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Factsheet for case GR-2020-12/695 Updated – measures in Greece

Financial support for suspended and dismissed employees

Έκτακτη οικονομική ενίσχυση ως «αποζημίωση ειδικού σκοπού» στους εργαζόμενους ύψους 800 ευρω

Country Greece , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 20 March 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Income protection beyond short-time work
– Income support for unemployed
Author Penny Georgiadou, INE GSEE
Case created 16 April 2020 (updated 29 September 2021)

Background information

By virtue of 16073/287/2020 and 18657/370/15.5.2020, an exceptional financial support of €800 is provided, among others, to specific employees' categories (e.g. actors, singers), tourism and food industry employees, constructors, cargo handlers, guides and private nurses, tour escorts, employees in the area of ​​Mount Athos. The government with the article 11 of 20 March 2020 Legislative Act (Government Gazette A' 68) in conjunction with the article 3 of the Circular of Ministry of Labour no 123339/404/12.03.2020, in the context of the “emergency contingency measures to address the effects of the coronavirus COVID-19, support society and entrepreneurship and ensure the uninterrupted operation of the market and public administration”, introduces an extraordinary financial aid to employees whose work has been suspended.

Content of measure

Ordered a nationwide ordered a nationwide lock down starting on Saturday, 7 November 2020, for three weeks (with a possibility of further prolongation) to help contain a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, its second this year, after a sharp increase in infections. The Ministry of Labour announced the suspension of employment contracts and granting of a special state benefit of €800 for November 2020. Beneficiaries are businesses that have been financially affected as per their Activity Code Numbers (ACN), based on the ACN numbers that have been published in April 2020, or their operation has been suspended under a state decision.

The said measures cover all employee that have been employed by 4 November 2020. With regard to the Christmas allowance, which is payable between 21 December 2020 and 31 December 2020, the state will cover the part of it corresponding to the period of suspension, calculated at the amount of €534 (and not €800). Social security contributions corresponding to the days of suspension are also covered by the state. By virtue of 16073/287/2020 and 18657/370/ 15 May 2020, an exceptional financial support of €800, for 45 calendar days, is provided to specific employees' categories (e.g. actors, singers), tourism and food industry employees, constructors, cargo handlers, guides and private nurses, tour escorts, employees in the area of ​​Mount Athos. Also, employees who are employed by more than one employer and at least one of them has not suspended their employment contract and if so, their weekly working hours do not exceed 50% of their total working hours based on their employment contracts from 15 March to 20 April 2020.

The special purpose indemnification, amounting to €800, is provided to all employees whose employment contract is under suspension because they are employed by enterprises that

  • are under suspension by order of the public authorities, and
  • are significantly affected by the extraordinary measures addressing COVID-19, based on their activity code (primary or secondary).

The indemnification covers the period from 20 March to 30 April , 2020 and is not offset with any sums due. Employees dismissed or voluntarily resigned during the period 1 March to 20, are also entitled to the indemnification. The expense for the indemnification, as well as the insurance coverage of the employees, is covered by the state, provided that certain required procedures are followed.

Not eligible are employees that:

  • are employed in companies whose activities were not included in the businesses affected by COVID-19;
  • work by telecommuting;
  • work as safety personnel.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

30 September 2021

The measure is still in place see also case 667 on the Suspension of employment contracts

29 March 2021

In 29 March 2021, the Minister of Labour announced the measures dealing with the pandemic for the month April 2021. Among the measures, was the extension / renewal of the payment of the “special-purpose compensation”. The relevant Ministerial Decision was published on 23-4-2021 (Ministerial Decision 22547/23.4.2021 - Suspension of employment contracts for employees in enterprises - private sector employers in the month of April 2021).

04 January 2021

By virtue of the Ministerial Decision 49989/1266/4 December, 2020, employees in businesses that have been financially affected as per their Activity Code Numbers (ACN) or their operation has been suspended under a state decision are entitled to an exceptional state benefit for December amounting to €534 corresponding to 30 days. That is, for each day of suspension the employee is entitled to €17.8 (and not to €800, as in November). The benefit is expected to be paid between 11 and 15 January 2021. In addition to the special purpose compensation, employees who have a suspension period in December will also receive a second portion of the Christmas Gift by 31 January 2021 from the state. This is the ratio of the suspension from 1 to 31 December 2020. According to recent announcements in 21 December 2020 the state paid to 1,060,434 employees, the part of the Christmas Gift that corresponds, to the period of suspension of employment contract for the period 1 May 1 to 30 November 2020.

01 January 2021

On 17 March 2021 the government by a joint ministerial decision extended the safety net to workers of “special categories”, affected by the coronavirus pandemic. These categories concern: dockers, active members of cooperatives, football and basketball coaches, forest workers -resin collectors, lottery salespersons, outdoor traders of which the activity was suspended by public order, employed persons in the area of Mount Athos, horse riders, salespersons of the street magazine "SXEDIA". The allowance is €534 per month, based on specific criteria. The granting of the allowance was extended for the months January and February 2021 and by a subsequent decision was extended again until March 2021.

06 November 2020

The Ministry of Labour announced on Friday, 6 November 2020, the suspension of employment contracts and granting of a special state benefit of €800 for November 2020. Beneficiaries are businesses that have been financially affected as per their Activity Code Numbers (ACN), based on the ACN numbers that have been published in April 2020, or their operation has been suspended under a state decision. The said measures cover all employee that have been employed by 4 November 2020. With regard to the Christmas allowance, which is payable between 21 December 2020 and 31 December 2020, the state will cover the part of it corresponding to the period of suspension, calculated at the amount of €534 (and not €800). The cost for applying these measures is estimated to, approximately, €900 million.

01 September 2020

On 21 October 2020, by a Joint Ministerial Decision No. 43110/1078, measures were taken to support art and culture professionals, tour guides and tourist escorts.

The artists, creators and professionals of art and culture who were registered on the special platform artandcultureprofessionals.services.gov.gr of the Information System ERGANI of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, until 20/10/2020, are beneficiaries of the special purpose allowance amounting five hundred and thirty-four euros (€534) per month, upon which full social security coverage is provided, for the months September and October 2020. The granting of the compensation was extended by subsequent ministerial decisions until March 2021. For applying the measure, a register of artists which met the specific criteria was created.

Use of measure

According to the data, by 22 April 2020, approximately 686,000 workers received the extraordinary financial aid. In addition, 160,000 applications are expected after the list of professions eligible for the aim has been extended. According to a study issued by the National Institute of Labour and Human Resources -NILHR – (Thematic Bulletin No. 4-March 2021), the total government’s financial expenditure for the payment of the special-purpose allowance for those employees of which the job contract has been suspended, it is estimated to €2.719 billion, for the period between March 2020 and February 2021 (12months). The amount of the special-purpose allowance is on average €476 per month and corresponds to 87% of the net national minimum wage, 71% of the net national median wage and 65% of the net national average wage. The monthly wage losses of workers with a suspended employment contract (and for as long as they have been suspended from an employment contract) are estimated to be around 30% to 35%.

Target groups

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

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Informed Informed
Form Not applicable Not applicable

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

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown

Involvement

A tripartite meeting of all national social partners with the Ministry of Labour took place at the beginning of the virus outbreak (10 March 2020). During the meeting, the government briefed the social partners on the situation in whole and on the suggested measures and policies, and all parties were engaged in dialogue. The proposals and opinions of the social partners were taken into consideration, without being binding.

Views and reactions

The government has designed and implemented this measure. Views are not available.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      F - Construction F41 Construction of buildings
      I - Accommodation And Food Service Activities I56 Food and beverage service activities
      R - Arts, Entertainment And Recreation R90 Creative, arts and entertainment activities
      R93 Sports activities and amusement and recreation activities

This case is not occupation-specific.

Sources

  • 20 March 2020: “Urgent measures to address the consequences of the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, to support society and entrepreneurship and to ensure the smooth functioning of the market and public administration.” (O.G A’ 68/20-3-2020) (www.et.gr)
  • 28 March 2020: Inter-ministerial decree of the Ministers of Finance and Labor No. 12998/232 “support measures for employees of private sector employers to address the effects of coronavirus COVID 19” dated 28/3/2020. (www.et.gr)
  • 16 May 2020: Amendment of Decision 16073/287/ 22-4-2020 and addition of new categories of employees to receive special purpose compensation of 800 euros (www.taxheaven.gr)
  • 29 October 2020: Clarifications for the implementation of measures to support art and culture professionals, tour guides and tourist escorts (Διευκρινίσειςγιατηνεφαρμογήτωνμέτρωνστήριξηςεπαγγελματιώντηςτέχνηςκαιτουπολιτισμού, ξεναγώνκαιτουριστικώνσυνοδών (www.taxheaven.gr)
  • 04 January 2021: Suspension of employment contracts in December (www.ert.gr)
  • 11 March 2021: NILHR – EIEAD -Thematic Issue 4- employees under suspension of work (ΕΙΕΑΔ: Ενας χρόνος πανδημίας Εργαζομενοι με αναστολή σύμβασης εργασίας)
  • 17 March 2021: Special-purpose compensation of EUR 534 for January and February 2021 to workers of “special categories” (Αποζημίωσηειδικούσκοπού 534 ευρώγιαΙανουάριοκαιΦεβρουάριο 2021 σεεργαζόμενουςειδικώνκατηγοριώ (ypergasias.gov.gr)
  • 29 March 2021: Ministry of Labour: eight new measures for April 2021 (Υπ. Εργασίας: 8 μέτρα για τη στήριξη της αγοράς εργασίας τον Απρίλιο (www.taxheaven.gr)
  • 24 April 2021: M.D. 22547/23.4.2021 - Suspension of employment contracts in the April 2021(Υπουργική Απόφαση 22547/23.4.2021, Αναστολή συμβάσεων εργασίας) (www.taxheaven.gr)
  • 31 May 2021: Ministry of Labour: The "roadmap" for suspensions of employment contracts in June (Ipourgio Ergasias: O odikos hartis gia tis anastoles simvaseon ergasias ton Iounio) (ypergasias.gov.gr)
  • 30 June 2021: Ministry of Labour: The "roadmap" for suspensions of employment contracts in July (Ypourgio Ergasias: O odikos hartis gia tis anastoles simvaseon ergasias ton Ioulio) (ypergasias.gov.gr)
  • 24 July 2021: The branches-champions in the suspensions of employment contracts (Oi kladoi protathlites stis anastoles simvaseon ergasias
  • 30 July 2021: Ministry of Labour: The "roadmap" for suspensions of employment contracts in Augoust (Ypourgio Ergasias: O odikos hartis gia tis anastoles simvaseon ergasias ton Avgousto (ypergasias.gov.gr)
  • 01 September 2021: Ministry of Labour: Suspensions of employment contracts in September 2021 (Ipourgio Ergasias: Anastoles simvaseon ergasias kata to mina Septemvrio 2021) (ypergasias.gov.gr)
  • 08 September 2021: Special purpose compensations: Currently €534 are credited to 6,551 beneficiaries (Apozimiosis idikou skopou: Simera pistonontai €534 se 6,551 dikaiouhous (www.protothema.gr)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Financial support for suspended and dismissed employees, case GR-2020-12/695 (measures in Greece), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

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