Summary presentation of the most important provisions of the new labour law (Νο. 4808/2021, GGI A’ 101/ 19-06-2021)
The new labour law (hereinafter the “Law”), which was passed on 16th June 2021 with entry into force from its publication in the Government Gazette (article 165), aims to update the Greek labour legal framework and harmonise it with those of the EU member-states, in order to respond to the contemporary needs of employees, as well as social and financial changes.
The main reforms introduced by the Law are the following:
A. Provisions relating to the individual working relations
- Legal working hours
In all sectors of work and in all sectors of economic activity, full-time employment shall be set at forty (40) hours per week, which may be allocated to five-day or six-day weekly work with eight (8) hours or six (6) hours and forty (40) minutes of work per day respectively. In addition, four (4) days’ work per week with ten (10) hours of work per day is considered as full-time work (article 55).
- Increase in total allowable overtime
The Law provides for an increase in the overtime limit to one hundred and fifty (150) hours per year throughout the spectrum of the economy from ninety-six (96) that have been in industry until today and one hundred and twenty (120) in other fields. Employees employed overtime shall be entitled to a remuneration equal to the hourly wage paid plus forty percent (40 %) for each hour of legal overtime, up to three (3) hours per day and up to the completion of one hundred and fifty (150) hours per year.
The overtime consideration shall remain unchanged, i.e., the remuneration of the hourly wage paid plus 40% shall be maintained, while for each hour of illegal overtime, the employee shall be entitled to claim a compensation equal to the hourly wage plus 120% (article 57).
Where the daily working time exceeds four (4) consecutive hours, a break of at least fifteen (15) minutes and a maximum of thirty (30) minutes shall be granted during which workers are entitled to move away from their jobs (article 56).
- Provisions concerning the framework of teleworking
The provision of teleworking is agreed between employer and employee at the time of recruitment or by amendment of the employment agreement. The employer assumes the costs burdening the employee due to this form of work, while the employee’s right to disconnect is expressly established, which means the employee’s right to abstain completely from the provision of his/her work beyond working hours and during his/her legal leave (article 67).
- Broadening of exemptions regarding the provision of work on Sundays
The Law expands the cases of sectors where the provision of work is legal on Sundays, including, inter alia, the sectors of the production, storage, transport and distribution of medicines and paramedical equipment, logistics and shared services centers of groups of undertakings, in particular in the fields of accounting, human resources,payroll, IT, regulatory compliance, procurement and others (article 63).
- Introduction of a digital work card
Aiming to the confrontation of undeclared work and undeclared overtime, the observance of working hours and the avoidance of unfair competition between undertakings, enterprises – employers are obliged to acquire and operate an electronic system for measuring the working time of their employees, directly connected and interoperable, in real time, with the “Information System ERGANI II” (article 74).
B. Provisions regarding the adoption of measures aiming to combat harassment in the workplace and promote the equality
- Adoption of measures against violence and harassment at work
Businesses employing more than twenty (20) people are required to adopt a policy for the prevention and combating of violence and harassment at work, as well as a policy for managing internal complaints of incidents of violence and harassment (articles 9-11).
- Ensuring equality between men and women and facilitating the combination of work and family life
In this context, fourteen (14) days’ paid paternity leave (article 27), four (4) months’ parental leave for each parent with payment of an allowance from the Manpower Employment Organization (“OAED”) for the first two (2) months (article 28), carer’s leave (article 29), possibility of absence due to force majeure (article 30), right to flexible working arrangements for parents of children up to twelve (12) years old (article 31) are introduced. In addition, further arrangements are provided for with regard to the protection of the family (articles 33-45), while maternity leave is also extended in cases of adoption of a child (article 34).
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