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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-2020-34/1187 – measures in Greece

Distance working or work suspension for vulnerable workers Working distance or suspending work of vulnerable groups. Working distance or suspending work of vulnerable group

Εργασία από απόσταση ή αναστολή εργασίας των ευπαθών ομάδων ομάδων

Country Greece , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 22 August 2020 – 31 December 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Teleworking arrangements, remote working
Author Penny Georgiadou (INE GSEE)
Measure added 25 September 2020 (updated 02 December 2020)

Background information

The government, with the legislative act (A.161/22-8-2020, Article 8), gives three options to employers and workers belonging to vulnerable groups in order to protect themselves against the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The regulation is in force from 22 August 2020 and allows for remote work, work in a post in which the worker does not come into contact with the public or, if this cannot happen, suspension of the employment contract of persons belonging to vulnerable groups until 30 September 2020. This Act replaced the relative previous article 2 of the law 4682/2020. With a new one Joint Ministerial Decision of 30 September 2020 (Article 6 of Act. No 39363/1537, FEK 4262/30-9-2020) the measure was extended until 31 December 2020.

Content of measure

This legislative act A.161 stipulates that workers, if they belong to vulnerable groups, will be able, at their request (by any means - telephone, computer or mobile phone message) to work remotely. The employer in turn, has to accept the request, if the work can be provided remotely.

If the work cannot be done remotely, the employer must take all measures to ensure that the applicant worker belonging to a vulnerable group does not work in a setting that requires contact with the public.

Where none of the above can be applied, the employer shall, as a last resort, suspend the employee's job contract until 30 September 2020.

By a joint decision of the Ministers of Labour and Health, a concept was developed which defines the vulnerable groups in regards to the consequences of the possible transmission of COVID-19 virus. In this case all required medical certificates are to be presented by the applicant worker.

If the employer, despite the employee's request, does not respect this law, the employer shall be fined €5,000 for each infringement.

With a new one Joint Ministerial Decision of 30 September 2020 (Act. No 39363/1537) the measure was extended until 31 December 2020.

Use of measure

There is no information.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
The COVID-19 risk group at the workplace
Disabled workers
Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
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:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


There was no involvement of the social partners.

Views and reactions

There are no reactions from the social partners. ESAMEA (National Confederation of Disabled People - NCDP) considered the measures as positive for the protection of employees with disabilities and chronic diseases (Press release of 24 September 2020).


  • 22 August 2020: Legislative Act (A.161/22-08-2020, Article 8) (Πράξη νομοθετικού περιεχομένου Α'161, αρθρο 8, 22-08-2020) (
  • 26 August 2020: The working status of vulnerable groups (Το καθεστώς εργασίας των ευπαθών ομάδων) (
  • 18 September 2020: Ministerial Decision No 37095/1436/2020 (FEK B'4011/18-09-2020) (Υπουργική Απόφαση 37095/1436/2020 (ΦΕΚ Β'4011/18-09-2020) ) (
  • 30 September 2020: Joint Ministerial Decision No 39363/1537/30-9-2020 (Κοινή Υπουργική Απόφαση 39363/1537 - ΦΕΚ 4262/Β/30-9-202) (


Eurofound (2020), Distance working or work suspension for vulnerable workers Working distance or suspending work of vulnerable groups. Working distance or suspending work of vulnerable group, measure GR-2020-34/1187 (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.