EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Organisation of working time

Greece
Phase: Management
Type:
  • Response to COVID-19
  • Working time flexibility
Last modified: 03 August, 2021
Оригинални назив:

Διευθέτηση του χρόνου εργασίας

Енглески назив:

Organisation of working time

Coverage/Eligibility

Whole economy.

 

Main characteristics

Organisation of working time was instituted and readjusted with the 'Memorandum' labour act (Act 3986/2011), which introduced a series of new regulations with collective bargaining at the core. In brief, the relevant provisions provide that in firms with conventional working hours of up to 40 hours a week it is permitted for a period of time (a period of high employment) for an employee to work two hours more than the eight-hour day, on the condition that the weekly working hours which are in addition to the 40 hours or the minimum hours stated in the contract are subtracted from the weekly hours of another period (period of low employment).

The organisation of working time is determined by firm-level collective labour agreements or by agreement between the employer and the trade union representing the firm’s members or by agreement between the employer and the works council or by agreement between the employer and an association of persons. 

In firms with conventional working hours of up to 40 hours a week, it is permitted, instead of the arrangement in the previous paragraph, to agree that up to 256 working hours from the total annual hours of employment in one calendar year may be allocated so that there is an increased number of hours during certain periods, which may not exceed 32 weeks annually, with a correspondingly reduced number of hours for the remaining periods of the calendar year.

Employees have the right to refuse the additional work if they are not in a position to perform it and their refusal is in good faith. Salaries for the periods of deviating working hours shall be those of the usual working hours. The organisation of working time is determined by firm-level collective labour agreements or by agreement between the employer and the trade union representing the firm’s members or by agreement between the employer and the works council or by agreement between the employer and an association of persons. The association of persons can be set up by at least 25% of the employees of a firm with more than 20 employees and 15% if the total number of employees is no more than 20.

With firm-level and sectoral collective labour agreements a different system for organising working time can be established, depending on the particularities of the sector of the firm.

COVID-19 response

The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs issued the Circular 12339/404/12.03.2020 with clarifications on a series of measures on how to deal with COVID-19 in everyday work life according to which the employer has the right to unilaterally impose the system of teleworking and organise any issues related to it.

The employer may determine unilaterally that the work provided by the employee at the place of work shall be carried out with the system of remote work (teleworking).  The measure started on 11 March 2020, valid untill July 2020, and it has been further extended. On the 21 September, 2020 an amendment by the Ministry of Labour has been submitted, which takes extraordinary temporary measures regarding the organization of working time and place, for the decongestion of public transport and the workplace as well as for the protection of public health against the coronavirus. The new measures announced for the Region of Attica will be in force from Monday, September 21 until Sunday, October 4. These measures include:1. Mandatory teleworking for 40% of public and private sector employees performing office work or tasks that can be performed remotely; 2. Employees arriving at the workplace in three groups (7am, 8am and 9am) ; 3. Employees departing from the workplace in four groups (within two hours from the start and end of working hours). Employers shall submit to the ERGANI platform (Digital System of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs), the special document named 'Form 4.1 Declaration of remote working', within the first 10 days of the following month from the provision of work.

Funding

  • No specific funding required

Involved actors

National government
Legal framework.
Employer or employee organisations
The organisation of working time is determined by firm-level collective labour agreements or by agreement between the employer and the trade union representing the firm’s members or by agreement between the employer and the works council or by agreement between the employer and an association of persons.

Effectiveness

It is a measure that most probably is welcomed on the employer's side while trade unions also reacted. According to a recent poll conducted by the Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE) in collaboration with the Labour Institute of GSEE (INE/GSEE), one in three private sector employees (33% of the interviewees) have seen their employment relation change after the pandemic (14% via telework, 19% part-time or shift work). The survey was conducted on a sample of 1,500 people throughout Greece from 9 to 14 June 2020. Furthermore, although a lockdown is no longer in place, 19% of employees stated that they continue teleworking while 14% stated that they continue part-time or shift-work. While teleworking, 35% of the employees stated that they worked more time than their working hours. According to GSEE, significant distortions in the labour market will intensify as part-time work, job flexibility and reduced wages are utilised to increase competitiveness and combat unemployment. It is necessary to develop an institutional framework for the regulation of telework, through specialised social dialogue, with the aim of capturing and highlighting both positive and 'grey' areas of this type of work before it is transformed from an opportunity into another negative parameter for work.

Strengths

Through this measure layoffs can be hindered and at the same time the employer is saving employment costs in times of crisis.

Weaknesses

In times of harsh economic climate it is doubtful that this measure alone can hinder the business closure.

Examples

No information available.
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