Emergency Coronavirus (COVID-19) Measures issued by the Greek Government: Special Leave Absence

Pursuant to the provisions of article 4 par. 3 of the Act of legislative content with No 55/11.03.2020, which was issued by the Greek government, a special leave of absence is provided for employees who have children and work in the private sector. Such a leave will be granted specifically for the period during which the academic institutions stipulated by the above article have been shut down and up until the 10th of April 2020.

To be specific, according to the provisions of the above act, the special leave of absence to be granted entails the following:

For the purpose of the above Act, all employees with children going to nursery, preschool and daycare, or studying at any facility of compulsory education (Kindergartens, Primary Schools, High Schools) or studying at Special Schools of Special Education, as well as parents of disabled persons who receive care or are educated at special facilities where open care services are provided, are eligible for the special leave.

  • For employees who both work in the private sector or one of them works in the private sector and the other one in the public sector, having children, regardless of their age, only one of the respective parents may request and consequently be granted the said leave. To that effect, when both parents are employees, the employer must be formally notified (through a formal declaration) of the exact periods during which each of them will make use of the special leave.
  • Any parent working in the private sector is entitled to request the special leave, even if the other parent is self – employed.
  • If one the parents of the child is unemployed, the other parent is not entitled to request and take the special leave, except for the unemployed parent being hospitalized or infected with the coronavirus or being a person with disabilities.
  • In case of divorce or separation between the parents, the parent granted with the custody of the child or the employee with parental responsibility, is entitled to request and take the special leave, unless otherwise agreed between the parents.
  • Out of any four (4) days of leave granted, the three (3) of them will be considered as the special leave, whilst one (1) will be perceived and registered as part of the employee’s annual leave. The said leave’s duration is at least three (3) days and under the condition that one day out of the employee’s annual leave will be added to the three – day period. Employees may request and be granted the special leave for the period from 12.03.2020 to 10.04.2020.
  • For any employee to be eligible for the special leave, he/she should have remaining statutory annual leave days and specifically at least six (6) days (for employees working on a 6-day working week) and at least five (5) days (for employees working on a 5-day working week). Nonetheless, it is stipulated that if the parent is entitled to fewer days of annual leave, then the employee is eligible for the special leave proportionally to the days of the statutory annual leave he/she is entitled to.  To be specific, in such a case, the parent is entitled to these many three-day periods of leave (to which the 4th day of the annual leave will be added) as there are the (fewer than six or five) statutory annual leave days he/she is entitled to.
  • For two of the three days of the special leave, the employer is required to grant the employee his/her remuneration, while for the remaining day the employee’s remuneration will be covered by the State. For the 4th day the employee is entitled to payment for annual leave.
  • Employers are required to officially notify the authorities, through the informational system “ERGANI”, of any employees who made use of the special leave, including the duration of any such leave, past the 10th of April 2020 and up until the 15th of the same month.
  • For employees working in the private sector, the employer may unilaterally impose a remote working policy (teleworking).

To read the article in Greek, click the following link: http://ow.ly/ckES50yKGrt

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