Panel #2: Decent work and labour mobility

Statement held in Geneva, 12 - 13 October 2017.

Norway is part of a common labour market together with Iceland Liechtenstein and Switzerland and the European Union through the agreement on the European Economic Area. This means that Norway is part of a common labour market approximately 100 times the size of our own domestic labour market.

The European labour market constitutes our main source of labour migrants. Since the enlargement of the European Union, Norway has had a high influx of labour migrants especially from the Baltic states and Poland.

If the employers are unable to recruit labour with the relevant competence in our domestic or European labour market, recruiting outside the European Economic Area is a possibility. Norway has a demand driven policy of labour migration where access to the Norwegian labour market is based on an offer of work by a Norwegian company. Wages according to the tasks and national tariffs is a requisite.  To be a skilled worker is a condition in order to obtain the right to permanent stay. For seasonal work, there are no such skill requirements. 

For Norway, a labour market with decent and fair working conditions for all is essential for being an attractive destination for recruiting skilled labour migrants sought for in the Norwegian labour market.

The high increase of labour migrants to the Norwegian labour market, especially since 2004, has put strains to our labour market model and our ability to maintain orderly conditions in the working life. For Norway, a labour market with decent and fair working conditions for all is both a necessity and essential for our tripartite dialogue between employers, unions, and Goverment. Therefore, the government has reinforced measures to combat work related criminal activity and unlawful practices in the work life. The system of general application of collective agreements in certain sectors is an important tool to secure decent wages and working conditions for labour migrants. The decisions to make collective agreement general applicable is made by an independent body, with the participation of the social partners. Further, we have tripartite dialogue and collaboration concerning a wide range of measures in order to prevent social dumping. For example, in some vulnerable sectors the authorities and the social partners join their efforts to combat the challenges in that specific sector. In addition, we have strengthened the Labour Inspectorate and the cooperation with the Police, immigration authorities, tax- and other control authorities in the working life in general.

The International Labour Organization adopted in 2016 a guideline concerning "Fair migration" which outline how to secure a fair and lawful migration from country of origin to receiving country. The ILO has also adopted conclusions (ILC 2017) which focus on how country of origin and receiving countries of migrant workers have to collaborate to secure both fair migration and decent working conditions for the migrants. Norway has taken an active part in these deliberations.

Norway would like to underline the need for UN and other international organizations like IOM and ILO to collaborate and to take into account the instruments that already exist when addressing these issues within the framework of the global compact on safe, orderly and regular migration.

Regarding the specifics relating to the prevention of negative effects in countries of origin from international migration of health personnel,  Norway consider the WHO Global Code of Practice on International Recruitment adopted in 2010 as our main normative document in the field of health personnel migration and recruitment.