Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis arrives to participate in a Ukraine peace summit close to Lucerne, Switzerland, on June 15. Mitsotakis’ administration says making six days of labor obligatory is critical because of a shrinking inhabitants and a scarcity of expert staff.

Denis Balibouse/POOL/AFP through Getty Images

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Denis Balibouse/POOL/AFP through Getty Images

For most individuals, working 5 days per week is loads. How about six?

Greece enacted a brand new employment regulation this week that lays out a six-day workweek — at a time when dozens of different nations are increasingly seeing positive results from experiments with four-day workweeks.

Law 5053/2023, handed by parliament final fall, says an worker can’t work greater than 8 hours on the extra day, in keeping with the official Government Gazette. The worker could be paid 40% extra time for the sixth day’s wages.

Workers in Greece have been sharply important of the change, saying the very last thing they want in an period of rising cost-of-living bills is to be on the hook to work an additional day every week.

The new system permits employers to determine unilaterally whether or not a employee ought to are available on a sixth day. It leaves intact guidelines that allowed the choice of a six-day workweek, wherein staff work 6.5 hours for a complete of 40 hours weekly, as Greek public broadcaster ERTNews studies.

Why shift to six days of labor?

The authorities is giving a number of causes.

In one clarification, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ administration says that clearing the way in which to make six days of labor obligatory was essential because of “the twin perils of a shrinking population and shortage of skilled workers,” in keeping with The Guardian, which cites statements from when the laws was adopted final 12 months.

The authorities additionally says that setting formal guidelines a few six-day workweek would struggle the phenomena of undeclared work and likewise improve the revenue of staff, in keeping with a message from the Labor Ministry in late June

The regulation specifies 24-hour operations

The new regulation applies to firms that function repeatedly across the clock seven days per week, and to firms that undertake heavy shift work to deal with an unexpected elevated workload. Employers that need to convey their staff in for a sixth day are required to inform a labor inspector earlier than the added shift.

The regulation doesn’t apply to folks employed in resort and meals service industries — however the Athens Labor Unions Organization, or EKA, says those businesses have already been allowed to institute six-day workweeks.

Unions condemn the brand new regulation

Protests shortly erupted over the added workday. And with Greece additionally contending with several dangerous wildfires, Mitsotakis was criticized as being out of contact when, on Tuesday, he posted a photo of himself smiling and standing subsequent to singer Chris Martin and the remainder of the band Coldplay.

Greece’s massive labor unions, together with the Greek General Confederation of Labour, have pushed again each on the regulation and the way in which it’s being enforced.

Workers in Greece rank low in wage surveys

“Greece has the 7th highest average working time among the 38 countries of the [OECD] but is also 3rd from the bottom in average wages,” the information web site Greek Reporter stated in May. 

Greece raised its nationwide month-to-month minimal wage for staff within the spring, to 830 euros ($897). It was the fourth wage improve in 5 years, Reuters reported.

Before she was changed final month, then-Minister of Labor and Social Security Domna Michailidou stated the administration needs to keep raising the minimum wage, with the objective of hitting 950 euros ($1,027) inside the subsequent 4 years. 

Greece’s financial system has navigated quite a few crises in latest a long time. Despite latest positive factors, it stays effectively beneath the highs it achieved in 2007 and 2008 when it comes to GDP per capita, in keeping with the EU’s statistics database. That stands in distinction to many equally sized economies in Europe, which have both mirrored or surpassed these earlier highs.

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