Recent labour law reforms in Greece significantly modify the labour scene regarding the employees working hours, their salaries and severance payment and other employment matters. All changes have been made in the spirit of preserving employment, increasing cost reduction and boosting competitiveness.
The main changes are outlined as follows:
1) Unilateral imposition of a “rotative employment” system
If the activities of a business are reduced the employer is now entitled, rather than terminating an employee’s employment contract, to unilaterally implement a system of “rotative employment” under which employees would work fewer (than five) days a week, or fewer (than four) weeks a month, or fewer (than 12) months a year but under full time employment contracts. This system can only be imposed for up to nine months in each calendar year, giving employers a true alternative to redundancies. (Article 17, para 3 of Law 3899/2010).
2) Increase in the period of fixed term contracts for employees hired through temporary work agencies
Law 3899/2010 provides that the maximum duration of fixed term contracts for employees hired through temporary work agencies, which was previously reduced from 18 to 12 months, may not exceed 36 months in total.
3) Reduction in severance pay and adjustment to notice periods
The first twelve (12) months of an indefinite employment contract are considered probationary period; such contract can be terminated without notice and without severance pay unless the employee and employer agree otherwise. (Article 17 paragraph 5 of Law 3899/2010).
The severance pay for cases of dismissal without notice is given in the following table:
|Seniority||Severance pay, if dismissed without notice|
|1-4 years||1/12 of yearly salary x 2|
|4-6 years||1/12 of yearly salary x 3|
|6-8 years||1/12 of yearly salary x 4|
|8-10 years||1/12 of yearly salary x 5|
|10 years||1/12 of yearly salary x 6|
|11 years||1/12 of yearly salary x 7|
|1-2 years||1 month|
|2-5 years||2 months|
|5-10 years||3 months|
|10-15 years||4 months|
|15-20 years||5 months|
|More than 20 years||6 months|