A GOOD CV IS ESSENTIAL
The easiest way is to use a special wizard to help create our application based on one of the available templates – many CV creators on the web are free and freely available to the public.
The way the information is presented is very important, as it is crucial to catch a potential employer’s attention in the flurry of documents being sent out. Take the opportunity to personalise basic templates so that the CV appears to have been created specifically for the job offer.
The easiest way to do this is to include the position you are applying for in your CV – it is best to add this under your name, where it will immediately catch the recruiter’s attention.
Another important aspect is to include three sections in your CV: skills, achievements and a professional summary. The most important part of the entire application is the last positions held, so make sure this information is on the first page of the application (preferably at the top and on the left-hand side) and highlighted appropriately – properly used spacing, bold or colours focus attention better and the document appears more attractive to read.
Every candidate’s secret weapon is the professional summary, unfortunately, few people include it in their applications. First of all, we have the chance to personalise our CV and present our experience and skills in the context of the position we want to apply for. In a career summary, it is very important that the information is presented concisely and is closely related to the position we are interested in – the ideal summary should include who we are, our most important achievements and the direction we want to develop in, for example:
If we have doubts about what our CVs should look like, we can imagine ourselves analysing the applications submitted – knowing what we ourselves would look out for, it will be easier to adapt to the recruiter’s expectations. Since the devil is in the detail, it is the detail that plays a key role here – when describing your experience, remember to include exact dates (taking into account not only years, but months as well), and when indicating the scope of your responsibilities, include information (with concrete data or using numbers) that works to your advantage and clearly shows how you have developed in successive positions.
It all depends on what your work experience is like. If it’s just the beginning of your career, it’s a good idea to focus on your education and skills, but those with many years of experience should limit information about your education and focus on your career path – remember that unnecessary information works against you.
It is also worth remembering the advantage of personalised applications – by sending applications to selected companies, we are sure to highlight the information that is most relevant to a potential employer, and thus increase our chances of being invited to an interview. Universal CVs most often go unnoticed and fall by the wayside at the initial recruitment stage.
Writing a professional CV does not at all require the help of a specialist. It is enough to carefully analyse the expectations of a potential employer on the basis of a job advertisement and match your achievements and skills to his requirements, so that the recruiter receives all the information he is interested in in a simple and clear form.
Looking for a job on the basis of advertisements posted on the Internet has the advantage that we can start the search while still in Poland, and only deal with the necessary formalities on the spot. More and more often, interviews are conducted online, so distance should not be a problem. One of the most popular Norwegian portals where you can find job advertisements is finn.no, in addition there are many websites on the web dedicated to job offers in Norway.
If you are looking for a job that requires a certain level of education or skills, it is advisable to find out in advance about Norwegian regulations and employers’ requirements for the job – you may have to complete additional formalities in order to take up employment.
If you are looking for a job for a shorter period, seasonal work or simply a job that does not require certificates and diplomas, it is worth considering searching locally. You will often find that direct personal contact is more effective than sending applications by e-mail. This solution requires that you put your Norwegian address and telephone number in your CV – you can add the new data to the application prepared in Poland, or go to NAV, where you can print the documents for free. You can talk to recruiters, hotel and restaurant managers or simply Poles you meet on the spot about jobs. In multinational corporations, experience in a similar position in another branch of the company will be a big advantage, so if you have worked in Poland in a hotel, café or restaurant that also has its branches in Norway, it is worth applying there.
It is a good idea to look for a job on recommendation – if you know someone who lives and works in Norway, you can find a job on recommendation. This gives us confidence in the reliability of the prospective employer.
The most important issue is to sign a contract with a Norwegian employer, which is a confirmation of employment and allows you to claim your rights. However, remember that the rights and obligations contained in the Norwegian Labour Code apply to all employees – including those who have not signed a contract.
Do not forget basic documents such as a passport, driving licence or an EHIC card, thanks to which you will be able to take advantage of Norwegian medical care.
We have to report our intention to leave on the day of departure at the latest – electronically using the ePUAP platform at www.epuap.gov.pl, at www.obywatel.gov.pl or at the municipal office. We will need an identity document (identity card, passport) and a form to report a departure abroad (ZGŁOSZENIE WYJAZDU POZA GRANICE RZECZYPOSPOLITEJ POLSKIEJ / NOTIFICATION OF LEAVING THE TERRITORY OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND).
This means that in order to receive medical care, depending on the service, we will have to pay a lump sum non-refundable fee – e.g. a visit to a general practitioner is approximately NOK 140-240.
The EHIC card does not cover all treatment costs, which is why we should have basic check-ups and visit a dentist before departure (in Norway, dental care is not included in health insurance).
Before leaving, we should consider taking out additional insurance – third party liability (in case of deterioration in health of a third party or damage to valuables belonging to them through the fault of the insured), accident insurance (personal accident insurance) or just a basic policy that will cover medical expenses and possible medical transport. In the case of employees, it is necessary to specify the type of work carried out, on which the premiums and coverage depend.
FORMALITIES IN NORWAY
Upon arrival in Norway, you must register with the registration office, Folkeregisteret, within 8 days of arriving in Norway. If you have arrived for a period of less than 3 months, you do not need to register at the Population Register – it is sufficient to register at selfservice.udi.no and then report to the local police station – UDI and possibly to the Service Centre for Foreign Workers. Poles, as citizens of the European Union, may stay and work in Norway without registration for a period of 3 months – after this time we must have legal employment, and a stay longer than 6 months should be reported to the office.
You only need to register once, regardless of the length of your stay in Norway – the registration certificate is valid indefinitely (until you meet the conditions for obtaining it). We can apply for a permanent right of residence after five years.
Persons who intend to work in Norway should have a tax card and an identification number – a permanent or temporary personal number. A D-nummer applies to persons who will spend less than 6 months in Norway – you will need to apply at your local tax office, showing your identity card or passport and an employment contract or extract from the Norwegian Register of Business Entities. If you intend to stay in Norway permanently, the office will issue you with a permanent personal number – Fødselsnummer. When applying for a permanent number at the office, you will be required to provide documents showing the basis of your stay in Norway (residence permit – minimum 6 months, registration certificate) and the duration of your stay (employment contract, rental agreement or flat purchase agreement).
Be sure to read about Kildeskatt – tax for foreign employees.
The Skattekort, or Norwegian tax card, can be obtained from a branch of Skatteetaten, where you will need to present identification and proof of employment. The tax card should be handed in to your employer.
Another issue is membership of the Norwegian Social Insurance Scheme – folketrygden. This means that you are entitled to all the benefits of NAV and health care, i.e. pension, sick pay and medical care, according to the rules in force in Norway. How do I become a member of folketrygden? If you live and work in Norway, you automatically become a member of the Norwegian insurance scheme – employees pay health insurance contributions together with tax. An exception to this is if you are insured in your home country – you must document this with a certificate from the responsible social insurance authority. For detailed information about folketrygden membership, please contact your local NAV office.
Form E-106 is used to extend insurance to Poland for us and our family members – usually this form applies to people with a temporary personal number who:
- are working in Norway or receiving unemployment benefit,
- have a permanent address of residence in Poland,
- pay social insurance contributions in Norway,
- regularly visit family in Poland.
The E-109 form is used to extend insurance to Poland to our family members – usually persons with a permanent personal number who:
- are working in Norway or receiving unemployment benefit,
- have their permanent address of residence in Norway,
- pay social insurance contributions in Norway,
- part of their family lives in Poland and part in Norway.
Application for the form should be submitted to Helfo (the office dealing with health service administration) – after receiving two copies of the form, we deliver them to the NFZ branch, one of which must be sent back to Helfo with the NFZ stamp. The validity of the E-106 and E-109 forms is usually two years.
It is also important to authorise your acquired education. The need for authorisation depends on the profession you wish to pursue in Norway. If it is one of the professions regulated by Norwegian regulations, authorisation – profesjonsgodkjenning – is mandatory regardless of your level of education. Confirmation of qualifications is required for, for example, work in the healthcare system (nurse, doctor), professions related to finance (accounting) or pedagogy (teacher, educator).
If our profession is not on the list of regulated professions by law, the authorisation of education is not mandatory. Sometimes, however, an employer requires such a document – in such a situation we can apply for generell godkjenning, i.e. recognition of education by NOKUT. NOKUT is responsible for comparing higher education outside of Norway with the Norwegian education system – the programme of study, its length, and the status of the university are all checked. Once this information has been analysed, you will be informed whether your degree has been recognised and which degree in Norway it corresponds to. The entire procedure is completely free of charge.
ACCOMMODATION IN NORWAY
If you intend to work on behalf of one of the agencies operating on the Norwegian labour market, accommodation issues are usually discussed with the recruiter – thanks to this you do not have to worry about the location and costs of accommodation.
If you are looking for a job directly on behalf of an employer, you have to be prepared to spend quite a bit of money right from the start, as landlords usually expect a deposit, and hostels also require a certain outlay. We can reduce the cost of renting – by going in a larger group or staying with family or friends. Alternatively, we can stay in camping and tent sites – an interesting option for seasonal work. There is a lot of choice, you just have to carefully analyse all the possibilities and bet on the best option for you. You can search for places to stay on Norwegian websites, such as vandrerhjem.no.
WORKING IN A NORWEGIAN COMPANY
In Norway, minimum wages in certain industries are regulated by law – employers may offer higher wages, but may not go below these amounts. These arrangements ensure that employees in a given sector have an adequate level of pay and working conditions.
According to the regulations, standard working hours should not exceed 9 hours per day and 40 hours per week. In the case of night work (21.00-6.00) and shift work, the working hours are 36 or 38 hours per week. Overtime is the time worked in excess of the legal working hours – it is remunerated with the usual rate and allowance (minimum 40%), but may not exceed:
- 10 h in a week,
- 25 h in a 4-week period,
- 200 hours in a 52-week period.
The total working time for overtime cannot be more than 13 hours per day and 48 hours in a week. In addition, there should be at least 11 free hours between shifts and at least 35 hours once a week (usually at weekends).
Every Norwegian employee is entitled to a holiday – regardless of working hours, the holiday is a minimum of 25 working days. For holidays, the employer is obliged to pay 10.2% of the previous year’s salary (base plus any commissions, sick pay, care allowance), the so-called feriepenger – the basis for calculating holiday pay is a statement of annual wages and deductions to be provided by the employer. Persons over 60 years of age are entitled to additional holiday days and a higher holiday allowance of 12.5%.
Termination issues should be specified in the employment contract, unless otherwise agreed, according to the Labour Code the notice period is one month. The employee is not obliged to give a reason for resigning, but the employer must justify its decision. If an employee grossly neglects his or her duties or acts to the detriment of the company, the employer may terminate the employment relationship with immediate effect. The employee also has this right when conditions in the workplace are unacceptable.
Employees who have been employed for at least four weeks are entitled to sickness benefit. In order to receive the benefit for the period of absence from work, we must document our inability to work due to illness or injury with a medical certificate.
In the case of short-term illness, we can use an egenmelding, i.e. a self-declaration of absence from work – we must have worked for at least two months to use it. The egenmelding can be submitted for the first three days of illness, after which the employer is entitled to require a medical certificate from us.
When the employer is forced to reduce the work of the company, he has the right to send the employee on a forced unpaid leave – permittering. When the employer decides on permittering, his obligation is taken over by NAV, which pays the salary for a maximum of 49 weeks (after 30 weeks off, the employer pays for five consecutive days and NAV again for the next 19 weeks).
Working in Norway, we are obliged to pay taxes – income tax and social security contributions for employees are 30.2% of the gross salary. It is important to apply for a tax card and hand it in to our employer. This will enable the office to determine the correct amount of deductions, otherwise the tax will be calculated automatically and significantly exceed the actual amounts.
Even if you come to work for a short period, you must have:
- a Norwegian personal identity number,
- tax card.
Anyone living and working in Norway for less than 6 months is required to have a temporary personal ID number (D-nummer). The number is issued by Skatteetaten, the Norwegian tax authorities, who will also issue you with a tax deduction card (skattekort). Depending on where you work, whether with a Norwegian employer or a person who is not a Norwegian national, the Skattekontoret, your local tax office or a branch of the Skatteetaten SFU (Central Foreign Tax Office) will issue the necessary documents.
It is also worth remembering to open a bank account in a Norwegian bank, as this is where your employer should transfer your wages – an identity card or passport is usually sufficient to open an account.
There are many ways and it is really up to you. The safest way is to look for a job on recommendation. The risk is minimal and we have confidence in the credibility of the prospective employer.
Another option is the standard browsing of offers posted on Internet portals – a good, although time-consuming solution. When deciding to look for a job via the Internet, we must remember that it takes a lot of time and requires caution – before sending an application, it is worth carefully analysing the offer and checking the credibility of the company and the portal on which it is posted. In this way, we can avoid problems in the future.
In Norway, seasonal workers are mainly sought for work in services, i.e. catering and tourism, construction and agriculture. The Norwegian labour authority – NAV – has created a page where we can find advice related to the search for temporary employment and job offers in English.
Another option is to go to Norway and look for a job already there. Often direct contact with recruiters or managers increases our chances. You can print out your CV at your local NAV branch. It is also a good idea to have references to prove your experience.
Seasonal workers are entitled to overtime pay and the employer should provide at least one break (if the employee works more than 5.5 hours).
Volunteers help with small jobs or daily chores and have their own free time – so they have time to explore Norway and look for work.
As with any work trip, it is worth remembering about insurance and formalities – volunteers should register a stay of more than three months and have a temporary personal number, without which it is virtually impossible to function.
Opening your own business in Norway requires a number of formalities – so that your business can operate properly and in accordance with the law. First and foremost, you will need to register your business with the Brønnøysundregistrene, where you apply for a Norwegian organisation number and the Register of Business Entities (Enhetsregister) – either at the office or electronically via Altinn.no – the cost of registration depends on the type of business to be registered.
We must also remember to set up a company bank account (bedriftskonto) to enable cash flows related to the company’s operations.
Norwegian entrepreneurs are required to pay taxes depending on the type of business: income tax (Forskuddsskatt) and VAT. If you employ employees, you must additionally pay employer tax (Arbeidsgiveravgift) and advance income tax for employees (Forskuddstrekk).
If you intend to hire employees or use subcontractors, you must remember that you are obliged to report their stay in the country to the Central Office of Foreign Tax Affairs (SFU – Sentralskattekontoret for utenlandssaker) and that you are obliged to provide occupational safety training (HMS), and if you are in the construction or cleaning trades, you must provide your employees with trade cards (Byggekort and Renholdskort).
In Norway, we can operate a sole proprietorship ENK (Enkeltpersonforetak), a public limited company: AS – Aksjeselskap, ASA – Allmennaksjeselskap – limited liability company, DA – Delt Ansvar / ANS – Ansvarlig Selskap – general partnership or a subsidiary of a foreign company, i.e. NUF (Norskregistrert utenlandsk foretak).
The most popular are sole proprietorships, which require virtually no investment and are relatively simple to set up – all you need is a permanent personal number and MinID codes with which to log in to the Altinn portal.
The owner bears full legal and financial responsibility for the company’s liabilities, and consequently there is no separation between the assets of the company and those of the owner.
The opposite is true for an AS company, where the shareholders’ assets are completely separate from those of the company – any liabilities are only collected up to the amount of the share capital. To set up a company, several conditions must be met. It is necessary to have a minimum share capital of NOK 30,000 (this can be used to finance start-up and establishment costs). Another is the appointment of a board of directors and full accounting.
Another solution is the NUF – a subsidiary of a company that is based in Poland but carries out orders in Norway. This type of activity requires excellent knowledge of the double taxation agreement. As the entrepreneur is financially responsible in Norway and Poland at the same time, he or she must establish tax obligations that depend on the nature and duration of the business.
It is worth exploring the Altinn.no platform, where we can conveniently submit applications, settlements or appeals regarding tax returns, VAT settlements, advance income tax payments or settlements of social security contributions.
UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS IN NORWAY
A person who is actually looking for work is, according to the guidelines, a person who is willing to undertake any work in the country. This means that we have to be able to work (people who cannot work are entitled to other benefits, e.g. sickness benefit), willing to take up full-time or part-time employment. Those who work part-time should be ready to change companies if a more substantial job offer comes along. Exceptions are people over 60 and those with private problems – health problems, caring for children under one year old (or caring for children under seven if a lone parent is involved) and people who have to care for immediate family members. Being active in your job search means applying and attending interviews. More information is available on the NAV website.
The application should be submitted one week before the first day of unemployment. Those who complete their application for benefits within four weeks – complete the required documentation and submit a complete application to the office – are entitled to benefits from the date of registration.
One of the most important prerequisites for receiving the benefit is that you regularly inform the office of your situation – this is done by means of a registration card, which you present to NAV every 14 days. On the registration card, you must state whether you wish to continue to be registered as a jobseeker and whether you have worked in the last 14 days and, if so, how many hours. If you miss the deadline for submitting the card, the office will deduct part of your benefit amount.
The amount of unemployment benefit in Norway depends on the previous year’s income base and social benefits – it is approximately 62% of pre-tax income. The length of the benefit period depends on the amount of income – there are 52 or 104 weeks.
For detailed information on Norwegian unemployment benefit, see nav.no.
MUM IN NORWAYI
The employer should be informed of the pregnancy up to three months before the maternity leave – it has a duty to provide a safe working environment for the pregnant woman, so it is advisable to talk to the employer about the new situation as early as possible.
If her current duties could affect her health, the mother-to-be is entitled to a change of job – an application should be completed by her doctor or midwife. At the end of maternity leave, the woman has the right to work in the position she held before her leave. If it is not possible to create a suitable job, a corresponding application should be submitted to NAV together with the application for pregnancy allowance.
Pregnancy allowance – svangerskapspenger – is granted to women who are forced to interrupt their work due to health risks for the mother and child.
Parental benefit – foreldrepenger is paid to the mother, father or both parents who have worked in Norway for a minimum of six months in the past ten months. The income should reach a level on which pension contributions are paid (at least half the amount set by NAV – grunnbeløp).
Parents who are not entitled to parental benefit can take advantage of Engangsstønad, which is a one-off benefit for the birth of a child – the amount is approximately NOK 44,000. To receive the benefit, the mother should:
- have a Norwegian personal identity number,
- have her residence in Norway,
- be a member of the Folketrygden (the Norwegian insurance scheme),
- be under the care of a Norwegian doctor during pregnancy.
To live and work in Norway you must have a tax card. You can obtain a Skattekort from the Skatteetaten branch, where you will need to provide proof of identity and proof of employment, i.e. an employment contract or, if you are employed by an agency, a contract of mandate. In later years, those with a permanent personal number automatically receive a tax card, and they can also order one electronically via the Altinn portal. Those with a temporary number – D-nummer – should apply for a tax card themselves using a form to be submitted to the local tax office.
If you do not anticipate an income that exceeds the tax-free amount set for the year, you can use the frikort tax card – so that your employer does not deduct advance tax payments from your salary.
The submission of an annual tax return requires the submission of copies of the required documents to prove that we have earned income and that we are entitled to deductions for tax credits. Your eligibility for deductions depends on whether you meet the criteria set by the office – tax credits are not automatically taken into account.
Be sure to read up on the Kildeskatt – the sub-tax for foreign workers.
The basic documents needed for the annual tax return are Sammenstiling (a statement of annual salaries and paid bills), årsoppgave (account balance information sent by the bank) and Selvangivelse (a pre-settled return that the office sends).
When settling accounts with the Norwegian Tax Authority, we can take advantage of ordinary settlement, the 10% relief or Pendler status.
Pendler status can also be obtained by single persons who have permanent registration in Poland and the area of the premises where they live in Norway does not exceed 30 m2 per person.
Pendler may deduct, among other things:
- costs of renting accommodation,
- costs of travel to Poland
- costs of commuting to work,
- electricity bills,
- deductible costs – minstefradrag.
In order to settle as a Pendler, you will need to provide relevant documents to substantiate the costs you have incurred and the possibility to take advantage of the allowance, e.g. a statement of annual salaries and taxes paid (Sammenstiling), certificates of residence in Poland and Norway, certificate of ownership of premises in Poland, marriage certificate or birth certificates of children.
Standardfradrag allows you to write off 10% tax on income from employment, but the amount of the deduction must not exceed NOK 40 000.
In order to benefit from this allowance, we must not have Pendler status and our period of residence in Norway should not exceed 183 days per year and 270 days in two consecutive years. Standardfradrag is available for a maximum of two years after arrival in Norway and excludes the possibility of claiming other deductions.
Please note that from 2019 the 10% allowance is abolished.
The ordinary settlement, on the other hand, is a tax deduction available to permanent residents in Norway who cannot benefit from other deductions.
When operating a business in Norway, we are required to pay income tax of 22% on company profit and social security contributions of 11.4% on company profit. In addition to this, tax thresholds are established each year to regulate the interest on companies’ excess profits – the more profit our company has made, the more tax we will pay.
If a company has achieved a turnover of more than NOK 50,000 in a consecutive twelve-month period (on the sale of goods and services at each stage of the sale, tax is charged on the selling price; on imports, tax is charged on the statistical value of the goods in question), it should be entered in the VAT register – Merverdiavgiftsregisteret.
Norwegian VAT is divided into three rates:
- standard (25%),
- reduced (15%, groceries),
- low (12%, passenger transport and culture – radio, cinema, television).
In addition, if we run a business and hire employees, we have to pay taxes for them (about 26.3% on the gross wage amount):
- employment levy (14.1% on gross salary),
- pension insurance (2% on gross pay),
- feriepenger (10.2% on gross salary – employees under 60 years of age, 12.5% on gross salary – employees over 60 years of age).
RETIREMENT PENSION IN NORWAY
The right to receive a pension is ensured by a pension from folketrygden, the Norwegian social insurance scheme. The amount of the pension depends on the length of residence in Norway, the number of years worked and the savings held.
Norwegian employees are members of compulsory pension schemes, and the employer has the option of entering into an agreement with AFP – avtalefestet pensjon – through which its employees become entitled to an additional pension.
The pension rules vary depending on the date of birth of the applicants:
- for those born before 1954, the old pension calculation rules apply,
- for those born between 1954 and 1962, a combination of the old and new pension calculation rules is applied,
- for persons born after 1962, the new pension calculation rules are applied.
For more information about the pension benefit, see Pension in Norway.