Cabinet d'Avocats

Athanasios I. Papathanasiou


New provisions in Labour Law

1. The wages of workers are determined either by an individual agreement with the employer, or by a collective convention, or by law. The collective agreements which are recognized by law are: the general national agreements (which fix the minimum wage of employees and workers in the country), the sectoral agreements (e.g. in industries, commercial shops etc. These agreements fix the minimum wages for the workers in specialty occupations of each sector in the whole country or in specific cities), the operational agreements (they refer to the workers of a specific enterprise) and the agreements which refer to the same profession (for instance they may refer generally to the drivers of the whole country or to the drivers of a specific city) (article 3 paragraph 1, law 1876/1990).

2. In case that the negotiations do not conclude in an agreement the workers could bring it before the Organization for Mediation and Arbitration and they usually got an increase in their wages because of the mediation which was compulsory. Actually the Organization for Mediation and Arbitration is not as useful as it used to be because the recourse to arbitration can now take place only with the consensus of the employer (and this circumstance is not very often)(article 3, paragraph 2 CM Act 6/2012) and only as it concerns the basic wage, not the allowances (article 3, paragraph 2 CM Act 6/2012) while the phase of mediation, which precedes that of arbitration, it is not compulsory in regard to the proposal made by the mediator during the dispute resolution process. This means that if one of these two parties does not accept the proposal, then the collective agreement will not be concluded. (Article 15, paragraph 6, law 1876/1990).

3. The law 4093/2012 determines the minimum wage derogating from the provisions of the general national collective agreement laid down in 15-7-2010. The minimum wage for an employee is 586, 08 Euro and the daily earning for a worker is 26, 18 Euro, while the wage for the young employees under the age of 25 is 510, 95 Euro and for the workers of the same age the daily earning is 22, 83 Euro. (Subparagraph IA.11 paragraph 3, law 4093/2012).

4. The collective agreements which enter into force for 24 months, until 14-2-2012 or even longer, expire on 14-2-2013 (article 2, paragraph 2 CM Act 6/2012) while the collective agreements which, on 14-2-2012, are into force for a time period shorter than 24 months expire after the completion of three years after their start date, unless a complaint is submitted earlier (article 2, paragraph 3 CM Act 6/2012). In fact, every collective convention expires in 2013 (mainly on 14-2-2013) unless there is a notice of termination of the collective agreement. Since the expiration date or the date of the notice of termination, the collective agreement remains in force for three months. After these months, if a new agreement is not concluded, then the basic wage and the allowances for working experience, studies, children and dangerous working conditions will be in force for these collective agreements which have expired or terminated. This means that the wage, which was determined by an agreement which expired, is now reduced without the consensus of the employee (article 2; paragraph 4 CM Act 6/2012). Before this provision the collective agreement remained in force but through the form of an individual agreement and the reductions in wages could occur only with the consensus of the employee.

5. Since 14-2-2012 the increase of wages in terms of the expiration time of work is prohibited (there is a freeze of allowances for seniority, for multi-annual work, for three-year period work, for five-year period work, at the levels which were in force on 14-2-2012 and there is no increase until the unemployment falls below 10%) (Article 4 CM Act 6/2012).

CM Act: Council of Ministers’ Act

Writer: mr. Efstratios DOXAKIS