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Compassionate leave / non-statutory leave entitlement

An employer can grant an employee compassionate leave in situations where the employee has a need for absence from work for a shorter period of time.

Examples of cases where compassionate leave is often given are doctor’s appointment, relocation, adaptation in kindergarten, death or burial for close family members.

Whether an employee is entitled to such leave and whether the leave is granted with or without pay will often be regulated in agreements (e.g. collective agreements) or the company's internal rules.

Our members working in the state sector, the municipal sector, Church of Norway and in enterprises affiliated to the enterprise federation Virke are covered by collective agreements that give the right to welfare leave for up to 12 days per calendar year. The condition is that there must be important welfare reasons or important care reasons (applies in the state sector).

Compassionate leave must be applied for / agreed with the employer. In other words, it is up to the employer to assess whether the reasons for leave are important. The employer must treat applications for compassionate leave objectively and justifiably and no external considerations shall be taken into account. Equal issues must be treated equally.

For enterprises affiliated to the employers’ associations Spekter and Abelia, compassionate leave is not regulated in collective agreements. Compassionate leave may, however, be included in company rules. Therefore, employees in enterprises organized in Spekter and Abelia should check with their employer whether there is opportunity to be granted compassionate leave.

Employers may have introduced expanded entitlement to compassionate leave due to the situation of the corona epidemic.

Sick children

Information on rights related to care for sick children can be found on this page: Care benefit days


Article updated 27 January 2021 

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