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EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure GR-2020-11/692 – measures in Greece

Lifting of overtime work restrictions, extension of working hours during Sundays and leave for specific businesses

Υπερωριακή απασχόληση εργαζομένων, επέκταση ωραρίου κατά τις Κυριακές και αργίες για συγκεκριμένες επιχειρήσεις

Country Greece , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 14 March 2020 – 13 June 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Change of work arrangements (working time, rota schemes)
Author Elena Kousta (INE GSEE) and Eurofound
Measure added 16 April 2020 (updated 04 May 2020)

Background information

The government with a Legislative Act (Official Government Gazette A64, March 14, 2020) in the contest of the “emergency contingency measures to address the need to limit the spread of the coronavirus COVID 19”, introduces

  • an emergency procedure for overtime work in businesses that have reached the maximum permitted limits of overtime work and
  • the possibility of extraordinary and temporary exemption from the prohibition of operation during Sundays and holidays in specific businesses.

Content of measure

During the period when there is the risk of outbreak and spread of the coronavirus and for a period of up to 6 months, from March 14, 2020 and after, the following temporary measures are in force:

  • Employees of enterprises/employers that have reached the maximum permitted limits of overtime work may engage employees in overtime work, without the approval of the Minister of Labor and without exceeding the maximum daily limits specified by the law.
  • Specific businesses, operating in the production, transport and supply of food, fuel, medical and paramedical material to shops/businesses selling related items, are allowed to operate on Sundays and holidays, by derogation of the 1996 law.

Use of measure

The number of employees affected by the measure is not known.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Company / Companies

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • N/A
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown



Views and reactions

The government has designed this measure.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      C - Manufacturing C10 Manufacture of food products
      C11 Manufacture of beverages
      C21 Manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations
      G - Wholesale And Retail Trade; Repair Of Motor Vehicles And Motorcycles G47 Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles

This case is not occupation-specific.


  • 14 March 2020: Legislative Act “Emergency contingency measures to address the need to limit the spread of coronavirus Covid19”, Official Government Gazette A64, March 14, 2020. (


Eurofound (2020), Lifting of overtime work restrictions, extension of working hours during Sundays and leave for specific businesses, measure GR-2020-11/692 (measures in Greece), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.