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Everything you need to know about the new legislation

Is your company ready to comply with the new Norwegian legislation?


Equality and diversity in working life has never been more important

If you are an employer, employee, or trade union representative and are curious about the legal requirements for gender equality and diversity work in your company, this page is meant for you.

What is the new Norwegian legislation on diversity & inclusion?

As an extension to the current requirements for reporting on gender equality, the Norwegian authorities made updates to “aktivitets- og redegjørelsesplikten" in 2020. The new legislation requires employers to report on gender equality on a number of parameters, also disclosing which measures are currently being taken in order to improve equal opportunities.

The new legislation comes into force for the fiscal year of 2020. The following organizations are obliged to report:

  • All public employers
  • All private employers with 50 employees or more
  • All private employers with 20 employees or more, if one of the parties in the organization requires it

How do you set up the statement?

There are two parts to the statement.

Part 1: is on the actual state of gender equality in the company. In this part, you have to explain the actual situation regarding gender equality in the company. It is especially wage and other personnel policy issues that will be relevant. The law lists a number of minimum requirements, but the company is always free to expand its work beyond this.   Wage mapping is an area where we see especially many questions from companies, as you are required to report equal pay for an equal value of work.

Part 2: is where the company needs to disclose how they are working with diversity and inclusion, their goals, any risk factors for obstacles, and which measures are currently being taken in order to improve equal opportunities on a broader diversity spectrum. The law lists a number of areas you need to cover in the report, and the larger the organization the more you are expected to report.

A smooth way to stay compliant

In Equality Check, we have been getting many questions from organizations on how to report the actual state of gender equality, and how to disclose the D&I work in the report. It is hard for many organizations to figure out how to apply the legislation in practice. We have therefore updated our subscription Equality Check Premium to include a tool that makes it very easy for organizations to comply with the new legislation.

The tool guides you through all parts of the legislation, what and how you should report on each part, and gives you a PDF-report at the end that can be added to the annual report. The tool has been made in close dialogue with the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud (Likestillings- og diskrimineringsombudet, LDO)

When should it be delivered?

The statement shall be published in the annual report or other available public documents. The first statement after the reinforced legislation is for the financial year 2020.

Where should the statement be sent?

You should not send the statement anywhere. But the statement must be considered by the board every year. Through the new provision in §26c, the board has to ensure that the legislation for active equality work is fulfilled in accordance with the law.

The statement shall be given in the annual report or in another public document. This is because this information is public to investors, employees, the media, and research communities.

The company's employees and their representatives, the Discrimination Tribunal (Diskrimineringsnemda), the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud (LDO), and researchers have the right to access the results of the salary survey, even when the data cannot be anonymized. To access this data, it must sign a non-disclosure agreement.

What happens if the statement becomes incomplete?

Then the company will be asked to correct or elaborate on deficiencies in the report. The ombud has a mandate to complain to the tribunal

The Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud (LDO) has a guidance and follow-up function with regard to the legislation. Following the preparatory work for the law, they have a dialogue-oriented approach in the guidance and can make recommendations.

If there is a suspicion of a breach of the legislation, it is the Discrimination Tribunal (Diskrimineringsnemda) that must assess the complaint.

The control function that the ombud has means that they can carry out follow-up visits to the companies. If the company does not comply with its obligations, the Ombud can bring a case before the Equality and Discrimination Tribunal pursuant to the Discrimination Ombudsman Act §8.

Check out Equality Check Premium to ensure a smooth way to comply with the new legislation.

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