Circular for the new working framework

Mon 06 Sep 2021

Overtime, arrangement of working hours, breaks, holidays, protection from layoffs – Ministry of Labor: The circular for the new framework has been issued.


3 September 2021


The circular for the new framework governing overtime, working time arrangements, breaks, holidays, protection from layoffs has been issued.  

Safeguards for the protection of workers and control over the implementation of labor legislation.


The Press Office of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has issued the following announcement:


  • The full contractual working hours of 40 hours per week for each employee with a dependent employment relationship are confirmed for all sectors of economic activity. For a 5-day working week, the full conventional schedule is 8 hours per day and for a 6-day week, the full schedule is 6 hours and 45 minutes per day. 
  • In the context of arranging working time, the possibility of 4 days of full-time work lasting 40 hours per week and 10 hours per day is provided, at the request of the employee. It is not allowed to work more than 10 hours per day and 40 hours per week, which is distributed on a 4-day basis.
  • The arrangement of working time can be implemented at the request of the employee, by individual agreement. The above takes place provided that there is no trade union in the company or no collective agreement has been reached.  
  • The employer is obliged to submit the agreement for arrangement of working time to the Π.Σ. «ΕΡΓΑΝΗ» system, to facilitate the controls that shall prevent any circumvention of the legislation. In addition, in case of layoff or resignation on behalf of the employee, before the beginning of the period of part-time employment, the employee will be compensated for the extra hours worked, with the hourly wages valid for overtime (i.e., surcharge of 20% for extra work, 40% for overtime, 120% for illegal overtime).    
  • The break shall be granted after 4 hours of work (instead of 6 that was valid) and will have a maximum of 30 minutes per day. In cases where due to the nature and intensity of work, a break of more than 30 minutes is required, this is possible in the context of consultation between the employer and the employees’ representatives.  
  • Part-time employees are allowed to provide, if they agree, work beyond the agreed one and in hours that are not continuous with their schedule, with a surcharge of 12% on the remuneration for each additional hour, as has been the case until today.
  • The limit of allowed overtime increases to 150 hours per year and up to 3 hours per day in all sectors of the economy. According to the relevant Provision, the weekly working time of employees shall not exceed a maximum of a 4-month period, 48 hours on average, including overwork and overtime. Overtime is paid with the hourly wage increased by 40%.    
  • Illegal overtime is defined as overtime work that takes place without complying with the prescribed formalities. The compensation for illegal overtime is set at the hourly wage, increased by 120% (from 80% that has been the case until today).
  • New Year’s Day (January 1st) and Epiphany (January 6th) are obligatory holidays.
  • The annual regular leave may be exhausted until the first quarter of the following calendar year.
  • Unpaid leave in the private sector, at the request of the employee, lasts up to one (1) year with the possibility of extension upon agreement.
  • Companies that are allowed to employ staff on Sundays are extended to certain sectors such as postal services, production-distribution of sanitary material, pharmaceutical industry, supply chain, data centers, etc.
  • From 1-1-2022, the distinction between employees and craftsmen, in terms of layoffs, is abolished. The compensation is calculated as follows: the monthly salary of the craftsman as 22 wages unless the employee is already paid a monthly salary.
  • In cases of regular termination of the employment contract, i.e., after notice, the employer may release the employee from the obligation to provide work and at the same time the employee may search for new employment during this time.
  • The list of cases of invalid layoffs is extended, leading to the return of the employee to work and the payment of wages for the period between the layoff and the re-employment. 
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