Greece has become the first EU country to introduce a six-day working week, in contrast to Europe, the US, Australia and Japan, which have been testing a four-day week, and report. The aim of the innovation is to improve the economy, which was undermined by the global financial crisis of the late 2000s and had devastating consequences for Greece, as a legacy of heavy government spending and widespread tax evasion left the country with crushing debts.

The new legislation, which came into force in early July, allows employees to work up to 48 hours a week, up from 40.

Many European countries have piloted a four-day work week with no pay cut, and as of today, 1 July, Greece has introduced a six-day work week, along with the introduction of a digital labour card in industry, and is one of the measures that will be tested by the new Labour Minister, Niki Kerameos. This provision, which was introduced last autumn by then-Labour Minister Ad Georgiadis, has attracted much negative criticism and reaction. Businesses that operate continuously with shift work will be able to offer employees to work on the sixth day of the week with a 40% increase in their daily wage.

This refers to the right that employers will now have to unilaterally establish a six-day working week. The six-day working week – in accordance with Law 5053/23 – applies to continuously operating businesses that use a five-day per week working system. This will not apply to DEKO, the public sector and banks, while tourism and catering are excluded from the regulation.

Employees will be paid extra for the sixth day at 40% of their daily salary and 115% on weekends, and will be entitled to an additional day off during the following week.

The law, with this regulation, tries to serve companies that operate with shift patterns 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and that do not find new qualified staff and therefore cannot organise shifts properly.

Greece ranks first in the European ranking of weekly working hours with 39.8 hours.

The measure was supposed to start in March, but difficulties encountered during the implementation of the ERGANI II information system made it impossible to implement this provision.

According to the law, employees’ employment during an additional day may not exceed eight hours, and overtime and overtime work is not allowed.

The said employers are obliged to provide information on the working hours of their employees who will be hired on the sixth day in the information on the organisation of working time before the employees start working.

Source: The Gaze