Coronavirus (COVID-19): The most important labor law updates in Greece
The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs issued a) 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 b) the decision 12338/Δ1.4372 by virtue of which new formats of ERGANI (On line reporting system of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs) templates are provided in order to enable the reporting of working schedules during the crisis period.
In addition the Legislative Decree dated 14.03.2020 provides as well for measures related to the support of employment.
Suspension of upload of specific ERGANI templates
During the period between 11.03.2020 and 10.04.2020, the obligation of the employer to submit in advance and prior the provision of employment to ERGANI the documents E4 in relation to amendments in working schedules, E8 in relation to announcement of overwork/overtime and E12 in relation to working schedules of construction works is suspended. For the above mentioned period, the employer shall notify ERGANI any changes or modifications to the working hours, as well as overtime and overwork, carried out within the previous month during the first ten days of the following month of the work provided. The respective template documents are notified to employers by the decision 12338/Δ1.4372 of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.
The employer has the right to unilaterally impose the system of teleworking and organize any issue related to it.
The Legislative Decree dated 11.03.2020 (article 4 par. 3) provides a special paid leave for parent employees, for the duration of the operational ban on schools and until 10.04.2020. Only one of the parents may make use of said special leave, to the exclusion of the other parent (with the exception when the other parent is under sick leave /disable status). The special leave should be of a minimum duration of three (3) days, whilst for every four (4) days of leave taken, three (3) days shall be considered as special paid leave and one (1) day shall be deducted from the employee’s annual leave. The circular 12339/404/12.03.2020 clarifies that the special leave constitutes a right of the employee and the employer is obliged to provide it if its preconditions are met. The circular 12339/404/12.03.2020 states in addition that said leave may be provided in parts. Finally it is provided that the measures of teleworking and special leave may be implemented in combination so as not to disturb the proper operation of the business.
For the purpose of granting the special paid leave to parents who work in companies active in the energy and water sector and must act to provide with uninterrupted power supply, gas, liquefied petroleum and water supplies to third businesses which deal with the production, transport and supply of food, fuel, medicines and paramedic, a reasoned decision by the competent management body of the company is required.
Emergency procedure for businesses/employers, which have exhausted the maximum overtime limits for employees
As long as there is an immediate risk of occurrence and spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, and in any case, for a period not exceeding six (6) months after 14.03.2020, employers who have exhausted the legally overtime limits may proceed with overtime employment without the prior approval of the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs. This overtime may not exceed daily caps as provided for by the relevant provisions.
Exceptional employment of employees on Sundays and public holidays
As long as there is an immediate risk of occurrence and spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, and in any case, for a period not exceeding six (6) months after 14.03.2020, the operation of business (and the respective employment of personnel) which are active in producing, transporting and supplying foodstuffs, fuels, medicines and paramedical material to related shops / businesses is permitted. In any case, the relevant protective provisions of the labor legislation concerning the time limits for employees must be respected.
Employee support mechanism
Α special mechanism for the support of dependent employees of companies, whose operation has been temporarily banned due to emergency measures to deal with the COVID-19 coronavirus, is introduced including financial support, special purpose compensation, social security coverage, and emergency allowances. The employees submit an individually responsible statement on an electronic platform, which is kept for this purpose at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. Employees should declare their personal information, their personal bank account information (IBAN), and the details of the company in which they work in ERGANI so as to be included in the special support mechanism. Further clarifications shall be provided through the issuance of a Ministerial Decision.
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