Information on recent employment law developments in Greece

Information on recent employment law developments in Greece

This Alert sets forth the main employment law changes introduced by Law 4254/2014, enacted on 7 April 2014, by Law 4255/2014, enacted on 11 April 2014, and by the National General Collective Labour Agreement for Year 2014, concluded on 26 March 2014.

Temporary Agency Work

Under Greek law, the use of temporary agency workers is subject to restrictions, which include the existence of extraordinary, temporary or seasonal needs of the user employer, a maximum permissible duration of 36 months and the prohibition to use temporary agency workers in cases where the user employer has made redundancies in the months preceding such use.

With the aim of facilitating the use of temporary agency work in Greece, Law 4254/2014 reduced the above restrictions by a) abolishing the requirement for extraordinary, temporary or seasonal needs of the user employer and b) reducing to one half the periods after which an employer who has made redundancies is allowed to use agency workers; more specifically, under the new law, employers are permitted to use agency workers 3 months after making redundant employees serving in the same positions (previously, 6 months) or 6 months after making collective redundancies of employees serving in the same positions (previously, 12 months).

Book of Annual Leave

Law 4254/2014 also simplified the process for recording leave in the Book of Annual Leave, which must be kept by all employers in Greece. More specifically, it abolished the requirement for obtaining the employee’s signature on the Book of Annual Leave and reduced the minimum content of such Book (by abolishing, for instance, the requirement to record the employee’s position and length of service). Pursuant to the new legal framework, the minimum data that needs to be recorded in the Book of Annual Leave is the name of the employee, hiring date, number of leave days, commencement and expiration date, leave emoluments and leave allowance.

On the other hand, Law 4254/2014 introduced a new obligation for employers, namely the submission, in January each year, to the electronic information system of the Ministry of Labour (“ERGANI”) of comprehensive data on the annual leave taken by the employees in the previous year. According to the new law, the above will be further specified through the issuance of a Ministerial Decision.

Book of Newly Hired Personnel

Law 4255/2014 abolished, with effect from 1 June 2014, the obligation of employers to keep a Book of Newly Hired Personnel (commonly known as “IKA Book”). The IKA Book was an official register, certified by the authorities, where all recruitments needed to be registered as of the first day of employment. Non-compliance with the relevant obligations often resulted in the imposition of significant fines upon employers. The abolishment of this obligation constitutes a significant step towards the reduction of administrative burdens for the employers.

Under the new law, IKA Books must be properly filled in with the required information until 31 May 2014 and must be available for inspection by the authorities for a period of 10 years after their certification.

Childcare Leave (reduced working hours)

The National General Collective Labour Agreement for Year 2014 introduced changes to the framework on childcare leave i.e. the right of the employee to work under reduced working hours for a certain period after maternity leave. More specifically, it provided for the independent right of the father to make use of childcare leave in cases where the mother is self-employed and established the process for the joint use of such leave when both parents are employees through the submission of a joint application to their employers. 

 

For further information, please contact:

Rania Papakonstantinou: r.papakonstantinouatzeya.com
Manolis Zacharakis: m.zacharakisatzeya.com