By virtue of a legislative act issued on 20 March 2020, the Greek government introduced a new set of measures aiming to support employers and employees strongly affected by the Coronavirus crisis.
Safe operation staff
During the crisis and for a maximum of 6 months, employers may, on their own decision, operate their businesses with a “safe operation staff”, as follows:
- each employee may work for a minimum of 2 weeks per month, either continuously or in parts;
- the above organisation of work takes place on a weekly basis and must cover at least 50% of total staff;
- employers who make use of such measure must maintain the same number of employees throughout its duration;
- at the end of each month employers must declare the above organisation of work to the ERGANI electronic platform.
Intragroup transfer of employees
Employers who are severely impacted by the crisis or have been on a temporary lockdown by order of the authorities may provisionally transfer personnel to other companies of the same group. During such measure employers must maintain the same number of employees.
Prohibition of dismissals
Starting from 18 March 2020, employers whose businesses have been temporarily locked down by order of the authorities are prohibited from making any dismissals during the lockdown period. If effected, such dismissals are invalid.
Suspension of employment contracts
Employers belonging to specific categories, as defined by the Ministry of Finance, who have been severely impacted by the crisis, may suspend the employment contracts of all or part of their employees for a period of 1 month, which may be further extended by ministerial decision. During the suspension period employers are prohibited from dismissing any of their employees. If effected, such dismissals are invalid. Employers who make use of the above measure are obliged to maintain the same number of employees for a period equal to the suspension period.
Special state benefit
Employees whose employment contracts have been suspended either following a lockdown by order of the authorities or due to a suspension of their employment by decision of their employer as per the previous paragraph are entitled to a special state benefit of Euro 800, which will be paid in early April. The same state benefit is due also to employees who have been terminated or resigned during the period from 01 to 20 March 2020. In order to receive such benefit, both the employer and the employees must submit a respective electronic declaration as per the process provided in the legislative act.