Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Greece Introduces Six-Day Working Week Amid Economic Growth Ambitions

Greece has implemented a new six-day working week for specific industries in a bid to stimulate economic growth. Effective from July 1st, the legislation permits employees to work up to 48 hours per week, an increase from the previous limit of 40 hours. This change applies primarily to businesses operating round-the-clock and is optional for workers, who will receive an additional 40% pay for overtime.

The Greek government’s move contrasts with evolving workplace norms in Europe and the US, where shorter, four-day working weeks are gaining popularity among firms citing enhanced productivity and employee well-being.

Excluded from the new policy are tourist businesses and the food industry. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis emphasized that the legislation is designed to be worker-friendly and growth-oriented, aligning Greece with broader European practices.

The initiative aims to combat undeclared work and tax evasion, issues that have plagued Greece, especially in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. Mitsotakis, credited with steering Greece’s economic recovery post-crisis, views this measure as crucial for sustaining growth.

While Greece’s approach diverges from trends favoring shorter work weeks seen elsewhere, such as Iceland’s successful trials of a four-day week, it aligns with the European Union’s working time directive, which mandates a 48-hour weekly limit on working hours, including overtime.

The BBC has reached out to Greece’s labour minister Niki Kerameus for further comment on the policy’s implications and reception.

This bold move by Greece reflects its commitment to revitalizing its economy through innovative labor policies, potentially setting a new standard in regional economic strategies.

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