The Tariff Board's decision on general application on wage agreements - case 1/2003

Publisert under: Regjeringen Bondevik II

Utgiver: Arbeids- og sosialdepartementet

THE TARIFF BOARD

Regulation on general application of wage agreements - Case No 1/2003

1. Introduction

The Norwegian Act 4 June 1993 No 58 relating to General Application of Wage Agreements etc. (the General Application Act) came into force at the same date as the EEA Agreement in 1994. The objective of the Act is according to § 1-1:

“...to ensure foreign employees of terms of wages and employment equal to those of Norwegian employees, in order to prevent that employees perform work on terms which, based on a total assessment, are demonstrably inferior to the terms stipulated in existing nationwide collective agreements for the trade or industry in question or otherwise normal for the place or occupation concerned.”

The objective clause was made during the parliamentary treatment of the bill, in order, among other things, to prevent decisions on general applicability of collective agreements from being used as a means to provide a general expansion of Norwegian collective agreements.

According to the preparatory works of the Act the aim also is to prevent distortion of competition in disfavour of Norwegian enterprises and employees.

Claims for general application must refer to a nationwide collective agreement and must be put forward by a workers’ or an employers’ organisation party to the agreement, the workers’ organisation having at least 10 000 members and the employers’ organisation representing at least 100 employers employing at least 10 000 workers. According to § 3 para. 1 of the Act claims for general application of wage agreements may also be put forward by organisations of smaller size, but they can not require the Board to consider merits of the claim. If a regulation of general application is in public interest, the Tariff Board may make such decisions on its own initiative.

In the preparatory works of the Act from 1993 it is laid down that it is consistent with the EEA Agreement to determine that Norwegian terms of wages and employment should apply to all persons performing work in Norway, provided that such regulations neither formally nor in reality are discriminatory. The General Application Act complies with this condition, as a decision by the Tariff Board will apply to all persons performing work within the scope of the decision, both Norwegian organised and non-organised workers and foreign workers. Later on the Directive 96/71 EC concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services has been adopted. The Directive shall contribute to the promotion of transnational provision of services, but it is, however, emphasized that this “requires a climate of fair competition and measures guaranteeing respect for the rights of workers”. The Directive is implemented into Norwegian law by Chapter XII B of the Act 4 February 1977 No 4 relating to Worker Protection and Working Environment. The provisions concerning posted workers shall contribute to secure equal conditions for all employees, and consequently any national regulations on wages should be applied as well.

The parties to a collective agreement which is made generally applicable have an extended right to launch a boycott in case a decision on such an extension of the agreement is not complied with by the enterprises. The employer or a person managing the enterprise on the employer’s behalf is liable to penalty by a fine in case he does not comply with a decision by the Tariff Board. Additionally employees affected or their unions may institute private prosecution.

With effect from 1 >October 2004 the Labour Inspection and the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway are given the power to control that decisions on general application are complied with. Irrespective of any clauses of professional secrecy the supervision authorities shall have access to all necessary information. According to the General Application Act § 8 incompliance with a regulation on general application of wage agreements can be reported to the police.

2. The claim for general application from the Norwegian Federation of Trade Unions (LO)

Case No 1/2003 of the Tariff Board is based on a claim from the Norwegian Federation of Trade Unions (LO) of 19 December 2003 and concerns general application of certain parts of three nationwide collective agreements:

  • The Engineering Industry Agreement 2002 – 2004 (VO), entered into by LO and the Norwegian United Federation of Trade Unions (FF) on the one side and the Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry (NHO) and the Federation of Norwegian Manufacturing Industries (TBL) on the other side,
  • the Construction Agreement 2002 – 2004 (FOB) between LO and FF on the one side and NHO and the Federation of Norwegian Construction Industries (BNL) and the Federation of the Norwegian Technical Contractors (TELFO) on the other side, and
  • the Electrical Installation Agreement 2002 – 2004 (LOK) between LO and the Electricians & IT Workers Union (EL & IT) on the one side and NHO and TELFO on the other side.

LO raised a new claim for general application for VO and FOB lasting from 2004 to 2006 on 11 May 2004 and for LOK 2004-2006 on 16 July 2004. These renewed agreements are the basis of the decision by the Tariff Board.

The claim applies to seven geographically limited petroleum installations onshore in Norway:

  • Melkøya (Snøhvit) in Hammerfest municipality, Finnmark
  • Tjeldbergodden in Aure municipality, Møre og Romsdal
  • Mongstad in Lindås municipality, Hordaland
  • Kollsnes in Øygarden municipality, Hordaland
  • Kårstø in Tysvær municipallity, Rogaland
  • Nyhamna (Ormen Lange) in Aukra municipality, Møre og Romsdal
  • Sture in Øygarden municipality, Hordaland

LO has requested general application of the following provisions of the collective agreements:

1. The following provisions of the Engineering Industry Agreement (VO) between LO and FF on the one side and NHO and TBL on the other side are made generally applicable:

§ 1.1 Area of application

§ 1.2 Vocational groups

§ 2.1 Ordinary daytime working hours

§ 2.2 Shift work

§ 2.5 Overtime work

§ 3.1 Minimum hourly rate

§ 3.2 General rules regarding minimum hourly rates

§ 4.1 Pay systems in general

§ 5.1 Remuneration for public holidays and 1 and 17 May

§ 5.2 Payment for work on major public holidays

§ 6.1 Overtime supplement

§ 6.2 Basis for calculating overtime

§ 6.3 Shift work supplements

§ 6.4 Extremely dirty work and working clothes

§ 7.1 Extent and basis for determining payment

§ 7.3 Job assignments where overnight absence from home is necessary (…)

Appendix 7 Holidays etc.

2. The following provisions of the Construction Agreement (FOB) between LO and FF on the one side and NHO and BNL and TELFO on the other side are made generally applicable:

§ 1-1 Scope

§ 2-2 Minimum hourly rates for skilled workers

§ 2-3 Minimum hourly rates for unskilled workers, roustabouts and specialized workers

§ 2-9 Calculation of overtime supplements

§ 2-10 Additional charge for dirty work

§ 2-12 Working clothes

§ 2-13 Daily allowances

§ 6-1 Ordinary daytime working hours

§ 6-2 Overtime work

§ 6-3 Staggered hours

§ 6-4 Shift work

§ 7-1 Travelling costs and daily allowance where overnight absence from home is necessary

§ 7-2 Travelling costs and daily allowance where overnight absence from home is not necessary

§ 11-1 Lunch room, rest room and lodgings

Appendix 7 Holidays etc.

Appendix 9 Remuneration for public holidays and 1 and 17 May

Appendix 18 Lodgings, barracks, accomodation and staff room

§ 7-1 item 1.0 should read as follows:

Board and lodging

Before sending a worker on an assignment the enterprise shall provide for one of the following board and lodging arrangements:

a) If the enterprise procures board and lodging, no payment is made, provided the lodging at least is a furnished room with bedclothing and access to a sink, shower and toilet.

b) When the worker provides for board and lodging himself, the remuneration is to be agreed on in advance. The remuneration shall not be below than the actual costs.

  1. Board and lodging is paid by the enterprise according to expense account.

3. The following regulations of the Electrical Installation Agreement (LOK) between LO and El & IT on the one side and NHO and BNL and TELFO on the other side are made generally applicable:

§ 1 Scope and duration

§ 3 Pay regulations

  1. Fixed wages
  2. Pay for unfilled time
  3. Skilled worker supplements
  1. Fixed wages in the individual enterprises
  1. Gang foreman supplements
  2. Engagement/travelling time regulations
  1. Meal break included in working hours

§ 7 Ordinary daytime working hours

§ 8 Overtime and shift work

  1. Overtime work
  2. Overtime supplement
  3. Meal break
  4. Shift work
  5. Shift systems
  6. Transitional provision

§ 9 Work in Norway outside the enterprise

  1. Definition
  1. Preparations for travelling
  2. Walking time on the plant
  3. Travel to and from plant
  1. Out of town supplement
  2. Board and lodging
  3. Provisions for accomodation
  4. Comments
  5. Daily allowance rates

§ 10 Special working conditions

  1. Dirty work
  1. Work entailing special danger to life and health

§ 11 Holidays

§ 12 Remuneration for public holidays and 1 and 17 May

§ 14 Short welfare leave

§ 16 Addition to the agreement

Appendix 7 Accomodation standards

Appendix 11 Holidays, flexibility

3. The Tariff Board

Pursuant to § 2 of the General Application Act of 4 June 1993 No 58 the Tariff Board is appointed by the King in Council for three years at a time. It consists of five members, i.e. one chair person and two other neutral members in addition to one member from LO and one from NHO. The Board was last appointed for the period 1. January 2003 – 31. January 2005, and has in the present case had the following composition:

  • High Court Judge Ellen Mo (chair person)
  • Chief judge Anne Austbø
  • Cand.oecon Tore Lindholt
  • LO Secretary Ellen Stensrud
  • Deputy Managing Director of NHO Lars Chr. Berge

The secretariat of the Tariff Board lies within the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and Senior Legal Adviser Eli Mette Jarbo has been the secretary of the Board, with assistance from Legal Adviser Bodil Stueflaten.

The Tariff Board is an independent administrative body, and its proceedings follow the provisions of the Public Administration Act, cf. § 6 of the General Application Act. A decision on extended applicability of a wage agreement is nearly invariably a regulation pursuant to the Public Administration Act § 2-1 d). The general provisions of the Act as well as its special provisions concerning regulations are applicable, see especially its Chapter VII. The obligation to clarify the case in § 37 of the Act implies that a hearing must be held prior to the adoption of a regulation. According to § 6 of the General Application Act a hearing of a draft regulation from the Tariff Board can take place in a public meeting, due to the need of a rapid treatment by the Board.

According to the preparatory works of the General Application Act the Tariff Board is only to make a decision to the extent necessary to fulfil the objective of the act. Neither the act nor the preparatory works gives any other instructions to the Board as to what aspects should be emphasized.

4. The documentation requirements

Pursuant to the General Application Act § 1-1 the Tariff Board can make a decision on the extension of a collective agreement if foreign workers perform work on terms which, based on a total assessment, are demonstrably inferior to the terms of Norwegian workers. According to the preparatory works of the Act the term “demonstrably” is not a required qualification, but rather a standard of proof in order to prevent unfounded cases. In the view of the Tariff Board this implies that it is a condition that it can be documented that foreign workers perform work in Norway on terms and conditions inferior to those of Norwegian workers. It is the party raising a claim for general application of a collective agreement who has to provide information substantiating that the requirements for general application of the act are complied with. According to the Act it is sufficient to prove it highly probable that there within the scope of the collective agreement in question are foreign workers performing work on conditions inferior to those of Norwegian workers. A requirement for a qualified probability can not be applied. What is required is that it to the Board seems more probable that the requirements of the act are complied with than that they are not.The appreciation of the Board must, however, be based on concrete information which the Board, after a total assessment, finds applicable.

According to the Act there is no requirement or condition that the terms of wages and working conditions of the foreign workers are substantially inferior to those of the Norwegian workers, that the differences are unfair, or that the difference in treatment applies to a large number of workers. If the problem of inferior conditions seems small, the Board can, however, after a total assessment conclude that a decision of general applicability of a collective agreement does not seem necessary in order to promote the objective of the Act.

The documentation requirement is not further commented on in the preparatory works of the Act, which, however, make it clear that the Tariff Board can make a decision not only when it has been documented that problems of inferior terms exist, but also when there is reason to believe that such problems are imminent. In that case it will be sufficient that such a development seems highly probable.

As a starting point, the risk of non-persuasion must rest with the party responsible for the general application claim, and who, according to the General Application Act, also is responsible for documenting the claim. If the Board has doubts as to whether the claim is sufficiently substantiated, the case must be rejected. Still, this cannot be more than a starting point. In practice it will almost without exceptions be the employers who possess the relevant documentation. The employees and their organisations have no free access to information on terms of wages and employment, but are dependent on cooperation from the employers in order to obtain such information. If the employer does not cooperate, the trade unions will not be able to document the oral information they may have received.

For the same reason, the employer or any person managing the enterprise on the employer`s behalf is obliged to provide the Board with information, cf. the General Application Act § 7. According to § 9 of the Act, violation of this obligation may lead to a fine. Still, employers might neglect to obey an order to provide the Tariff Board with information. The majority of the Board believes that such a situation can be of importance in two connections: It may be of importance for how strict the requirement for documenting discrimination between Norwegian and foreign workers shall be interpreted. Also, the consequence of lack of such information from the employers may,, in each individual case, be that the employer have to carry the risk of non-persuasion. Whether insufficient documentation shall be given such consequences, must depend on a concrete evaluation of the case. See also below under point 6.

Accompanying the claim from the Norwegian Federation of Trade Unions were pay slips for workers in a German enterprise performing work at Mongstad in 2002 and 2003. According to these pay slips, which employee representatives at Mongstad had received from one of the German workers, this worker, an electrician, had a wage per hour equivalent to NOK 64,38. Furthermore, the wage slips showed actual working hours far beyond lawful working hours, and that the overtime wage rate was below 40%, which is the lowest lawful overtime pay according to the Worker Protection and Working Environment Act. The documentation presented by LO also included statements from representatives of enterprises who either obtained or had tried to obtain contracts for work at the plants in question. According to these statements Norwegian enterprises are in a difficult competitive situation due to the relatively large wage differences between Norway and many other countries. In this connection it was referred to the fact that at Kollsnes all contracts except one were given to foreign enterprises. In LOs opinion there is no reason to believe that the situation would differ at the other petroleum installations covered by their claim, and the enlargement of the EEA area with 10 more countries will further increase the problems.

It has proved to be difficult to procure documentation in this case. The trade unions, LO in this case, do not have any general right to information on the wage terms apart from those of their own members. LO has also experienced that the enterprises are rather unwilling to co-operate, and that the employees do not want to come forth from fear for reprisals. According to the Act the Tariff Board has a special right to demand information on terms of wages and working conditions, and an omission of meeting such an order is punishable by a fine. From among others Statoil, Hydro, LO, NHO and the Central Office for Foreign Tax Affairs the Tariff Board has received information on several Norwegian and foreign enterprises operating on the petroleum installations in question. The Board has sent letters to about 200 of these enterprises and asked for information on what wage terms and working conditions they offer foreign workers in the enterprise. Many of the enterprises have replied in a satisfactory manner, but a large number of enterprises have either not answered at all or have given insufficient and poorly documented information.

In the evaluation of the Tariff Board on whether the documentation requirements are met the Board firstly has considered the documentation put forward by LO in their claim before the Board. Furthermore, the replies from the different enterprises to the communication from the Board have been appraised. The Board has not been able to reveal many cases where the wage terms differ strongly from normal Norwegian level of wages. There are, however, a large number of examples where e.g. overtime bonus either is not paid or the overtime bonus is too low, or that other supplements or compensations which Norwegian workers usually have, lack for foreign workers.

In the view of the Tariff Board one must also take into consideration the fact that quite many enterprises either have not answered at all or have given insufficient and undocumented information. All enterprises having failed to answer the request from the Board have received a reminder from the Board, stating that in case the enterprises do not provide the information requested, the Board will have to base a decision on available information from other sources. In addition, the Board made a third request for supplementary information and documentation from some of the enterprises in question. In the Board’s opinion (the majority) the fact that the party capable of providing documentation neglects to do so, should have impact on the assessment of whether the standard of proof is met. Otherwise it would be too easy to evade the law by being passive towards approaches from the Board, which hardly has been the intention of the legislator. The importance which should be attached to such lack of information must, however, be compared with other information presented to the Board.

The 7 petroleum installations covered by the claim from LO, differ from each other, in the sense that they are in very different stages as to development and operations. At e.g. Ormen Lange the development has only just started, and few if any contracts are assigned, while Tjeldbergodden and Sture are fully developed installations in ordinary operation. In this connection reference is made to the statement above that decisions on general application of wage agreements also can be made in cases when it is reason to believe that problems are imminent, which might be a relevant evaluation as to e.g. Ormen Lange. Furthermore, all installations regulary go through so called revision or maintenance stops. This work is mainly carried out by means of sub-contractors. In the view of the Tariff Board inter alia circumstances at the other installations, any exposure of poor terms of wages and employment in corresponding enterprises and expected consequences of the EEA enlargement in general must constitute relevant elements when deciding whether it has been substantiated in a satisfactory manner that problems are imminent.

The experiences gained by the Tariff Board when working on the present case show that the usability of the General Application Act depends on how strictly the documentation requirements of the Act are to be interpreted. In any case one should bear in mind that it can hardly cause any serious problems if it turns out that foreign workers to a very little degree have poorer terms of wages and employment than Norwegian workers. The consequences will solely be that few if any enterprises will be affected by a decision from the Tariff Board.

5. Hearing

In the view of the Tariff Board it was not possible to get an overview of everyone who might be affected by a decision on general application in this case. To carry out an ordinary hearing by mail or at a meeting was thus not very practical. The Board decided to draw up a discussion document including a draft regulation on general application of wage agreements. The discussion document was published in Norwegian and English on the Internet. All the enterprises previously contacted by the Board for information, the parties to the collective agreements in question, other industrial partners, some affected ministries and others for whom a regulation might be of interest got a letter from the Board with information about the draft and a request for input. Nearly 200 letters were sent, approximately 140 to enterprises at the installations

6. The subsequent work of the Tariff Board

  1. The written hearing

The Board received 23 replies, of which 4 were from enterprises at the installations. Of a total of 18 replies with comments on the draft regulation, 3 were from enterprises. The comments can be classified under the following headings:

  • General comments on the proposal
  • The legal terms for general application
  • The documentation requirements
  • The relation to the EEA regulations
  • The relation to the principle of freedom to organize
  • The work of the Tariff Board
  • The need for dispute resolution/ following up measures
  • Comments on the draft regulation

The Tariff Board has evaluated the comments and made some amendments in the regulation in accordance with the suggestions. Additionally, the Board has the following remarks:

  • The documentation requirements

Some serious objections were made as to whether the documentation requirements laid down in the General Application Acts are fulfilled in this particular case. The Tariff Board had asked for remarks especially on this question, see also under point 4 above.

Based on the input, the Board decided to arrange meetings with the parties directly involved in this case, in order to shed further light on the case. The meetings are further commented on below.

  • The relation to the EEA regulations

One commentator asked for a discussion on the relation between the regulation and the rules laid down in the EEA agreement, related to the geographical scope, the question of proportionality and the obligation of equal treatment, which follow both from the EEA regulations as well as Norwegian law.

The Tariff Board has met some of the requests, especially those related to equal treatment issues, and made some amendments in the final regulation. Moreover, it is the opinion of the Tariff Board that the regulation is within the legal frame of the General Application Act. It must be the task of the legislator to consider whether the Act or a decision under the provision of the Act does not comply with the EEA regulations .

  1. Consultation meetings

After the written consultation round was concluded, the Tariff Board decided to arrange consultation meetings with the parties most directly involved. The first meeting, held on 25 August 2004, was attended by five shop stewards from the relevant trade unions. The last meeting, held on 20 and 21 September 2004, was attended by seven representatives from Statoil and some of the other enterprises on the installations. The meetings were closed to the press and other spectators, mainly because of the trade secrets that might be disclosed. The primary objective of the meetings was to investigate more thoroughly the written information already gathered by the Board.

At the first meeting the participants mainly gave supplementary information to the documentation presented by LO in its application. It has proved to be a problem for LO to be able to document information on wages and employment terms for foreign workers given to them by shop stewards or other employees. The shop stewards also told the Board that in some enterprises collaboration conditions had changed as to social dumping issues.

At the second meeting, in addition to representatives from Statoil, representatives from some of the enterprises referred to at the consultation meeting on 25 August, participated. The representatives from Statoil gave a description of the installations where Statoil has interests and of the routines and contractual terms used towards sub-contractors in connection with expansions, upgrades and revisions at the installations. The main impression was that there is an extensive use of sub-contractors, Norwegian and foreign, but that Statoil, as far as possible, is in control of what is going on at the installations. It was informed that after an incident of breach on working time regulations and low wages was exposed, Statoil has required access to information on the terms of wages and employment of their sub-contractors.

The representatives from the other enterprises partly confirmed and partly denied the information given by the shop stewards at the first consultation meeting and provided by LO in their application. A confirmation on pay conditions submitted by one of the enterprise representatives, gave the impression of a reasonable wage level, but indicated that the employer withheld a greater part of the salary inter alia for board and lodging.

  1. Conclusion

The majority of the Tariff Board takes as its starting point that the General Application Act rests on the assumption that foreign workers are entitled to terms of wages and employment equal to those of Norwegian employees.

During its consideration of this case the Board has disclosed concrete incidents of foreign workers given terms of wages and employment not equal to the terms that Norwegian workers are ensured by collective agreements applied at the fields of activity concerned. Reference is made to the examination above. Despite the large number of inquiries, it has not been possible to reveal many incidents. The majority of the Board sees this in association with the difficulties of getting access to information as described above.

However, based on the available information, the majority of the Board has arrived at the conclusion that it is highly probable that foreign workers still work at the installations on terms not in accordance with the collective agreements. The fact that the established incidents took place some time ago, must, in the opinion of the majority, be seen in connection with the fact that there are numerous replacements of sub-contractors at the installations and that the shop stewards have great difficulties in gaining access to information on terms of employment for the foreign workers. The available information, which is supported either by written documentation or by oral statements, makes it most unlikely that the problems are solved, and that it is not probable that the problems are relevant only at Mongstad and Kollsnes, or that they comprises construction workers and electricians only. Nor is it any reason to believe that the future will not bring new foreign workers to these installations, on terms of wages and employment not equal to those of Norwegian workers.

After what came out of the consultation meetings, the majority of the Board sees no reason to doubt Statoil’s serious efforts to prevent social dumping at installations where Statoil has the main responsibility. Nevertheless, the majority of the Board is convinced that in practice it is almost impossible for Statoil or any other operator to prevent social dumping altogether. There are long chains of sub-contractors with a large number of workers on temporary assignments. The sub-contractors may also have varying motivation, and, even though Statoil presupposes access to information, it’s not obvious that the sub-contractors will provide Statoil with real information on their terms of employment.

Thus, the majority of the Board finds it substantiated that there still are foreign workers at the installations concerned performing work on terms not equal to those of Norwegian workers. The majority finds it substantiated that this also will take place in the future. The majority of the Board concludes that the legal conditions for general application of wage agreements are fulfilled. The majority also finds that general application is necessary to achieve the objective of the General Application Act.

Accordingly, the majority of the Board has decided that the three collective agreements in question shall be made general applicable to the extent appearing from the regulation, at the seven petroleum installations comprised by LO’s claim. The geographical limitation lays, in the opinion of the majority, within the General Application Act’s limits. It is beyond the Tariff Board’s mandate to come to any decision as to whether the Act itself is contrary to the EEA regulations.

The member of the Tariff Board Lars Chr. Berge (NHO) is of the opinion that the requirements of the General Application Act are not fulfilled in this case. The Act puts up three conditions for general application:

Firstly, the Tariff Board can only come to a conclusion on general application if it is proved or documented that work actually is performed in Norway on terms of wages and employment that based on a total assessment are more unfavourable than terms stipulated in Norwegian collective agreements. General applicability can also be decided based on a possible prospective situation, namely if problems of some significance may occur in near future. In Mr. Berge’s opinion it must be more likely than not that there will be foreign workers within the scope of the relevant wage agreement and within the geographical scope, actually working on documented poorer terms than stipulated in the collective agreements.

Secondly, the Board can only come to a conclusion on general application if it is documented that concrete incidents of some significance have occurred or will occur. Not any discrepancy between the terms on wages and employment of Norwegian and foreign workers can be the basis for a decision on general application. The extent of the work on departing terms must also be emphasized.

Thirdly, a decision on general application must not be more far-reaching than what is necessary to achieve the objective of the General Application Act. This is also a requirement according to the EEA regulations. In its comment to the draft regulation of 14 June 2004 NHO has proved the legal foundation and the foundation in the legislative history for these requirements.

Mr. Berge is of the opinion that the present documentation does not satisfy the legal requirements. Inter alia he points out the following:

During the last three years, more than 15 000 employees have worked at the seven petroleum installations. The Tariff Board has not disclosed many incidents where terms of wages and employment differ from those in the collective agreements concerned. The disclosed incidents are all from the past and the projects are to a large degree terminated. In proportion to the large number of employees who are or have been working at the installations, the documented derogations are rather limited. Also, the incidents only concern Kollsnes and Mongstad and only the Construction Agreement and the Electrical Installation Agreement.

General Application is not necessary regarding future conditions. This position must be viewed in connection with the fact that the exposed incidents mainly took place before the autumn of 2003 and before Statoil changed their contractual terms. Statoil regarded the incident with the pay slip for the German employee, which is described in LOs claim, as a very serious matter, and has laid down an extensive effort to prevent similar incidents. This work has lead to modifications in Statoil’s contracts. Today Statoil has more focus on the sub-contractors’ wage terms and has reserved the right to get information on terms of wages and employment for the sub-contractors’ employees. This access to information applies all through the chain of sub-contractors, i.e. also towards sub-sub-contractors. Statoil follows with great attention any incidents where potential bad terms are suspected and evaluates consecutively whether such terms are acceptable or not at their installations. Through the oral hearing it became clear that Statoil puts a lot of effort into avoiding poor conditions, inter alia full time coordinators are recruited from LO with the task to follow up on the working conditions. The fact that no suspicion of derogations has been raised, neither during the extensive revision stop at Mongstad in early summer or at Melkøya/ Snøhvit, which has its highest number of workers at present, proves that Statoil’s efforts have been successful. If a coordinator or a shop steward at one of the other installations has taken action, Statoil has looked into the cases, in close cooperation with the shop stewards. Hydro too has good relationships with the shop stewards and with the coordinators. This gives opportunity for discussions on possible derogations in wage terms that eventually could have formed the basis for general application.

The majority’s considerations as to what extent the installations are likely to experience foreign workers on poorer wage terms than Norwegian workers are not based on concrete, provable information.

The Tariff Board must make sure that its decision does not contravene with the EEA regulations, especially Directive 96/71 EC. The Board’s decision suffers from a lacking evaluation of the relation to the EEA Agreement. Professor Stein Evju has in his comment to the draft regulation of 8 June 2004 pointed out several relevant legal problems, problems that should have been evaluated. He partly questions whether the geographical scope of the regulation is in compliance with Art. 3 No 8 of Directive 96/71 EC, partly he questions the motives for the decision, especially whether the economic (protectionist) motive is in compliance with the EEA agreement. Prof. Evju has also questioned whether the decision is in conformity with the proportionality principle, according to EC law, especially because the provisions of the draft regulation are complex and not very accessible and thus give little predictability for service providers covered by them.

Finally, Mr. Berge points out that there is no reason to make the Engineering Industry Agreement generally applicable at any of the petroleum installations. There has not been revealed or claimed any incidents of diverging terms of wages and employment from this agreement. For the same reason, it can not be necessary to make the Electrical Installation Agreement or the Construction Agreement generally applicable at Kårstø, Tjeldbergodden, Sture, Ormen Lange/ Nyhamna or Snøhvit/ Melkøya. It’s only at Mongstad and Kollsnes that diverging terms have been disclosed. Another solution will not be in compliance with the necessity requirement stipulated both in the General Application Act and in the EEA regulations.

The decision on general application on wage agreements

7.1 The Tariff Board’s deliberations

Case No 1/2003 of the Tariff Board is the first case handled under the provision of the General Application Act since the Act came into force in 1994. The Act itself has no provisions on how the Tariff Board shall administer it’s work, and the Board also has a relatively broad margin of appreciation as to the contents of a decision as well as to how to formulate it. As far as the Tariff Board has been able to examine, no other country has a system of general application of wage agreements similar to the Norwegian system. Hence, it has not been possible for the Board to make use of earlier experiences from neither national nor international practice.

The decision of the Tariff Board is a regulation. In practice the regulation will primarily be applicable to foreign enterprises and Norwegian enterprises with little experience in applying collective agreements. Thus, an important consideration to the Tariff Board has been to formulate a regulation which on the one hand attends to the demands in LO’s claim for general application and on the other hand is fairly simple and easy to use. It would not have been possible to achieve this if the Board had chosen a model with a more direct use of the provisions in the relevant collective agreements. Based on corresponding considerations, general application of the three relevant agreements included in the present case are gathered in the same regulation. Still, if the regulation is proved difficult to interpret, it is important to underline the necessity of also taking the original collective agreement provisions into consideration.

In the preparatory works of the General Application Act it is stated in several connections that general applicability must not be used to a greater extent than what is necessary to fulfil the objectives of the Act. This aspect has been decisive to the Board when making a choice as to which provisions of the agreements should be made applicable, especially in relation to the terms of wages. The Tariff Board has also emphasised the Act’s two-sided objective: Both to ensure foreign employees terms of wages and employment equal to Norwegian employees and to prevent distortion of competition in disfavour of Norwegian employees and enterprises, cf. above under point 1. In the Tariff Board’s point of view, the consequence must be that it will not be sufficient to stipulate a minimum level for wages and other working conditions, because such a solution will lead to distortion of competition effecting Norwegian enterprises. Due to the same reason it would be difficult to place decisive importance on differences in taxes and level of costs between employees from different countries when the Board decides the level of wages and other working conditions. In this connection it is important to bear in mind that the Board’s decision will also apply to Norwegian enterprises which are not bound already by the relevant collective agreements or other agreements with similar or better terms. If the wage level is set too low, the decision on general application, at least in the longer term, would contribute to forcing down the Norwegian wage level. On the other hand it is important to avoid a level leading to wage pressure. In order to balance these considerations, the Tariff Board proposes that the collective agreements’ clauses on minimum hourly pay must be the basic wage level for employees comprised by the regulation. In addition, the provisions in all three agreements on supplements for shift work are made generally applicable. VO and LOK include fixed rates which are meant to cover the inconvenience of necessary overnight absence of 20 % and 15 % respectively of hourly pay. These fixed rates are also made generally applicable for employees comprised by the scope of these agreements. For employees comprised by the terms of wages in the regulation § 6 (FOB), the supplement for such inconvenience is included in the hourly pay rate. Additionally, the regulation has common provisions for all employees covered by its scope on working hours, supplements for overtime work and compensation for public holidays etc. Other common supplements plus compensation for travelling and board and lodging costs shall be agreed upon between the employee and the employer. The regulation also requires accommodations of ordinary good standard.

The Tariff Board has decided not to include the holiday provisions from the three collective agreements in the regulation. Irrespective if this, the workers are entitled to annual holidays and holiday pay according to the Act relating to holidays, cf. Act 4 February 1977 No 4 relating to Worker Protection and Working Environment (The Working Environment Act) § 73 M b).

7.2 Comments on the provisions

Chapt. I. Introductory provisions

To § 1 The basis of general application

In accordance with the claim from LO the regulation is based upon The Engineering Industry Agreement 2004 - 2006, the Construction Agreement 2004 – 2006 (FOB) and the Electrical Installation Agreement 2004 – 2006 (LOK), but besides from the wage clauses, few agreements clauses are directly implemented.

To § 2 Geographical scope

LOs claim applies to seven geographically limited petroleum installations onshore, and the regulation comprises all seven installations. From the second paragraph follows that it is only work on the relevant installations which is included, whilet associated activity located outside the plants is not.

To § 3 To whom the regulation applies

The provision shall embrace all groups of employees and all kinds of activities falling within the scope of the three relevant collective agreements. Compared to the provisions of the agreements, the Board has made substantial simplifications, with the aim to achieve reasonably practical rules. The collective agreements themselves should be consulted if there are difficulties in determining which agreement the individual employees fall under. In VO the relevant provisions are §§ 1.1 and 1.2 first paragraph. In FOB the relevant provisions are § 1-1 No 1 first paragraph and No 2 to 4. In LOK the relevant provision is § 1 first paragraph.

Skilled workers must have some kind of officially approved trade certificate. The important point is that skilled workers must be able to document their skills.

The regulation does not apply to apprentices and participants in labour-market measures. These groups are usually covered by special arrangements.

To § 4 The enterprise’s responsibility

The provision clarifies that the responsibility for giving employees terms of wages and employment according to this regulation, rests with the individual enterprise. The provision makes no changes in any agreements on this subject between for instance the main contractor and sub-contractors on the installations.

Chap. II. Terms of wages and employment

The provisions in §§ 5 -7 must be read in connection with § 16. It follows from this section that the terms of wages and employment must be considered as a whole when determining whether the regulation is applicable. The provisions on shift work do not apply when agreements on diverging working time schedules are in force, e.g. divergent rotation systems including all the workers in a company or an installation.

To § 5 Terms of wages for employees in engineering and technology industry

To No 1: The rates correspond to the minimum wage rates in the collective agreement, but must be read in connection with § 9.

To No 2: This supplement amounts to 20 % of the wage rates and shall compensate for the inconvenience of staying away from home. The employee is entitled to the supplement only if the necessity of staying away from home is due to the need of the enterprise. Cf. also VO § 7.1 first paragraph.

To No 3: The provisions, which applies for shift work, are copied from VO § 6.3.

To § 6 Terms of wages for employees in construction work

To No 1: The rates correspond to the minimum wage rates in the collective agreement, but must be read in connection with § 9.

To No 2: The provisions, which applies for shift work, are copied from FOB § 6.4.

To § 7 Terms of wages for employees employed in installation, servicing and repair work on electrical installations and automatization installations

To No 1: The rates correspond to the minimum wage rates in the collective agreement, but must be read in connection with § 9.

To No 2: This supplement amounts to 15 % of the wage rates and shall compensate for the inconvenience of staying away from home. The employee is entitled to the supplement only if the necessity of staying away from home is due to the need of the enterprise. Cf. also LOK § 9.

To No 3: The provisions, which applies for shift work, are copied from LOK § 8 E and D.

To § 8 Pay adjustments within the duration period of the regulation

The provision clarifies that the pay rates in §§ 5 – 7 shall be adjusted in accordance with any adjustments in the collective agreements following from the 2005 wage settlements.

To § 9 Supplement to minimum hourly pay

The provision shall ensure that employees who are covered by this regulation, in addition to the minimum wage rates according to §§ 5 No 1, 6 No 1 and 7 No 1 respectively, shall be evaluated as regards wage level in the same way as Norwegian workers covered by VO, FOB or LOK. The wording of the provision is copied from VO § 4.1.3.

To § 10 Working hours

The provision settles the main rule according to the collective agreements, which is 37,5 hours a week in average. The provision also contains rules on average weekly working hours for shift work. Furthermore, it clarifies that the opportunity of calculating average working hours according to the Working Environment Act Chapt. X also applies for employment relationships covered by this regulation. The aim is to give the enterprises the possibility to enter into the regular working schedules on the installations.

To § 11 Supplements for overtime work

The provision means that employees are entitled to supplement for overtime work if they work more than the average weekly working hours of 37,5 hours a week or the limits for shift work according to § 10. If the opportunity to agree on divergent working schedules is used, cf. § 10 above, the right to supplements for overtime work must rely on the limits in such agreements.

§ 12Public holidays, 1 and 17 May

Ordinarily, the employee is entitled to regular pay on public holidays, 1 and 17 May if such days otherwise would have been working days. The entitlement is limited if the employee is absent from work in immediate connection to such holidays. A certain continuity in the employment relationship is also required. Both the collective agreements and the Act relating to 1 and 17 May as public holidays contains similar provisions.

To § 13 Other supplements

The provision is meant to intercept different supplements covered by the collective agreements. What supplements and which amounts are to be determined by agreement between the employee and the employer. Supplements for dirty work, working clothes or tools are some examples, but the use of this provision must be seen in connection with common practice at the installation in question.

To § 14 Compensation for travelling and board and lodging expenses

The collective agreements have many different and very detailed provisions on compensation for this kind of expenses. Thus, the Tariff Board proposes a provision without any fixed sum or standard. However, it instructs the employer to enter into an agreement with the employee on the coverage of such expenses. As for travelling expenses, the employer is obliged to cover at least the employee’s actual costs. A reasonable number of journeys home shall be agreed upon. Before concluding such agreements, it will be natural to seek guidance in the corresponding provisions in the collective agreements; VO § 7, FOB Chapt. 7 and LOK § 9.

§ 15Accommodation requirements

The provision in § 15 is restricted to necessary minimum requirements on accommodations, at the same time as the requirements on construction, equipment and maintenance must be in accordance with the Working Environment Act § 8 No 3. It is emphasized that the demands must correspond with common practice on the installation in question.

Chapt. III. Derogations etc.

To § 16 Derogations

The provision emphasizes what also ensues from the General Application Act § 3, namely that terms of wages and employment derived from this regulation, are minimum terms. If an employee falling within the scope of this regulation already is entitled to better terms, either by individual agreement, collective agreement or by other law or regulations, such terms will still apply.

To § 17 Terms of wages and employment in law or regulations

The provision is included for information purposes and emphasizes that rules or regulations with relevance to the employment relationship deriving from other laws or regulations are applicable as well. The provision lists the most important acts, but is not exhaustive.

According to the Working Environment Act § 73 M fourth to sixth paragraph, Chapt. XII B of the Act is not applicable for certain employees on very brief assignments. This limitation also follows from the General Application Act § 3 first paragraph. This means that this regulation will not apply to posted skilled or specialized workers on particular assignments where the assignment period does not last for more than eight days, cf. the Working Environment Act § 73 M fourth to sixth paragraph. It is presumed that the extent of this exception is limited.

Chapt. IV. Entry into force etc.

To § 18 Entry into force and termination:

As a main rule regulations at the earliest can be made applicable one month after they have been published in Norsk Lovtidend, cf. the Public Administration Act § 39.

This regulation enters into force on 1 December 2004 and will as from this day on apply to all enterprises and employment relationships falling within its scope. This means that enterprises offering poorer terms on wages and employment than what follows from the regulation are obliged to offer terms in accordance with this regulation as from 1 December 2004. The Tariff Board is aware of the considerable economic consequences this might have for some enterprises, viewed against the conditions of the original tender. In the view of the Tariff Board, this is, however, no more than can be expected if the employees decide to unionise and put forward a claim for a collective agreement. If the regulation should only be applicable for contracts signed after 1 December, firstly, it could lead to unreasonable and incidental differences in terms of wages and employment and secondly result in substantial variations in cost level for the enterprises. Such occasional differences could for some assignments be maintained for very long periods.

The regulation is terminated one month after VO (2004-2006), FOB (2004 – 2006) and LOK (2004 - 2006) are replaced by new agreements, or if The Tariff Board passes on a new resolution on general application based on the same collective agreements.

Regulation 11 October 2004 No 1396 on general application of wage agreements for some petroleum installations onshore.

Established by the Tariff Board under the provision of Act 4 June 1993 No 58 relating to general application of wage agreements etc. § 3.

Chapt. I. Introductory provisions

§ 1The basis of general application

This regulation is established on the basis oo the following collective agreements:

  1. The Engineering Industry Agreement (VO) 2004 - 2006, between the Norwegian Federation of Trade Unions (LO) and the Norwegian United Federation of Trade Unions (FF) on the one side and the Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry (NHO) and the Federation of Norwegian Manufacturing Industries (TBL) on the other side,
  2. the Construction Agreement (FOB) 2004 – 2006 between LO and FF on the one side and NHO and the Federation of Norwegian Construction Industries (BNL) and the Federation of Norwegian Technical Contractors (TELFO) on the other side, and
  3. the Electrical Installation Agreement (LOK) 2004 – 2006 between LO and the Electricians & IT Workers Union (EL&IT) on the one side and NHO and TELFO on the other side.

§ 2Geographical scope

This regulation applies to the following petroleum installations onshore:

  1. Melkøya (Snøhvit) in Hammerfest municipality, Finnmark
  2. Tjeldbergodden in Aure municipality, Møre og Romsdal
  3. Mongstad in Lindås municipality, Hordaland
  4. Kollsnes in Øygarden municipality, Hordaland
  5. Kårstø in Tysvær municipality, Rogaland
  6. Nyhamna (Ormen Lange) in Aukra municipality, Møre og Romsdal
  7. Sture in Øygarden municipality, Hordaland

This regulation does not apply to related activities performed outside the geographical areas of the installations.

§ 3To whom the regulation applies

This regulation applies to skilled and unskilled production workers on installations covered by § 2 performing:

  1. Assembling and installation work in engineering and technology industry.
  2. Construction work.
  3. Installation, servicing and repair work on electrical installations and automatization installations.

A skilled worker is a worker with an officially approved trade certificate or similar within his line of work. An unskilled worker does not have such trade certificate.

The regulation does not apply to apprentices and participants in labour-market measures..

§ 4The enterprise’s responsibility

Enterprises performing work covered by §§ 2 and 3 are responsible for implementing this regulation. The responsibility rests with the employer or any person managing the enterprise on the employer’s behalf.

Chapt. II. Terms of wages and employment 1cf. § 16

§ 5Terms of wages for employees in engineering and technology industry

  1. Employees in engineering and technology industry, cf. § 3 a), shall receive as a minimum the following hourly pay:
    1. Skilled workers: NOK 110,59
    2. Unskilled workers: NOK 105,44
  1. If work tasks make overnight absence from home necessary, the employees shall receive the following supplements to hourly pay:
    1. Skilled workers: NOK 22,12
    2. Unskilled workers: NOK 21,09

No 2 does not apply to employees taken on at the work site.

  1. On installations covered by § 2 using shift work, the following supplements shall be paid:

For work on a 2-shift system (36,5 hours a week) the following supplements shall be paid per hour:

1. shift until 14.00 hours on Saturday: No supplement

2. shift: NOK 12,42

For shift work after 14.00 hours on days before Sundays and public holidays: NOK 26,53.

From 14.00 hours on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, Easter Eve and Whit Saturday: NOK 38,03.

Every hour after 24.00 hours is paid as for 3. shift.

For work on a 3-shift system (35,5 hours a week) the following supplements shall be paid per hour:

1. shift until 14.00 hours on Saturday: No supplement

2. shift: NOK 12,80

3. shift: NOK 19,05

For shift work after 14.00 hours on days before Sundays and public holidays: NOK 27,30.

From 14.00 hours on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, Easter Eve and Whit Saturday: NOK 39,10.

For wholly continuous 3-shift work (33,6 hours a week) the following supplements shall be paid per hour:

1. shift until 14.00 hours on Saturday: No supplement

2. shift: NOK 13,56

3. shift: NOK 20,12

For shift work after 14.00 hours on days before Sundays and public holidays: NOK 28,83.

From 14.00 hours on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, Easter Eve and Whit Saturday: NOK 41,32.

Conversion factor

By conversion from ordinary working hours, 37,5 hours a week, to diverging working schedules, the table given below shall be followed:

From 37,5 hours a week to 36,5 hours a week = 2.74 %

From 37,5 hours a week to 35,5 hours a week = 5.63 %

From 37,5 hours a week to 33,6 hours a week = 11.61 %

§ 6Terms of wages for employees in construction work

  1. Employees in construction work, cf. § 3 b), shall receive as a minimum the following hourly pay:
    1. Skilled workers: NOK 125,00
    2. Unskilled workers: NOK 114,00
  1. On installations covered by § 2 using shift work, supplements are to be paid according to following provisions:

2.1 General provisions

It is permitted to use shift work in accordance with the provisions laid down in Act 4 February 1977 No 4 relating to Worker Protection and Working Environment Chapt. X. When shift work is used, a working plan shall be drawn up in accordance with Act 4 February 1977 No 4 relating to Worker Protection and Working Environment § 48.

Supplements shall be paid only for shift work lasting minimum six days. Other shift work shall be paid as overtime.

2.2 Shift work supplements per hour

2. shift on weekdays: NOK 18,20

3. shift on weekdays: NOK 29,10

Supplements on Saturdays after 13.00 hours and on days before public holidays after ordinary working hours: NOK 72,30.

If an employee by transition from day work to shift work or the opposite within 24 hours (from 00.00 hours to 24.00 hours) is working more hours than normal for the actual 24 hour period, the employee shall receive overtime supplement for the extra hours.

2.3 Overtime work in connexion with shift work

For overtime work before or after a shift, a 50 % supplement to the shift supplement shall be paid. For work on Saturdays after 13.00 hours, on days before public holidays after ordinary working hours and on Sundays and public holidays, a 50 % supplement shall be paid.

2.4 Conversion factor

By conversion from ordinary working hours, 37,5 hours a week, to diverging working schedules, the table given below shall be followed:

From 37,5 hours a week to 36,5 hours a week = 2.74 %

From 37,5 hours a week to 35,5 hours a week = 5.63 %

From 37,5 hours a week to 33,6 hours a week = 11.61 %

§ 7 Terms of wages for employees employed in installation, servicing and repair work on electrical installations and automatization installations

  1. Employees employed in installation, servicing and repair work on electrical installations and automatization installations, cf. § 3 c), shall receive as a minimum the following hourly pay:
    1. Skilled workers: NOK 135,70
    2. Unskilled workers: NOK 114,87
  1. If work tasks make overnight absence from home necessary, the employees shall receive the following supplements to hourly pay:
    1. Skilled workers: NOK 20,35
    2. Unskilled workers NOK 17,23
  1. On installations covered by § 2 using shift work, the following supplements shall be paid:

3.1 2-shift system – 36,5 hour a week

A 2-shift system means that working hours alternate between day and evening (one week day work and one week evening work). 2-shift systems can be agreed upon within the period of 06.00 hours and 24.00 hours on ordinary workdays.

3.2 Supplements

Supplements shall be calculated on the basis of minimum hourly pay according to § 7 No 1. The supplement shall cover a nuisance compensation which amounts to 18.3 %. There is no supplement for day shift.

3.3 3-shift system – 35,5 hours a week

A 3-shift system means that working hours alternate between day, evening and night (one week day work, one week evening work and one week night work). 3-shift systems can be agreed upon within the period between 22.00 hours on Sundays and 06.00 hours on Saturdays.

3.4 Supplements

Supplements shall be calculated on the basis of minimum hourly pay according to § 7 No 1. The supplement shall cover a nuisance compensation which amounts to 18.3 % for 2. shift and 29.3 % for 3. shift. There is no supplement for day shift.

3.5 Wholly continuous shift work - 33,6 hours a week

Wholly continuous shift work is performed day and night without stoppage on Sundays and public holidays and is alternating between day, evening and night work according to a fixed shift plan.

3.6 Supplements

Supplements shall be calculated on the basis of minimum hourly pay according to § 7 No 1. The supplement shall cover a nuisance compensation which amounts to 18,3 % for 2. shift and 29.3 % for 3. shift. There is no supplement for day shift.

On Saturdays after 13.00 hours and on days before public holidays after ordinary working hours the supplement shall cover a nuisance compensation which amounts to 73.2 %. On Sundays and public holidays before 22.00 hours the nuisance compensations shall also be 73.2 %.

3.7 Conversion factor

By conversion from ordinary working hours, 37,5 hours a week, to diverging working schedules, the table given below shall be followed:

From 37,5 hours a week to 36,5 hours a week = 2.74 %

From 37,5 hours a week to 35,5 hours a week = 5.63 %

From 37,5 hours a week to 33,6 hours a week = 11.61 %

§ 8Pay adjustments within the duration period of the regulation

The pay rates in §§ 5, 6 and 7 are to be adjusted according to new pay rates following from the wage settlements in 2005.

§ 9Supplement to minimum hourly pay

All employees covered by this regulation shall be paid a supplement to minimum hourly pay, cf. §§ 5 No 1, 6 No 1, 7 No 1, according to their skills, qualifications, experience, responsibility and job contents.

§ 10Working hours

The ordinary daily working hours shall not exceed an average of 37,5 hours a week.

When working shift the following limits are applied:

  • 2-shift system 36,5 hours a week in average
  • 3-shift system 35,5 hours a week in average
  • Wholly continuous shift system 33,6 hours a week in average

Deviating working schedules may be agreed upon according to the provisions laid down in Act 4 February 1977 No 4 relating to Worker Protection and Working Environment Chapt. X.

§ 11Supplements for overtime work

For work after ordinary working hours a 50 % supplement to hourly pay shall be paid. For work after ordinary working hours between 21.00 hours and 06.00 hours and on Sundays and public holidays a 100 % supplement to hourly pay shall be paid.

§ 12Public holidays, 1 and 1. May

Lost earnings for public holidays, 1 and 17 of May which ordinarily would have been work days, shall be compensated by ordinary pay unless the employee has been absent from work the work day before and after the public holiday.

Entitled to such compensation are employees who have been continuously employed in the same enterprise for at least 30 days before the public holiday, or have been employed later and the employment will be of at least 30 days’ duration. In this connexion the three-days public holiday at Easter is counted as one unit and the two-days public holiday at Christmas plus New Year’s Day are counted as one unit.

§ 13Other supplements

Other supplements, e.g. for extremely dirty work, working clothes and tools, may be agreed upon between the employee and the employer in accordance with common practice at the installation.

§ 14Compensation for travelling, and board and lodging expenses

If work tasks make overnight absence from home necessary, the employer is obliged to conclude an agreement with the employee on compensation of the actual costs for a reasonable number of journeys home. The employee and the employer shall also conclude an agreement on compensation for reasonable board and lodging expenses.

§ 15Accommodation requirements

Accommodation placed at the disposal of the employee shall be in proper condition, equipped and maintained in accordance with ordinary good standard at the installation.

Chapt. III. Derogations etc.

§ 16Derogation

This regulation is not applicable if the employee, based on a total assessment, is covered by more favourable terms of wages and employment according to agreement or the national law which ordinarily applies to the employment relationship.

§ 17Terms of wages and employment in law or regulations

Provisions in law or other regulations which ordinarily are applicable to the employment relationship is also applicable to employment relationships covered by this regulation, see especially:

Act 4 February 1977 No 4 relating to Worker Protection and Working Environment,

Act 29 April 1988 No 21 relating to Holidays and

Act 26 April 1947 No 1 relating to 1 and 17 May as public holidays.

This regulation applies within the restrictions laid down in Act 4 February 1977 No 4 relating to Worker Protection and Working Environment Chapt. XII B.

Chapt. IV. Entry into force etc.

§ 18Entry into force and termination

This regulation enters into force on 1 December 2004.

This regulation is terminated 1 month after the Engineering Industry Agreement (VO) 2004-2006 between LO and NHO, the Construction Agreement (FOB) 2004 – 2006 between LO and NHO and the Electrical Installation Agreement (LOK) 2004 - 2006 between LO and NHO are replaced by revised collective agreements or if the Tariff Board passes on a new resolution on general application based on the same collective agreements.