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About Fellesforbundet

Fellesforbundet, (English Name: The Norwegian United Federation of Trade Unions) with a membership of approximately 147 000, is the largest trade union in the private sector in Norway. We have thousands of members from countries other than Norway.

The union organizes mainly members in the iron and metal industry, the shipbuilding industry, graphical sector, car repair workshops, aircraft repair workshops, hotel- and restaurants, the textile industry, the shoe industry, the building trade, the building industry, the paper industry, graphical branches, fish farming, and agriculture and forestry.

The objective of Fellesforbundet is to organise employees in order to promote their wages and working conditions. Fellesforbundet will also work to promote the professional, economic and social interest of its members and ensure full employment.

You can read more about membership benefits here.

It is easy to join Fellesforbundet. You`ll find registration form here.

We know from experience that as a foreign worker you are more likely not to be paid what you are entitled, to encounter problems with the tax authorities because your employer has not paid tax for you, to be put at risk of accidents and not receive the support you need.

On this website you can read about what Fellesforbundet is, what you should look out for when working in Norway, what you are entitled to and how to get it. You can also join Fellesforbundet here.

What is a trade union?

A trade union is a confederation of workers from the same trade, profession or industry, who have joined forces to promote their interests to the employers. In companies where the workers are part of a trade union, they are entitled to more benefits (regulated in a so-called collective agreement), and can elect representatives to represent them and to negotiate with the company on their behalf. The trade union provides support when required.

Trade unions are democratic organisations as the leaders are elected by the members.
In Norway, over half of all employees belong to a trade union. It is by joining a trade union that workers in Norway have achieved

  • better working conditions
  • higher rates of pay
  • a good, safe working environment

Countries with weak trade unions also have weak employees. Joining a trade union gives the individual worker security, and contributes to a safer and better working life for everyone else.

Trade unions are not set up in order to make money, but to support members when required. The people who work in the unions are workers themselves, elected by their colleagues to represent them.

You cannot buy insurance once your house has burned down. Equally, you cannot expect a trade union to assist you after you have got into difficulties.

When you join a trade union you become part of a community. If you get into difficulty, the community will help you. If you are fortunate enough to avoid problems, you will be helping to ensure that those who do need help get it. This is solidarity: It works for us as individuals, and for all of us together.

Who can join a trade union?

Anyone working in Norway can be a member, whether employed in a Norwegian or foreign company, and whether they are Norwegian or foreign citizens. Fellesforbundet has thousands of members from countries other than Norway.

Member benefits

As a member, the most important insurance you have is the help you get if you have problems at work. You also have a number of other insurances. All these apply during your stay in Norway (but not in your home country if outside the Nordics).

  • House insurance (covers fire, explosion and water damage, break-ins and bicycle theft).
  • Leisure accident insurance (covers accidents that occur during your spare time, including medical and dental costs, as well as treatment and stays at private hospitals and clinics by pre-agreement with the insurance company).
  • Basic insurance (covers you, spouses/partners and resident unmarried children below the age of 21, upon death regardless of the reason and anywhere in the world).

Membership gives you Norway’s best house and contents insurance and discounts on insurances, travel, power, car repairs, etc. through LO favor. For more information call +47 815 32 600 or go to www.lofavor.no.

What is a collective agreement?

A collective agreement is an agreement between the employees’ and employers’ organisations. In Norway, collective agreements are national. A collective agreement entitles you to better terms than the industry standard for e.g. pay for public holidays, right to more holiday and holiday pay, more overtime pay and better pension schemes. An agreement also provides greater freedom to agree working hours that are more suitable for long distance commuters than those dictated by law. Here are some of the differences:



Non-members without collective agreement (only Norwegian law applies)

Members of a company with a collective agreement


No rules

Agreed salary terms – including minimum wage. Right to annual local negotiations.

Working hours

9 hours per day/ 40 hours per week

7.5 hours per day/ 37.5 hours per week

Extra pay for week-ends and nights

No extra pay

Agreed extra pay

Public holiday pay

Only 1 and 17 May are paid

All public holidays are paid


Terms of the Company Act and Working Environment Act

Agreements and terms for members

Unfair dismissal

No help, you have to get your own solicitor

Support from officers and solicitors if required


4 weeks and 1 day, 10.2% holiday pay

5 weeks, 12 % holiday pay


No support

Support from 

fund. Own training organisation. Union organises courses and conferences


What does it cost to be a member?

The fee for Fellesforbundet is between 1.5 and 2.2 percent of gross salary, depending on which local trade union you belong to. In reality you pay slightly less as part of the fee is tax deductible. Membership includes a number of insurance and membership benefits.


What is early retirement pension (“AFP”)?

AFP is a collective agreement pension scheme, which enables you to retire at 62. If you are employed in a company with a collective agreement that includes AFP, you will be entitled to AFP.

Previously AFP was paid from the state pension when you turned 67. AFP is now a lifelong addition to the state pension from the government.

You have to apply for the government state pension at the same time as AFP. This is because the new AFP is provided as a supplement to the state pension. But you do not need to withdraw 100 % of your state pension, you can choose to withdraw between 20, 40, 50, 60 or 80 percent.
AFP is only awarded if the criteria for a state pension are met, including the requirement of being guaranteed the minimum pension level/guaranteed pension when you turn 67. When calculating whether you meet the requirement for a guaranteed minimum pension, the AFP supplement is included.

Are foreign workers entitled to AFP?

It is important to note that the total earnings for some foreign workers who only work briefly in Norway will be too low to meet the requirements of a guaranteed pension by the time they turn 67. They will therefore not be eligible for AFP at 62 years, even if they meet the other requirements for AFP.


What are the requirements for receiving AFP?


Requirements for 62 year olds
In 7 of the 9 last years before you turn 62, you must have worked in a company/companies with a collective agreement that includes AFP.

However, there are provisos for those born on the following dates:
1944-1951, the rule is 3 of the last 5 years
1952, the rule is 4 out of the last 6 years
1953, the rule is 5 out of the last 7 years
1954, the rule is 6 out of the last 8 years

  • You must also meet the seniority requirements by the time you turn 62. It is irrelevant if you continue working for the company and meet the requirement once you turn 62, such as when you turn 63.
  • During the seniority period, your main job must be with a member company, and your pension earning income (salary etc.) from the company must be higher than any other incomes.
  • You must have worked in your position for at least 20 percent of your time.
  • If in the last three years you have turned 62 and received a pension (not disability allowance), severance pay or any other service from present or previous jobs without corresponding duties, you are not entitled to AFP as the value of the annual service is more than 1.5 G.

Requirements for withdrawal
The main rule regarding your time of withdrawal is that in the last three consecutive years prior to this date you must have been employed and a genuine employee of a company/companies with a collective agreement that includes AFP. In the last three years before taking out AFP, you must have worked for at least 20% in your job.

At the time of withdrawal, you must have a pension-earning income, which when converted to an annual income exceeds 1G (basic state wage, adjusted annually).You must also have an annual income in excess of 1G for the previous income year.
For more information visit www.afp.no/