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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-2021-36/2014 – measures in Greece

Recruitment of fixed-term employees/Outsourcing services

Πρόσληψη προσωπικού ορισμένου χρόνου/Ανάθεση υπηρεσιών σε τρίτους

Country Greece , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 September 2021 – 31 December 2021
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Occupational health and safety
Author Elena Kousta (INE GSEE) and Eurofound
Measure added 30 September 2021 (updated 16 November 2021)

Background information

Since 1 September 2021, unvaccinated doctors and other health workers in public hospitals and primary health centres have been suspended. Articles 50 and 51 of Law 4825/04/09/2021 stipulate that, in accordance with art. 206 of Law 4820/23/07/2021 for the mandatory vaccination of all personnel (medical, paramedical, nursing, administrative and support) in private, public and municipal health structures), health bodies may hire fixed-term employees of corresponding specialties and/or to proceed in outsourcing services solely for the purpose of replacing suspended staff and only during the implementation of the measure in question.

Content of measure

By virtue of articles 50 and 51 of Law 4825/04/09/2021, as of 1 September 2021, 6,412 health workers are in suspension, without payment, due to non-compliance with the obligation for mandatory vaccination [art. 206, Law 4820/2021 (A '130)]. 5,594 of them work in hospitals, while 818 in primary healthcare. From the National Emergency Centre (EKAB) 500 employees are suspended from work, of which 400 belong to the crews. Doctors, nurses, administrative personnel and other staff members at public hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres were given a 1 September deadline to get their shots, or suspended, without payment. As such, health bodies to which unvaccinated personnel is compulsorily suspended may, on a three-month basis, employ staff of similar specialties in order to ensure their proper functioning. The recruitment of the above staff does not require prior approval of the Ministry of Health and the competent committee, as well a prior commitment of credit. The cost resulting from the implementation of this, is covered by the budget of each institution with an extraordinary grant from the Ministry of Health. In addition, the administrations of the health structures and bodies of the competence the Ministry of Health may, by way of derogation from the existing national provisions on public procurement, with a reasoned decision, proceed to cover the needs that will arise from the suspension of duties of unvaccinated administrative staff (such as secretariat, human resources management, patient movement office, regular outpatient clinics, accounting, payroll, supplies and material management-orders / warehouses), and of support staff (such as cleaning, security, catering, clothing, maintenance of electromechanical installations, medical equipment and information systems), by concluding contracts for related services.

Use of measure

What it is known by press releases is that, approximately, 10,000 employees of all categories in hospitals and health centres will be under suspension of employment and up to provide a certificate of vaccination.

According to the Ministry of Health (3 September 2021) 6,412 healthcare workers are in suspension: 5,594 work in hospitals, 818 in primary healthcare units. From the National Emergency Centre (EKAB) 500 employees are suspended from work, of which 400 belong to the crews. In the next period there will be a regulation on the consequences for the unvaccinated private doctors. According to the announcement they will not be able to be in the NHS and/or practice in private clinics.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Particular professions
Workers in care facilities
Workers in essential services
Sector specific set of companies
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 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 social partners at any stage.

Views and reactions

On 21 September 2021, unionized healthcare workers in Greece proceeded in work stoppages from 10.00 am to 15.00 pm and demonstrations nationwide, to condemn the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirement for healthcare workers and the recent amendment of the Ministry of Health for suspension of employment of unvaccinated personnel. Additionally, participating workers staged rallies in front of the Ministry of Health in Athens and the Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace in Thessaloniki. Related protests were also run near hospitals and the offices of health-related government agencies nationwide. The amendment confirms, according to healthcare workers’ representatives the continuous complaints of doctors and nursing staff in public hospitals, since the beginnings of coronavirus outburst in Greece (March 2020), that the policy of devaluing public health followed by the government, aims to deliver the NHS to private interests.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      Q - Human Health And Social Work Activities Q86 Human health activities
      Q87 Residential care activities
      Q88 Social work activities without accommodation
    • Occupation (ISCO level 2)
      Health associate professionals
      Personal care workers
      Health professionals



Eurofound (2021), Recruitment of fixed-term employees/Outsourcing services, measure GR-2021-36/2014 (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.