Working at OsloMet

The concept of work-life balance is firmly embedded in Norwegian society and working life. At OsloMet, we believe employees perform better if they are able to balance work, family and free time.

In Norway, we recognise the importance of offering employees a considerable degree of flexibility to enable them to balance their obligations at work with their family and home life. OsloMet seeks to facilitate this balance by providing employees with benefits such as flexible working hours, holiday agreements, training facilities, and cultural events. 

  • Working conditions

    New employees

    OsloMet START

    OsloMet START is the introduction programme for new employees. You are provided with information about relocating to Oslo and also a free Norwegian language course.

    Read more about our introduction programme and welcome day (ansatt.oslomet.no).

    Trial Period

    In general, all new employees in permanent positions are hired for a trial period of six months. A mutual period of notice of three weeks applies during this period. During your trial period, it is the duty of the head of your department to advise, supervise and evaluate the work you carry out. When the trial period is completed, you will have an evaluation talk with the head of your department. 

    Deadlines for resignation or dismissal:

    • Three weeks during the trial period.
    • One month if the length of service is one year or less.
    • Three months if the length of service is one year or more.

    Holidays

    Employees are entitled to five weeks holiday, i.e. 25 workdays. If you are over 60 years of age, you are also entitled to one extra week of holiday. 

    You and your manager agree on when you can take holiday.

    Public holidays in Norway

    In addition to the annual five week holiday, the designated public holidays in Norway are:

    • 1 January
    • Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday
    • 1 May
    • 17 May – Norway's constitution day
    • Ascension Day
    • Whit Sunday, Whit Monday
    • Christmas Day, Boxing Day

    Employees who do not belong to the Church of Norway are entitled to up to two days off each calendar year in connection with religious festivals for their religion.

    More information about holidays and holiday leave (ansatt.oslomet.no).

    Flexible working hours

    OsloMet has flexible working hours. This means that you can work a little longer on some days and correspondingly work less on other days. However, you are expected to be at work during core hours which are from 09:00 til 14:30. Normal working hours are 7.5 hours per day (37.5 hours per week).

    Apart from employees in leading or particularly independent positions, all employees are entitled to flexible working hours if this can be implemented without significant inconvenience to the organisation.

    Pension

    As an employee at OsloMet, you automatically become a member of the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund (SPK) (spk.no) if you work at least 14 hours per week. As a member you pay a premium of two per cent of your basic salary. This membership offers access to good pension and insurance schemes.

    Salary

    • Your salary is paid by the 12th of each month.
    • Holiday pay is in June instead of the ordinary salary. The deduction from salary corresponds with the length of the holiday.
    • As a rule, salaries are adjusted each year on the basis of salary negotiations, with effect from 1 May.
    • As a public sector employee, you are entitled to full salary during periods of illness and parental leave.

    Taxes

    As an employee in Norway, you must have a tax deduction card (skatteetaten.no), submit tax returns annually by 30 April and receive tax assessment notices. The amount of taxes you pay depends on your salary and deductions. This is individual. 

    In cooperation with the Norwegian Tax Authorities, OsloMet offers tax advise courses in English each year in advance of the yearly tax return deadline. 

    More about taxes in Norway (skatteetaten.no).

  • Working environment

    The working environment is quite informal and so is the dress code. People use first names more than titles. When meeting someone for the first time a handshake is required both for men and for women. For new employees coming from cultures with strict hierarchy, the informal work culture can take a little while to get used to. However, experience shows that once you get used to it, you will enjoy your new working environment. 

    As an employee, you are given trust and have great freedom under responsibility.  It is common to ask questions and your colleagues will do their best to help you. 

    Five things internationals working in Norway think you should know before moving here

    Inclusive workplace and diversity

    OsloMet is an inclusive workplace (IW) with diversity as one of the fundamental values. OsloMet is located in a region where the demography is more varied than in other parts of Norway. This diversity gives us an advantage when it comes to understanding and reaping the benefits of differences.

    OsloMet

    • Encourages equality and require tolerance regardless of religion, culture and gender.
    • Provides workplace adaptation for employees with functional impairments. The adaptation may include both physical and organisational adaptations of the working environment.
    • Strives to reach the goal of a good gender balance. Male and female employees shall receive equal pay for equal work or work of equal value. 

    For more information, read about the Diversity Action Plan (PDF on ansatt.oslomet.no) and OsloMet's plans to promote diversity (ansatt.oslomet.no).

    Employee participation

    You can influence decisions made at all levels of the organisation; from determining overall objectives to making decisions related to your work life and your working conditions.

    More information about employee participation (ansatt.oslomet.no).

    Health, safety and environment (HSE)

    We work systematically with health, safety and environment (HSE) to create an inclusive and inspiring working environment that stimulates interaction, learning and development. Our efforts to improve the working environment shall support the university’s goal of being an innovative and learning organisation with a positive working environment, characterised by diversity. 

    More information about the HSE work at OsloMet (ansatt.oslomet.no).

  • Professional development

    We believe it is important that our employees have access to professional development opportunities. There are several things we can do to ensure that our employees possess optimal competence.

    The OsloMet Academy

    The OsloMet Academy offers competence and career development to all employees. Specific courses and programmes will be made available for leaders, lecturers, researchers and administrative staff across the organisation.

    Full course overview (ansatt.oslomet.no).

    Erasmus+ staff exchange

    Through the Erasmus+ Programme, employees may apply for a grant to visit a partner institution or another institution in Europe. The grant can be used for teaching or training purposes.

    More information about Erasmus+ staff exchange (ansatt.oslomet.no).

    Researcher mobility and career development

    We want to facilitate for researchers at OsloMet who want to spend a period of time at a foreign institution, and foreign researchers who want a stay at OsloMet.

    More information about researcher mobility and career development (ansatt.oslomet.no).

    Leadership development

    OsloMet has an enterprise-integrated management development programme that consists of target group-defined programmes, operational-integrated activities and a course portfolio for management training.

    More information about leadership development (ansatt.oslomet.no).

    Mentoring programme

    OsloMet offers mentoring for candidates that are up for promotion to top academic positions. If you are holding a top academic position, you can also apply to become a mentor.

    More information about the mentoring programme (ansatt.oslomet.no).

    The research talent programme (pilot)

    OsloMet is launching a pilot programme targeting early stage research talents (associate professors). The programme’s overall aim is to prepare early career research talents for successful FRIPRO (Young Research Talent) grant from the Research Council of Norway and/or ERC starting grant from the European Research Council. The programme consists of seminars, including career awareness, personal development, grant acquisition, publication strategy, communication, and more.

    Read more about the research talent programme (uni.oslomet.no).

  • Welfare and benefits

    Upon signing a work contract where you are planning to stay in Norway for a while, you can become a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme (folketrygden in Norwegian). You can opt not to join if you are staying 12 months or less, but this is highly inadvisable, since public health care in Norway is among the best in the world. The Euraxess site offers extensive information about health service in Norway (euraxess.no).

    Health and insurance

    Anyone residing in Norway is entitled to health care under the National Insurance Scheme, provided that you have a Norwegian ID card. As an OsloMet employee, you will automatically become a member of the National Insurance Scheme, thus you are insured through both statutory and collectively agreed arrangements for personal injuries.

    If you are an EU/EEA citizen and do not have a Norwegian ID card, you need to apply for a European Health Insurance Card. If you are a citizen from outside the EU/EEA, you need to have a private insurance until you receive your Norwegian ID card.

    If you are from a non-EU/EEA country and staying in Norway for 3–12 months, you may apply for a voluntary membership in the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme upon arrival in Norway. 

    The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

    OsloMet recommends that all employees who are citizens of EU or EEA countries order the European Health Insurance Card (helsenorge.no)

    The card proves that you are entitled to necessary healthcare in the same way as nationals of the country you are visiting. If you are a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme and a national of either Norway or another EEA country, you are entitled to a European Health Insurance Card. It is only valid for an EEA country or Switzerland.

    The right to receive healthcare in another EEA country is no substitute for personal travel insurance. OsloMet therefore recommends that all foreign nationals in Norway are covered by supplementary travel insurance.

    The right to a doctor

    All members of the National Insurance Scheme are entitled to a primary doctor or General Practitioner – GP (fastlege in Norwegian). You can choose your own GP, as long as he/she is available.

    The primary doctor is responsible for examining, diagnosing, prescribing medication and referring to a specialist doctor or hospital if necessary. The doctor is not appointed arbitrarily; the insured person gets to choose from a list of available practitioners in the near vicinity. If you do not make a choice, there is an automatic selection, but you can opt to change afterwards.

    Your primary doctor can grant you a leave of absence from work if they deem fit. The severity of the condition determines whether you get full leave (100 percent) or reduced working time over a certain period. In case your doctor says you can work part-time, it is the employer’s duty to modify your schedule and adapt it to your needs.

    Hospitals

    The major hospitals in Oslo are under the cooperative umbrella of Oslo University Hospital (oslo-universitetssykehus.no), making it one of the largest in Scandinavia. If you need emergency care call 113 for life-threatening and acute health problems. For treatment of illnesses and injuries that cannot wait until the next day, you need to go to the emergency care (legevakten in Norwegian) at Oslo Emergency Ward (visitoslo.com).

    Dental care

    Dental care is a private health service in Norway. Dental treatment is therefore normally covered by the patient, with the exception of certain types of dental disease or injury. Children receive free public dental care. 

    Read more about dental care (helsenorge.no).

    Social security and insurance

    As an employee in the public sector, you are insured through both statutory and collectively agreed arrangements for personal injury and property damage. Most insurance and compensation schemes are coordinated so that you always get disbursed by the scheme that provides the highest amount of compensation.

    If you have more than 20 percent employment at OsloMet, you will qualify for group life insurance and occupational injury insurance from the Public Service Pension Fund. This ensures compensation if an employee gets injured or dies as a result of an occupational injury and covers any expenses for treatment associated with the injury.

    Bring your family

    Focus on family values is an important part of the Norwegian lifestyle. Children are highly valued in society and this also influences work culture. Norway has a very strong tradition in promoting equal opportunities and has one of the best options for parental leave in the world. Work/life balance is highly valued and many of our international employees express this as one of the reasons for bringing their family to Norway.

    Parental leave is typically divided between the parents. When on parental leave, parents can choose between receiving 100 percent pay for 49 weeks or 80 percent pay for 59 weeks. The benefits also apply if you adopt a child, take on a foster child, or have twins, and increase by the number of children. It is also acceptable for families with young children to leave work early to pick up their children from kindergarten.

    Norway also passed a gender neutral marriage bill in 2009, thus becoming the first of the Scandinavian countries to legalise same sex marriage.

    If you are planning to bring your family to Norway, you will find useful information at the EURAXESS Norway website (euraxess.no).

    Parental leave

    Most Norwegian parents take parental leave the first year after their baby is born. You are entitled to parental benefit if you have been employed and have received a pensionable income for at least six of the ten months prior to the start of the benefit period. 

    Read more about having a child in Norway (norge.no).

    Travel insurance when travelling on behalf of OsloMet

    When you are travelling on business on the behalf of OsloMet, you are covered through OsloMet-accepted credit cards or OsloMet’s travel agency agreement. In addition, we recommend all our employees to order the European Health Insurance Card (helsenorge.no).

    Fitness at OsloMet

    If you work in a 50 percent position or more at OsloMet, you may exercise up to one hour a week during your work hours, if the work allows for it. There are in-house gym facilities at both of OsloMet's campuses. The fitness rooms include a wide range of exercise equipment accessible free of charge for all employees. Get access to the fitness rooms by using your employee access card. 

    Read more about exercise at OsloMet (ansatt.oslomet.no) and what we can offer you.

    Language training

    OsloMet offers a variety of language training opportunities for employees, You may for instance take a Norwegian language course, a course in academic English or join the Language café. 

    More information about language training for employees (ansatt.oslomet.no).