Norway becomes hot destination for work as a contractor

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View of historical buildings, Bryggen in Bergen, Norway. UNESCO

Demand for contracting work in Norway has skyrocketed, assisted by steady financial growth in the country, according to data published by independent contractor management company 6 Cats.

The data shows that the number of temporary workers employed in Norway increased by 170 per cent between January and May of this year.

Norwegian GDP grew at the fastest pace in more than four years in the fourth quarter of 2018, rising 0.9 per cent excluding oil and shipping, the most since June 2014. In addition to this, the Norwegian IT talent pool is shrinking, with a 2018 government report estimating that Norway could face a shortfall of more than 4,000 temporary workers in the highly-skilled niche of IT security by 2030 unless active measures are taken to reverse the decreasing rate of suitable professionals.

For the time being, Norway’s membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) enables UK nationals to freely start work there uninhibited. Norway is also a member of the Schengen Area.

Michelle Reilly, CEO of 6 Cats International and founder of 6 Cats Pro commented on these statistics: “There’s certainly been a growth in business activity in Norway that is driving a surge in demand for contract professionals. The need for workers to plug talent gaps in the country is higher than ever, and this is being reflected across multiple sectors, especially in professions such as IT and engineering.

“For contractors, and the agencies that place them overseas, Norway is certainly likely to continue to be a destination of choice in the near future. However, employment and tax compliance in the region can be complex. For those needing a visa, it is important to bear in mind that it usually takes around four to six weeks to obtain one. In addition to this, contractors will need to register with Norwegian authorities within three months of any move, which will involve an online pre-application form and a visit to the local police station.

“Given the growing global scrutiny on tax compliance, in order to ensure all parties abide by local legislation, and to remove the risk and administrative burden of compliance, partnering with a specialist international contractor management company is certainly advisable.”

The benefits of pursuing a contract career in Norway are affluent. Norway has one of the greater financial economies in the world and is the world’s 6th least corrupt country. It promotes transparent regulatory obligations, which boosts entrepreneurial activity and innovation through employee benefits. Norway is classified as 6 out of 190 in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, with a progressively lower rate of tax over the past few years.

However, despite the transparent tax system, a fair amount of tax planning on the part of the temporary worker will need to be conducted in order to work as a contractor in Norway.

5th June 2019.