Labor minister outlines new approved legislation on labor market

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The recently approved legislation in the Greek parliament allows the extension of suspended contracts in the sectors of food, transport, tourism, sports and culture through October, Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis confirmed on Wednesday.

During a briefing at the Finance Ministry on the economy measures announced by the prime minister in Thessaloniki this past weekend, Vroutsis said in addition that a mechanism to support employment (Syn-Ergasia) would be extended to the end of the year.

Other means of helping the labor market, he noted, include an improvement in the way unemployment benefits are granted to seasonal workers (tourism, food sector) by reducing the required number of paid insurance days from 100 to 50 and creating an institutional economic support of artists, creators and art & culture workers (including tour guides) through a special bonus.

Plans also include institutionally guaranteed ways of making up work time missed by workers due to quarantine, and of providing a new, leave of absence for parents when their children become ill with the coronavirus. In addition, he said, those whose work contract has been suspended will receive a Christmas bonus.

Vroutsis said that the measures are not piecemeal but form a network of linked regulations focusing on the initial target – supporting workers, sustaining jobs, protecting the unemployed and boosting the labor market. The goal is a speedy deceleration of unemployment rates as of 2021, he said.

“The subsidy program fro 100,000 new job openings with the full insurance coverage, combined with the generous planned reduction in insurance contributions, provides the safest and most effective path to that target,” the Labor minister said.

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