The Greek parliament approved (with 158 votes in favor) the new law proposed by the Ministry of Labour under the name “Protection of Employment”.

Τhe main points of the new framework are:

  • The introduction of the right to disconnect in case of teleworking.
  • A framework of protection and trade union rights for the workforce of digital platforms.
  • The increase of the allowed working hours, according to EU standards.
  • The increase of sectors that are allowed to operate on Sundays, in accordance with EU provisions.
  • The extension of the protection of employees from invalid dismissals.
  • The increase of the dismissal compensation for the craftsmen.
  • The establishment of the Labour Inspectorate Body (S.EP.E) as an independent administrative authority.
  • The introduction of new forms of parental leaves, such as the 14-day leave for new fathers and the parental leave subsidized by OAED for both parents.
  • The possibility of applying the system of arranging working time at the request of the employee.
  • A series of measures, preventive and repressive, to address violence and harassment at work, by ratifying the Convention C190 of the International Labor Organization.
  • Ratification of the ILO Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention.
  • The upgrade of the “ERGANI” system to reduce the administrative burden for companies.
  • The obligation of public servants to provide a minimum guaranteed service (1/3 of the usually provided service) in case of a strike.
  • The ban on re-announcing a strike that has been deemed illegal by court.
  • The ban of employers and parties from financing trade unions.

The governing party and the opposition clashed in parliament during the two days discussions of the bill. The government argued that the new law brings much needed reform in the labour market. All opposition parties said it gives away labour rights and will further deteriorate working conditions. The opposition  rejected the bill in principle (142 votes against) but each opposition party voted in favor of some articles.

Protest against the new labour law, in front of the Greek parliament, June, 16

Public and private sector unions rejected the new law, calling strikes the past week.

A few hours before the crucial vote in parlianment, a rally was held outside the parlianment building. Speakers at the rally called the bill “an abomination” and something that “cannot be corrected or improved upon,” and asked for its withdrawal.