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Stronger sanctions against social dumping at the land facilities

Starting on 1 December, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) can respond to social dumping by issuing orders, imposing fines and shutting down activities.

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The purpose of the Act relating to general application of wage agreements is to reinforce measures to prevent foreign workers from being subject to wages and working conditions that are worse than those stipulated under Norwegian collective wage agreements (social dumping).

New regulations
On 1 December 2004, the Regulations relating to general application of wage agreements became applicable for seven petroleum facilities on land which fall under the jurisdiction of the PSA. These regulations were superseded by new regulations in June 2006.

The rules laid down in the regulations - which are based on the Basic Agreement for construction disciplines - will as of 1 January 2007 be replaced by new Regulations for general application of wage agreements for construction sites in Norway.

New reactive measures
Until now, the PSA could only respond by reporting employers who violated the general application regulations to the police. Starting on 1 December, these sanctions have been expanded to include the use of orders, fines and shutdown of activities in those cases where employees at the petroleum facilities do not receive the wages and working conditions they are entitled to.

Expanded responsibility for principals
In addition to the above, provisions have been included which allow for issuing regulations that require principals to inform contractors of the obligations under general application decisions.

In practice, this will mean inclusion of a clause in the contract with the selected contractor stating that employees shall have wages and working conditions in keeping with the general application regulations.

Constant attention
Activity in relation to work immigration and prevention of social dumping is one of the PSA's priority tasks. This follow-up has largely taken place in connection with ordinary supervision of the working environment and safety aspects. The PSA has also implemented specific audit activities aimed at Norwegian and foreign contractors that perform work at land facilities.

Our experience is that most parties are aware of and follow up the requirements; however, our audits have also revealed some violations. The new reactive measures that take effect from 1 December are part of the Government's action plan to counteract social dumping. The intention is to ensure proper conditions in the Norwegian labor market.

The PSA is committed to ensuring that work immigrants and foreign service providers receive satisfactory, comprehensive and easily accessible information concerning the regulations. We cooperate with other supervisory authorities on uniform and goal-oriented information measures. Cooperation with employers and employees is another key element in following up the general application regulations.

Contact in the PSA:
Inger Anda, press spokesperson
E-mail: inger.anda@ptil.no
Telephone: +47 970 54 064