Foreign workers who do not get to work in Norway due to coronavirus restrictions will receive compensation for the period from January 29.
“Since the border closed on January 29, they have not had the opportunity to work, and many have not been paid. We are now proposing a new compensation scheme based on the sick pay scheme, as this makes it possible to put in place a scheme relatively quickly,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg (H) said.
Solberg announced that she informed her Swedish colleague Stefan Löfven about the scheme on Tuesday morning.
“I am glad that we have found a solution that can ease the situation for many Swedes who work in Norway,” Solberg added.
The scheme will apply to commuters resident in the EEA area.
“Not the job of Norwegian taxpayers”
The Progress Party’s (FRP) Erlend Wiborg warned that the FRP would not support the scheme.
“FRP is against this, as we believe Norwegian welfare benefits should go to Norwegian citizens and others who live and work in Norway. The government’s compensation scheme will go to people living in Romania, Poland, Latvia, Sweden, and so on,” Wiborg told news bureau NTB.
“It is not Norwegian taxpayers’ job to finance these people. Our job is to secure those who live in Norway, so it is up to Poland, Sweden, Romania, and other European countries to provide for their citizens.”
Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (H), on the other hand, believes that it is important to put in place the compensation scheme.
“Many foreign workers have earned these rights… With increasing infection rates in Norway, we must expect strict entry restrictions for a longer period of time. That is why it is important to have a scheme that ensures that the affected employees who do not receive a salary still have something to live on,” Isaksen said.
Up to NOK 600,000
According to the government’s proposal, the compensation will be 70% of the sickness benefit basis, up to 6 G (which corresponds to around NOK 600,000).
Employers who had paid wages before the scheme came into place will also receive a refund corresponding to 70% of the sickness benefit basis.
The government announced that a proposal would shortly be submitted to the Storting.
Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews
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