Greece found a solution to the ageing population, adopted a 6-day work week model, will get 40% overtime

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According to the official government gazette, Law 5053/2023 passed by Parliament last fall states that an employee cannot work more than 8 hours. The employee will be paid 40% of the sixth day’s salary overtime.

For most people, working five days a week is enough. But what about a six-day working week? In fact, Greece this week enacted a new employment law that provides for a six-day working week. Greece’s move comes at a time when dozens of other countries are seeing positive results from experiments with practices like four-day working. According to the official government gazette, Law 5053/2023 passed last year by parliament states that an employee cannot work more than 8 hours. The employee will be paid 40% of the salary for the sixth day as overtime.

Workers in Greece have been heavily criticising the change, saying the last thing they need in an era of rising living costs is to work an extra day every week. The new system allows employers to unilaterally decide whether or not an employee should come in on a sixth day. It retains rules that allow the option of a six-day work week, with employees working 6.5 hours a day for a total of 40 hours weekly, Greek public broadcaster ERTnews reports.

Why the 6 day work shift?

The government is giving several reasons behind this. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ administration says that making six-day work mandatory was also necessary because the country is facing the dual threat of a declining population and a shortage of skilled workers. According to a message from the Ministry of Labor in late June, the government also says that establishing formal rules regarding the six-day workweek will deal with the incidence of undeclared work and will also increase the income of employees.

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