starting sick leave, or earlier if NAV, the employer, sick-leave certifier or employee so requests) 
  • submit the follow-up plan to NAV no later than a week before the dialogue meeting under the auspices of the agency.

  

The employee must:

  • cooperate with the employer to find solutions that prevent unnecessary long-term absence due to illness. Failure to participate by the employee may result in discontinuance of the disbursement of sickness benefits. 
  • participate in the preparation and implementation of the follow-up plan as early as possible and no later than within four weeks of the first day of the sick leave 
  • participate in a dialogue meeting under the auspices of the employer as early as possible and no later than within seven weeks of the first day of the sick leave 
  • provide information to the employer and the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration about own work capacity and contribute to review and initiation of suitable facilitation measures
  • try out work-related activities 
  • participate in dialogue meetings under the auspices of NAV in accordance with summons.

 

The sick-leave certifier must:

  • evaluate the employee's opportunities for full or partial work in connection with illness. It is therefore also important that the sick-leave certifier provides the most thorough information as possible when this evaluation is made 
  • receive the follow-up plan from the employer four weeks after employee was granted sick leave. The follow-up plan must be prepared by the employer in cooperation with the employee on sick leave and contain a plan for how the employee should return to work, possible facilitation at the workplace, etc.
  • participate in dialogue meetings under the auspices of the employer in accordance with summons no later than within seven weeks of the first day of the sick leave
  • evaluate the opportunity for work-related activity after eight weeks of sick leave. The information received by the sick-leave certifier through the follow-up plan and participation in the dialogue meeting may be useful in connection with this assessment
  • participate in dialogue meetings under the auspices of NAV in accordance with summons
  • in the event of failure to participate in seven dialogue meetings, the sick-leave certifier may be fined about NOK 10 000.

Read more about the new rules in the proposition relating to amendments to the Working Environment Act and National Insurance Act

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