Litigation: Federation of Norwegian Professional Associations/Norwegian Medical Association
We conducted, on behalf of the Federation of Norwegian Professional Associations and the Norwegian Medical Association, a litigation on an important matter of principle against the Employers’ Association Spekter concerning the validity of the working hour regulations in the collective agreement between the parties, laid down by order of the National Wages Board. The action before the Labour Court concerned the issue of whether the National Wages Board exceeded its judicial powers when it decided, in mandatory arbitration, to continue the wide-ranging exceptions from Chapter 10 of the Working Environment Act, despite the Norwegian Medical Association withdrawing its consent to such exceptions. According to the wording of Section 10-12(4) of the Working Environment Act, the scope for exceptions is reserved for trade unions with the right to propose judges for the Labour Court. The case raises fundamental issues as to whether the requirement for unequivocal statutory authorisation of the intervention has been met, including the relationship to the Working Time Directive and the provisions on protection of the freedom of association.