Unions demand regulation of personnel leasing

Download article in original language : GR0102198NEL.DOC

In January 2001, the Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE) called on the Minister of Labour and Social Security to intervene to prevent breaches of labour legislation in the operation of personnel leasing and temporary work agencies, which are reportedly on the increase. The legal framework for such leasing of personnel is currently unclear, and GSEE is seeking a series of regulations to address the problems.

On 17 January 2001, at a meeting between the Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE) and the Minister of Labour and Social Security on the subject of improving and modernising the Labour Force Employment Organisation (OAED), the GSEE presiding board raised the issue of the operation of personnel leasing and temporary work agencies. There have recently been increasing numbers of charges by workers and press reports of questionable practices and breaches of labour legislation in such leasing activities

GSEE expressed its intention to examine all cases about which complaints have been made to date, and requested the direct intervention of the Minister himself and of the Ministry's investigating mechanisms - the Labour Inspectorate - so as to put an end to such problems and prevent them from recurring in the future.

There is a lack of a clear legal framework with respect to the hiring-out of workers in Greece (TN9901201S), a fact which has unofficially been conceded by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. The Ministry thus intends to take forward as soon a possible a scheme for legislative regulation of the leasing of staff by enterprises, in the form of an amendment to one of the draft bills currently being taken through parliament.

In this framework and in order to avoid the violation of labour legislation in cases of hiring-out of labour, GSEE has put forward the following proposals:

  • workers should not be provided to third-party user employers for over three months, with the exception of technical or other projects;
  • workers employed by a user enterprise or operation should be entitled to wages and all benefits paid at that enterprise or operation, provided these are more favourable than those paid provided by the worker's direct employer;
  • both the original employer and user should be fully liable with regard to all workers' rights resulting from the provision of their services;
  • enterprises occupied in providing workers to third parties should not engage in other economic activities;
  • contracts to provide workers to user companies should be drawn up in writing and refer to the terms of the contract between the original employer and user; and
  • workers should be able to join company-level trade union organisations in a specific enterprise or operation, regardless of whether their direct employer or a third party is the owner of the enterprise or operation, in accordance with the provisions of Article 7 of Law 1264/1982 "regarding the democratisation of the trade union movement and the safeguarding of workers' trade union freedoms".
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