Categories
Audio Posts In English

Greece responds to backlash after introducing a 6-day workweek


Greek government building with flags outsideThe Greek government defended its six-day workweek policy after receiving backlash.

George Pachantouris/Getty

  • The Greek government defended its new six-day workweek policy amid backlash, according to CNBC.
  • The policy allows extra hours in specific industries as “an exceptional measure.”
  • Employees will receive 40% more pay for extra hours worked under the new regulation.

The Greek government responded to backlash about its new six-day workweek policy and said the regulation doesn’t change the current workweek, according to a CNBC report published Tuesday.

“It is important to note that this new regulation does not in any way affect the established 5-day/40-hour working week mandated by Greek law, nor does it establish a new 6-day working week,” Greek Minister of Labour and Social Security Niki Kerameus told CNBC.

Instead, Kerameus said it provides the option of working an additional day “in limited circumstances” and as “an exceptional measure,” according to the report.

The new regulation gives employees in some industries the option to work 48 hours a week. Employees can do so by working an extra two hours daily or adding an eight-hour shift to their week.

Kerameus said the businesses impacted are only those that operate 24 hours a day, five to seven days a week, with rotating shifts. The policy will apply to industries like agriculture, retail, and some service industries. Food and travel businesses are excluded from the policy.

The Greek government has said a 48-hour workweek could boost productivity as the country struggles with a worker shortage and an overall population decline.

But the policy has been controversial since it was approved in September, especially as other countries experiment by going the other way with a four-day workweek. After it was proposed, thousands of workers went on strike to protest the package of new labor laws.

Even though the policy is voluntary, labor unions and other critics have expressed concern about it expanding to other industries. There are also concerns about it leading to employees being overworked and compensated unfairly.

But Kerameus said the extra working day is only applicable in situations of increased workload, the report said. She also said the new policy would allow employees to declare extra time legally so that they can be compensated fairly. Employees who work the extra hours will see a 40% jump in pay for that time.

Kerameus said the law also provides more protection for workers, like guaranteed days off, set working hours, and measures to prevent wrongful termination, the report said.

Although six-day workweeks are uncommon in Europe, the European Union has similar guidelines. According to its website, employees shouldn’t work more than 48 hours a week on average. In the US, there are no federal limits on the total hours an employee can work so long as they receive overtime pay after working more than 40 hours.

The Greek government did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

Read the original article on Business Insider