The 20 most important changes in the employment relations in Greece after Law 4808/2021

Law 4808/2021 introduced many important changes in individual employment relationships. The aim of our report is to present briefly the most important ons, as they follow:

1. A digital employment card is introduced with which the work of each employee will be monitored and recorded in real time (hours, overtime, etc.).
2. The SEPE (current “Labor Inspection Authority”) will be replaced with the creation of an Independent Labor Inspection Authority.
3. New leaves regime:
– Paternity leave: 14 days paid / also provided for the adoption of a child,
– Parental leave: 4 months for each parent, with remuneration the 2 months covered by OAED (the employee must have completed 1 year of continuous or successive work with the same employer),
– The right to choose flexible hours, teleworking, part-time work for parents and carers of children up to 12 years old,
– Leave up to 2 days per year for reasons of force majeure,
– Carer leave for 5 days per year to provide assistance to relatives or neighbors who have a serious health problem,
– Possibility for maternity leave (9 weeks) and in case of adoption,
– Possibility for the special maternity leave (6 months) with the support of OAED and in case of adoption,
– Childcare leave (part-time) and for the mother who had a child through a surrogate,
– Provision of the special maternity leave (6 months) with the support of OAED and the leave in case of assisted reproduction (7 days) applicable also in State employees where the labor law is applied.
– Exhaustion of the annual leave by the end of the first quarter of the following calendar year (Article 61)
4. Measures against violence and harassment: the victim has the right to raise a claim even after the termination of his / her employment / in addition to the other measures against the person accused of harassment (change of position, place of work, hours), his / her employer has the right to terminate also the employment contract in order to protect the victim / any person who suffers from an incident of violence and harassment against him / her, (s)he has the right to leave the workplace for a reasonable time, without deprivation of salary or other adverse consequences, if in his / her reasonable belief there is an imminent serious danger to his / her life, health or safety, in particular, when the employer is the perpetrator of such conduct or when (s)he does not take the necessary appropriate measures under par. 2, in order to restore the employment peace, or when such measures are not sufficient to stop the violence and harassment. In this case, the victim is obliged to inform the employer in advance in writing, stating the incident of violence and harassment and the incidents that justify his belief that a serious danger to his life, health or safety is imminent (Article 12 par. 3 and 4 of Law 4808/2021) / the burden of proof is borne by the complainant (article 15 – reversal of the burden of proof).
5. The right of disconnection is established for those who work with teleworking after the end of their working hours. They have no obligation to respond to emails, calls, messages, etc., the employer undertakes to maintain their equipment, while the use of a camera to monitor the performance of employees is prohibited.
6. The termination of an employment contract of indefinite duration and the consequent dismissal of an employee who uses the right of disconnection, when working with telework, are invalid.
7. The severance pay of the craftsmen is equal to that of the employees (salaries up to 12 months).
8. Establishment of the break after 4 working hours instead of the 6 working hours and for a period of 15 to 30 minutes.
9. Full-time means 40 hours per week, which are divided into 5-day or 6-day work. Full-time may also mean a 4-day work, provided it meets the limit of 40 hours per week (Article 55).
10. More specifically, according to article 58 of Law 4808/2021, the work is 5 hours and 8 hours (40 hours per week). Overtime is considered the extra working hours that reach 5 per week and are paid with the paid wage increased by 20%. Any additional to 45 hours of weekly work are overtime. For those employees who have a 6-day work system, the additional 8 hours per week are considered as overtime and beyond 48 hours it is also overtime.
11. In case of absence of a trade union or failure of an agreement between the employer and a trade union, the working time management system may be applied at the request of the employee, with the written agreement of the parties (Article 59). The objective of this regulation is also choice of the employment of an employee under a 4-day work (article 55). However, if the employee does not apply for such settlement and he is therefore dismissed, the dismissal is considered invalid.
12. The limit of allowed overtime is increased to 150 hours per year in all sectors. In case the legal procedures for approval of overtime work are not followed, the remuneration is set at the paid wage increased by 120%.
13. Extension of the operation of businesses and stores on Sundays (article 63, the following cases were added or amended in b.d. 748/1966):

In par. 1: a) Transport of persons or things of all kinds, as well as related shipping, agency, loading and unloading operations, as well as postal services (courier services) / j) Clinics, clinics, hospitals and health institutions in general, as well as doctors and health workers in general, as well as production activities items or nursing supplies / o) Merchandise distribution centers to retail stores. For the execution of delivery of goods to consumers that have been ordered remotely, by telephone or from an online supermarket (super market) and any other commercial store, as a distribution and delivery center are considered the physical retail store and the warehouses of / p) Production, storage, transport and distribution to hospitals of medicines and paramedical equipment / q) Supply chain (“logistics”), in particular, receipt, storage, collection and distribution of goods, as well as repair and maintenance of forklifts and lifting equipment (services) ( “Shared services centers”) of groups of companies, in particular, in the fields of accounting, human resources, payroll, computers (IT), regulatory compliance, procurement and other (s) Data centers (“data centers”) and in general computer centers of business groups / k) Digitization of paper archive / k) Provision of call center services by customer service and technical support / kb) Production of ready-mixed concrete and quarries, mining and mining activities. In par. 3: b) Foreign currency exchange departments of banks to serve travelers, as well as exchange offices that are not bank branches / d) In cleaning, maintenance and repair of facilities / h) In cases of examinations for obtaining diplomas and diplomas in genius / i) In cases of legal extracurricular activities of private schools, such as conferences, seminars, seminars, conferences, rhetorical and other competitions, competitions, trainings, cultural events, humanitarian, charitable and environmental activities, including driving, including cleaners, computer and secretarial staff and any other staff necessary for their performance and smooth running / j) In cases of maintenance of public or private school buildings, which cannot be done on the days of presence of teachers and students / k) In cases of adjustment and systems upgrade.
14. Strikes deemed illegal by the courts can not be re-announced.
15. Trade unionists who use violence or engage in illegal activities during strikes may also be held liable.
16. Prohibition of the support of trade unions by employers or political parties.
17. The ban on dismissal of trade unionists in cases of violence or sexual harassment is lifted.
18. Until 05/11/2021 and every year thereafter, the companies must determine together with their employees the staff of minimum guaranteed service during the strikes which amounts to 33%. It is prohibited to go on strike if no security personnel or minimum guaranteed service personnel have been previously designated.
19. From 01/01/2022 an electronic system will be maintained for the trade unions so that the members can participate remotely in the General Assembly and in the appointments.
20. Establishment of an electronic registry for the registration of trade unions and employers’ organizations.

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