The legislation and the legal process for employment on Sundays in Greece

Introduction

In Greece, the working days of the week are six according to the law, where the five-day period has not already been implemented. The 7th day, usually Sunday, is a mandatory day of weekly rest.

Sunday is considered the period that starts from 24:00 on Saturday and ends at 24:00 on Sunday (weekly rest). In general, Sunday is a day of compulsory holiday and the employment of the employee on this day is generally prohibited.

The companies that may operate on Sunday are limited to the ones mentioned in K.D. 748/1966. However, very recently additional businesses have been added, which may employ staff on Sunday.

The change of the L. 4808/2021

(Article 63 – Exemptions from the compulsory rest on Sundays and public holidays. Amendment of items K.D. 748/1966)

Article 63 of the L. 4808/2021, which concerns the exceptions from the compulsory rest on Sundays and public holidays, amends articles 7 and 9 of the K.D. 748/66, regarding companies that are allowed to operate on Sunday. In particular, paragraph 1 of this article l adds to the companies that are allowed to employ staff on Sundays and public holidays additional economic activities which refer to:

  1. postal services.
  2. activities for the production of sanitary ware or nursing supplies.
  3. distribution centers for retail stores. For the delivery of goods to consumers that have been ordered remotely, by telephone or from an online supermarket store and any other commercial store, the physical retail store and its warehouses are considered as a distribution and delivery center.
  4. production, storage, transport and distribution of medicines and paramedical equipment to hospitals.
  5. supply chain (“logistics”), in particular, receipt, storage, collection and distribution of goods, as well as repair and maintenance of forklifts and hoists.
  6. “shared service centers” of groups of companies, in particular, in the fields of accounting, human resources, payroll, computers (IT), regulatory compliance, procurement and others.
  7. “data centers” and in general computer centers of business groups.
  8. digitization of a paper files.
  9. provision of customer service call center services and technical support.
  10. production of ready-mixed concrete and quarries, mining and mining activities.
  11. security.
  12. practical training of candidates.

Furthermore, paragraph 2 of this article adds additional cases of companies, services and jobs in general where it is possible to operate and employ their staff on Sundays and public holidays with the permission of the Labor Inspectorate. More specifically in paragraph 3 of article 9 of K.D. 748/1966, items b ‘and d’ are amended and items n’ to and k’ are added. Based on this provision, it is now possible to operate and work in the following cases:

  1. exchange offices that are not bank branches.
  2. cleaning works, maintenance and repairs of facilities.
  3. exams for obtaining degrees and diplomas in general.
  4. extracurricular activities of private schools, such as workshops, seminars, seminars, conferences, rhetorical and other competitions, competitions, trainings, cultural events, humanitarian, philanthropic and environmental activities, including security guards, buses, computerization and secretarial staff and any other staff necessary for their performance and smooth running.
  5. maintenance of public or private school buildings, which cannot be done on the days of presence of teachers and students.
  6. adaptation and upgrade of information systems.

Finally, it is understood that in cases where according to the above regulations it is possible for businesses to employ employees on Sundays and public holidays, all relevant provisions concerning additional remuneration apply, as well as the granting of weekly rest in accordance with the relevant legal framework.

Remuneration due to work on Sunday

To calculate the wage that the employee is entitled to in case of work on Sunday, we must distinguish whether such work is allowed or not by law:

  • For companies that are prohibited from operating on Sundays:

According to the joint decisions of the Ministers of Finance and Labor no. 78 //. 35 and 14714.40, as well as article 2 of ND 2644.0846 as amended and supplemented with 036.62 and article 2 of N- 324.65, the staff that will be employed on Sunday, is entitled to receive the paid salary or 1/25 of the salary, increased by 75% on the legal salary. It is noted that while the salary due is calculated based on the salaries paid, the increase of 75% is calculated on the respective legal wage or hourly wage. Also, in case the staff works on Sunday for more than 5 hours, then they are entitled to an alternate weekly rest on another day of the following week. Also, the work on Sunday as a day of mandatory weekly rest (break) and during the days of mandatory holiday without a relevant permit incurs a fine for the company by the Labor Inspection Body.

  • For companies that are allowed to operate on Sundays:

The staff that will be employed on a Sunday, is entitled to receive only the 75% surcharge on the legal salary, as well as an additional weekly rest on another day of the week.

Alternate weekly rest in case of part-time work

According to the case law of the courts, the concept of weekly rest exists only in the case of a full-time employment contract. Therefore, the granting of an alternate rest day presupposes the continuous employment of the employee throughout the week. In case of part-time or shift work, it is possible to include Sunday in a fixed way, without the need for additional rest for the work provided on that day and under the condition that the company may operate on Sundays. In any case, part-time employees legally employed on Sunday are still entitled to the additional remuneration provided, which amounts to 75% of the legal hourly wages incurred.

Finally, if an official holiday coincides with Sunday, there is no transfer to another working day, because as it is known for both the private and the public sector, the provisions on the transfer of holidays were abolished, when they coincide with a Sunday (article 7 of Law 1400/83).


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