Private sector

The private sector can decide who they want to hire, but discrimination against certain groups can be forbidden.

Please note that the private market may be further regulated in the collective agreements (basic agreements, local agreements).

For both the public and private sector the following rules apply:

  • The main rule is that employees should be hired on a permanent position.
  • A written employment contract is mandatory regardless of the duration of employment relationship and the size or percentage of the position.
  • If there shall be a trial period it must be included in the contract, and the limit is no longer than 6 months.
  • Employers must inform employees about available positions in the organization.

Employment in the public sector

The employment process in the public sector is regulated primarily by the regulations to the State employees Act and the Public Administration Act. In addition, each agency has personnel regulations and its own rules for employment.

In the State, the Basic Agreement and the Basic Collective Agreement is applicable.

Announcement of a vacant position

The main rule is that available positions shall be advertised publicly. Employers are obliged to report vacancies to NAV (The Government Employment Agency), but they are free to process the employment process as they choose.

Assignments less than 6 months do not need to be advertised. The same rule applies to employment up to 12 months. If the employment is for a permanent position than main policy for the organization will apply.


The qualification principle applies to all appointments in public administration. This involves that the applicants with the best qualifications, education and background, and personal suitability shall be chosen for employment.

Employment in the public sector is based on two step process: The closest supervisor submits a recommendation to a superior body (either an employment council or the company board of directors) they will then determine who to employ.

The closest supervisor to the position affected  will choose three applicants in a ranking order, but the employment council or board is not bounded by this ranking order.

Both the closest supervisor and employment council are bound by the The Public Administration’s Acts rules on impartiality and confidentiality.