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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-2020-12/696 – measures in Greece

Prohibition of dismissal of employees

Απαγόρευση απολύσεων

Country Greece , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 20 March 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Flexibilisation and security
Author Elena Kousta (INE GSEE) and Eurofound
Measure added 16 April 2020 (updated 21 July 2020)

Background information

The government with the article 11 of 20 March 2020 Legislative Act (Government Gazette A' 68) in conjunction with 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 the invalidity of termination of employment contracts for the duration of the measures addressing the coronavirus.

Content of measure

Companies whose business has been suspended by a public authority and companies which are significantly affected by the emergency measures to deal with COVID-19, on the basis of principal or secondary activity, are required, not to make staff reductions by termination of employment contracts, for as long as the measures to deal with COVID-19 are in place.

If they are made, such complaints shall be void. Termination of employment contracts made from 18 March 2020 onwards are void. Furthermore, after the expiry of the time of suspension of their staff's employment contracts, companies are required to maintain the same number of jobs, for a period equal to that of suspension (i.e. 45 days). This means they have to employ the same number of workers and on the same terms of employment as on 21 March 2020. The concept of the same number of jobs does not include voluntarily leavers, retiring on retirement, and fixed-term workers whose employment contract expires after the expiry of the suspension.

The job retention clause and the invalidity of any employment contracts also apply to companies which agree to workers whose contracts of employment are suspended from the provision of teleworking work to meet their temporary needs.

Use of measure

There are no data.

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
No special funding required

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


A tripartite meeting of all national social partners with the Ministry of Labour took place at the biggining 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 this measure. Views are not available.


  • 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) (
  • 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. (


Eurofound (2020), Prohibition of dismissal of employees, measure GR-2020-12/696 (measures in Greece), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

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