Greece defends six-day paintings week, says it’s an ‘outstanding measure’


The Parthenon temple is observed empty because of heatwave in Athens, Greece on June 12, 2024.

Costas Baltas | Anadolu | Getty Pictures

The Greek govt has defended its new six-day running week coverage, announcing it’s an “outstanding measure” that will simplest be carried out in “particular instances.”

Greece presented in early July new legislation that provides workers in some companies the choice of running an additional two hours on a daily basis, or including every other eight-hour shift to their time table — that means they may paintings 48 as a substitute of the normal 40 hours every week. The coverage does no longer duvet meals services and products and tourism companies.

Outrage in regards to the coverage unfold on social media because the legislation was once met with backlash from hard work unions and political observers criticizing the transfer. When the coverage package deal containing the invoice was once first introduced closing September, hundreds protested towards the brand new insurance policies.

Some critics have raised considerations about whether or not the coverage might be prolonged to different sectors and companies or imply workers would no longer be compensated somewhat or be overworked.

“You will need to be aware that this new legislation does no longer in anyway have an effect on the established 5-day/40-hour running week mandated by means of Greek legislation, nor does it identify a brand new 6-day running week,” Greek Minister of Labour and Social Safety Niki Kerameus advised CNBC in emailed feedback past due closing week.

“All it does is supply simplest in restricted instances for the choice of an extra running day, as a phenomenal measure.”

Best two varieties of companies fall underneath the legislation — specifically those who perform 24 hours of the day, seven days every week with rotating shifts, and those who perform 24 hours an afternoon for 5 – 6 days of the week, additionally the use of rotating shifts, Kerameus mentioned.

Particularly for companies that don’t seem to be operational each day, “the extra running day possibility is permissible simplest relating to an higher workload,” Kerameus defined.

The minister mentioned new rules would give protection to workers from their paintings no longer being formally declared in the proper approach, this means that they are able to now be compensated somewhat. For instance, staff may just see their salaries upward push because of the rise in hours, she added.

“Moreover, the legislation stipulates extra measures to make sure the safety of staff, equivalent to assured days off, particular running hours, and safeguards towards unfair dismissal,” she mentioned.

Knowledge from the Group for Financial Cooperation and Construction presentations that on reasonable, staff in Greece labored longer hours than the ones within the U.S., U.Ok. and around the Eu Union in 2022. Greek workers on reasonable labored over 300 hours extra a yr than the EU-wide reasonable.

Kerameus mentioned many different international locations have measures and conditions in position which might be very similar to Greece’s new coverage.

“Maximum international locations in Europe have equivalent provisions for outstanding further running days. So Greece isn’t doing the rest other,” she mentioned.

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