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Internal Market: Norway's rules on paid parental leave prevent equal treatment




The Norwegian rules on paid parental leave give rise to discrimination on grounds of sex and are in breach of EEA rules. Today, the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has therefore sent a reasoned opinion to Norway.Parental-leave

“Equal treatment is a fundamental principle of EEA law. Norwegian authorities are not living up to their EEA obligations when they do not grant men and women equal rights”, says ESA President Sven Erik Svedman.

In Norway, certain limits on the grant of paid parental leave are only applicable to fathers. The result is that mothers are explicitly granted more comprehensive rights to paid leave.

According to the Norwegian system, the father's rights to paid parental leave is dependent upon the mother's work situation. The same does not apply in reversed circumstances, and in ESA's view this constitutes a breach of the Equal Treatment Directive (2006/54/EC).

Today's reasoned opinion is the second stage in the formal infringement proceedings against Norway. ESA may bring the matter before the EFTA Court if Norway fails to comply with the EEA rules on equal treatment.

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Anne Vestbakke
Head of Communications
tel. +32 2 286 18 66
mob. +32 490 57 63 53

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