New laws aid travelers, teens, parents

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Several new laws took effect from July 1, including one aimed at improving the rights of consumers while out traveling. Another prevents marriage before the age of 18, while yet another gives parents more paid leave in cases of twins, triplets or even more multiple births.

The law that may affect the most people gives new consumer protection to those who package their own travel. Anyone booking flights, hotels and rental cars, for example, through the same website and within a 24-hour period will now qualify for the same protection offered by travel agencies or package tour operators. The law is aimed at helping those hit by flight delays or cancellations, for example, and left stuck with pre-paid hotel accommodation or cars that can’t be used. (For more info, see the state consumer council’s website (external link, in Norwegian).

The new marriage law, prohibiting marriage before the age of 18, is aimed at helping teenagers in Norway avoid forced or arranged marriages before they reach legal age themselves. Former law had allowed marriages between the ages of 16 and 18 if the local county governor granted dispensation. Now the age limit for marriage is absolute at 18, which is also the age when Norwegian citizens and residents are considered adults.

Parents who have twins will also get four more months of paid leave, while those having triplets, or more babies will receive double paid leave. That means they can get more than two years off with pay, with the maternity and paternity leave to be shared between the two parents. Those opting for 100 percent pay (instead of 80 percent over a longer term) will now wind up with 46 weeks off at full pay plus three weeks for the mother before the birth and accumulated paid vacation time. Each parent will be allotted 15 weeks plus another 16 weeks they can share among themselves as they see fit. If a father fails to take his 15 weeks, the couple loses the leave, so most dads take it.

newsinenglish.no staff