Law n. 5053/2023 “On the enhancement of Labour – Implementation of Directive (EU) 2019/1152 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 – Simplification of digital procedures and enhancement of the Labour Card – Upgrading of the operational functioning of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Labour Inspectorate” entered into force on 26 September 2023.
The main changes in the new law are as follows:
- PROBATIONARY PERIOD
- For the provision of a probationary period an agreement between the employer and the employee is required during which, the employment relationship is on a trial basis.
- Duration: up to six (6) months for contracts of indefinite duration.
- In fixed-term contracts, the duration of the probationary period is proportional to the total time provided for in the contract and in any case not more than ¼ of the total period of employment, with a maximum limit of six (6) months.
- If the probationary period is successful, the starting date of the contract shall be the initial date of recruitment.
- If the trial period is unsuccessful, the contract under trial is automatically terminated (without further formalities, except for the obligation to report it to the I.S. ERGANI II).
- It is noted that according to article 325Α of the Labour Code, occupation under an employment contract of indefinite duration, for the first 12 months from the day of its entry into force, may be terminated without any warning and without compensation for dismissal, unless otherwise agreed by the parties. The period of any agreed probationary period shall be included in this period.
2. PROVIDING INFORMATION AND UPDATES TO THE EMPLOYEES
- The information must be provided in writing, either by delivering a form or in electronic form (provided that the employee can access, store and print the information).
- The deadline for the provision of information is:-One (1) week, for terms concerning: i) the identity of the parties ii) the place of employment, iii) the employee’s position or specialty and the scope of his/her work, iv) the date of commencement of the contract, v) the end date or duration in case of a fixed-term contract, vi) the duration and terms of any probationary period, vii) the remuneration and the method of payment, viii) the schedule for the organisation of working time and, in particular, if it is entirely or mostly predictable: the duration of the worker’s employment, the arrangements for overtime or additional work and the remuneration for them, as well as the arrangements for shift changes, whereas if it is entirely or mainly unforeseeable: the number of hours paid, the remuneration for work in excess of those hours, the period of warning to be given to the employee prior to the assignment of work.
-One (1) month from the start of the work, for the conditions concerning: i) the details of the indirect employer, if the work is provided through a temporary employment agency, (ii) any training provided by the employer, (iii) the duration of the paid leave and the manner and and time of its granting, (iii) the procedure for terminating the contract, (iv) the Collective Agreement setting out the minimum conditions of payment and work of the employee, as well as the collective bodies that co-sign it, (v) the social security institutions.
- Failure to provide documents or required information to the employee grants the latter with the right to file a complaint before the Labour Inspectorate.
3. PARALLEL EMPLOYMENT
- It is provided that agreements or clauses that do not allow the employee to provide work for other employers, outside the agreed working hours, are invalid.
- Exceptionally, such agreements or clauses are allowed, if they are justified by objective reasons such as health and safety, protection of business confidentiality, working in competing businesses or avoiding conflicts of interest.
- Parallel employment shall be permitted without prejudice to the provisions in force concerning working time and rest periods for employees.
- Any discriminatory treatment of the employee on the grounds of providing work for other employers is prohibited.
4.NEW FORMS OF EMPLOYMENT
- For the first time, the possibility of concluding employment contracts in which the organisation of working time is entirely or mostly unpredictable is provided, under the following conditions:
(a) providing work within predetermined hours and reference days and notifying the employees thereof.
(b) obligation of the employer to give notice of the assignment in writing or by text message via mobile telephone (sms) or e-mail or by any other appropriate means, within a reasonable time which may not be less than twenty-four (24) hours before the assignment is to be undertaken, except in cases where a shorter notice period is objectively justified.
(c) the parties are obliged to agree on a minimum number of paid working hours, which may not be less than ¼ of the agreed total number of hours.
- If conditions a and b are not met cumulatively, the employee is entitled to refuse to take up employment. In such a case, any discrimination against him shall be prohibited.
- If at any time after the notice and before the work is taken up, the employer cancels the assignment, the employee is entitled to compensation corresponding to the hourly rate of the hours not assigned.
5. EMPLOYEE’S TRAINING
- It is provided that where the applicable labour legislation imposes an obligation on the employer to provide training to the employee for the performance of the agreed work, such training shall be provided free of charge to the employee, shall be counted as working time and shall take place within the contractual working hours, if possible.
6. POSTING TO THE ΙNFORMATION SYSTEM ERGANI II OF THE BASIC WORKING CONDITIONS AND THE INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT
- Employer’s obligation to post electronically to ERGANI II the employee’s basic terms and conditions of employment before the commencement of his/ her work.
- Employer’s obligation to post electronically to ERGANI II any written individual employment contract within the aforementioned (see above in the paragraph ” providing information and updates to the employees “) deadlines of one week or one month (depending on the terms it contains).
- For the validity of the basic terms of employment as stated above and the posting of the individual employment contract, the co-signment of them by the employee in person is required or his approved electronic signature or his digital attestation (via the digital portal “gov.gr”) or his acceptance of them via the “My ergani” Information System.
- The same deadlines apply to any change in the basic working conditions.
7. PRE-DECLARATION OF WORK AND DIGITAL JOB CARD
- Employers whose companies have joined the electronic system for measuring the working time with the usage of a digital working card, are given the opportunity not to register the changes in working hours or overtime work to the I.S. ERGANI II system before their commencement.
- If there is a change in working hours or overtime work that is not identified by the digital work card marking, the employer is fined €10,500 per employee by the competent control bodies.
8. NOTICE OF TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT
- The notice of voluntary departure of the employee is compulsorily accompanied by an electronically scanned form signed in person both by the employer and the employee or by a document bearing their electronic signature or by a document digitally signed by both of them via the digital portal “gov.gr”, while there is no longer provision for the delivery of an extrajudicial statement by the employer.
- It is provided that the employee’s unjustified (arbitrary) absence from work for a period of more than five (5) consecutive working days may be considered as a termination of the contract by the employee, provided that an additional period of five (5) consecutive working days has elapsed since the employer’s mandatory notice, which i) is posted to the I.S. ERGANI and ii) is proven by any appropriate written measure.
- The employer is obliged to announce the employee’s voluntary departure to the I.S. ERGANI on the next working day following the end of the above period, without requiring the employee’s signature.
9. EXCEPTIONAL EMPLOYMENT ON THE SIXTH DAY IN A FIVE-DAY WORKING WEEK SYSTEM
- The following two exceptions of employment on the sixth day of the week are provided for companies which apply a five-day working system per week, namely:
-In continuously operating enterprises or holdings with an alternating shifts system,
-In enterprises or holdings which are not by their nature of continuous operation, but which may operate on a 24-hour shift system from Monday to Saturday, in exceptional cases, where the enterprise has an unforeseeably heavy workload. This special condition shall be notified by the employer to the Labour Inspectorate before the employee’s commencement of work and shall be subject to inspection.
- Obligation to register of the employment to the I.S. ERGANI II before the employee takes up employment.
- Maximum working time is 8 hours, with an explicit ban of surplus and overtime work.
- Payment of a daily wage increased by 40%.
10. LIFTING OF THE SUSPENSION OF THE PROVISIONS RELATING TO INCREASES IN SALARIES ON GROUNDS OF SENIORITY AND RELATED ALLOWANCES
- The seniority of any employee, hired prior to 14-2-2012, as such seniority was established on 14η -2-2012, when it was suspended, shall continue to be completed after 1η -1-2024.
- The seniority of any employee hired after 14η -2-2012 begins to get to be completed after 1η -1-2024.
- For the period from 14-2-2012 to 31-12-2023, seniority does not count towards the increase in salary or wages.
- If the regular remuneration paid is higher than the statutory remuneration, the increases, surcharges and amounts in general resulting from the above lifting of the suspension, shall be offset against the difference between the remuneration paid and the statutory remuneration.
11. DIGITAL PLATFORM
- A digital platform called “REBRAIN GREECE” is created in the Information System ERGANI II for the development of a mechanism to enhance talent and link scientists-employees, who reside in Greece and abroad, with jobs in high-skilled and specialized professions offered by private sector companies operating in Greece.
12. PROTECTION OF THE RIGHT TO WORK- STRIKE
- Anyone who in any way obstructs the free and unhindered arrival or departure from the workplace of workers, who are not participating in a strike and wish to work or the provision of work by them, or uses violence or threats or participates in the occupation of workplaces or their entrances, during a strike or independently of it, shall be punished by imprisonment for six (6) months and a fine (if the act is not punished more severely by another provision).