Information in english
Norske Landbrukstenester (NLT), Norwegian Agriculture Services, is an independent organisation based on membership from 120 locally associated offices, representing about 20000 farmers in Norway. The farmers are members and owners of the local office/association who we can say works as “staffing agencies” throughout the country.
NLT`s main task is to assist these local offices with practical matters and holding contact with the central authorities on their behalf.
Each year, the Norwegian government grants about 140 000 000 EURO to give farmers possibility to have leisure and holidays. It is, of course an upper limit (for the time being, 7 250 Euro). There are also an implementation to refund the farmers cost to hire help in case of illness etc. Approximately 90 % of this amount is divided through these local offices.
This is based upon reimbursement. Each farmer has to apply for a sum of money. The amount granted is according to the size and activity of the farm. The amount is on behalf of the farmer, transported to an account locally in our organisation.
The local association/office is the formal and technical employer on behalf of the farmer. According to this, the relief persons, the farmer’s stand-ins, are employed at our local staffing-offices. The offices are, as employer, responsible for personnel handling, recruitment, training, welfare and insurances all according to Norwegian law.
These 120 local offices are registered as an independent Company Ltd; they have their own boards and managements. They have the responsibility for keeping their own accounts, paying wages, taxes and updating with relevant rules and laws and perform according to these.
Normally there is a payroll every month. The farmers send their list of hours worked by their employed staff to the local office who conducts the practical matters and pays out the wages. If the farmer is ill and need help during his illness this is to be marked on the list. In case this is an assignment to cover work during the farmers illness, a separate application is sent to the authorities for refunding this.
The farmers’ account is then credited. The charge includes all duties and fees the offices charge for doing this job. This fee is a percentage of the wages paid and is meant to cover the costs of the office. If the amount exceeds the account granted, the farmer will be invoiced for this. There is VAT on this service, but this is refunded directly to the farmer once a year. Every second month the farmer receives a statement of account from the office. At the end of the year, he receives a total statement, which is also his application proof for reimbursement for the year to follow.
Many of the farm helpers employed are persons in the family who are working mostly in weekends and school holidays. However, there are many helpers fully employed and they usually work on several farms. This is organized in local farmers` rings and can be 5 – 8 farmes depending on the size of the farm and to some extend the distance between them. This is also a way to secure the situation and to have backup in case the farmer becoming ill.
In Norway we need almost all kinds of workers all over the country and in mostly every branch. It has been an increasing supply and demand of persons from the extended EU. NLT and the local offices arrange work permit according to the rules, and many of them are employed through our organisation.
We need you!
Both NLT and our local members (offices) have an important role as advisers towards the farmers. We are often the “first aid office” on a daily basis when there are a need for help in the daily work. Furthermore, we educate and inform our members of the boards, the managements and others employed.
Things are changing very fast, and we have to try to be ahead of the development. The economy also makes us consider other ways of additional incomes, both for the farmers and the organisation.
We can already see that many of our members have started with tourism, entrepreneurship etc. and ask for several kinds of professional help. Maybe NLT will be “The Manpower” for rural Norway.