NewsGreece introduces six-day workweek to tackle worker shortage

Greece introduces six‑day workweek to tackle worker shortage

Greeks work the longest hours in the EU
Greeks work the longest hours in the EU
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Agnieszka Zielińska

22 June 2024 10:13

From 1 July, Greece is introducing a six-day workweek. This measure is aimed at combating the shortage of workers. The Greek government also aims to curb undeclared work.

Greece's maximum allowed working hours will be extended to 48 hours over six days a week.

The country will simultaneously become the first state in the European Union to have a six-day workweek. Extending working hours will affect the public, public utility companies, banks, and the private sector. It will mainly affect companies, organisations, and enterprises operating with a five-day workweek.

Greeks will work longer but receive compensation

The Greek government has simultaneously introduced compensation for people working on the sixth day of the week, amounting to 40 percent of the daily wage. If the sixth day of work falls on a holiday, the compensation will be 115 percent of the daily wage. Additionally, work on the extra day of the week cannot exceed eight hours.

Other labour law regulations will also change from July. Employers can now inform employees of their new tasks even 24 hours before starting work.

The Greek government is tackling the shortage of workers

Provisions introducing the six-day workweek were adopted in autumn 2023. The Greek government explained at the time that it limits undeclared work and wants to combat the shortage of skilled workers, which the industry and tourism sectors are struggling with.

Currently, there is a shortage of 83,000 workers in hotels and catering establishments in this sector. The biggest shortages in Greece are of waiters, cooks, and cleaners.

Greeks work the longest in the EU

Eurostat data shows that Greeks work the longest of all EU countries. In 2022, the average weekly working time for people aged 20-62 in Greece was 41 hours. The next places were Poland (40.4 hours) and Bulgaria (40.2 hours). Meanwhile, the average weekly working time in the EU in 2022 was 37.5 hours.

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