Illness and absence


There are two issues you should consider regarding leave of absence and illness; your employment and your PhD.

Your employment contract, the two state legislation acts below, and some other state regulations state your rights as an employee. The two most important acts are

  • Working Environment Act (Lov om arbeidervern og arbeidsmiljø mv.)
  • National Insurance Act (not translated) (Lov om folketrygd / Folketrygdloven)

Note: If your employment contract states your rights or duties regarding leave of absence, children, military service, illness, etc., you have to use this as your reference. However, there are some minimum requirements under Norwegian law that cannot be removed from the employment contract. If this is the case, the labour union may support you to get the support you need.

What is a long period of illness?

If you are unable to work for more than 16 days, including weekends, you can have an extension to your employment contract. The extension is only for the days you are ill after this 16 day period. Remember to report your absence to the faculty or the institution where you are hired, and apply for an extension as soon as you return to work if this is not taken care of automatically.

If you apply for an extension at the end of you degree, you should be able to argue that you will be able to finish within the extension time, otherwise your application might be rejected.


Working on a PhD is interesting and challenging, but the continuous demands of progress could be exhausting some times. We know that many PhD candidates have physical and psychological stress symptoms while being a PhD candidate. DION is actively working towards increase the support provided to PhD candidate that find themselves in these situation.

NTNU has an ergotherapy expert who can advise you on how to furnish your office, how the computer should be adjusted, and how to sit to reduce tension of your body. Contact the centre for health and safety issues on telephone (735)98024.