Protection to unpaid workers & salaried employees and provision of free internet to students

Within the next few days, the Ministry of Labor is expected to submit the first Bill that has not been influenced or demanded by the Troika of the country’s lenders.

According to government sources, this is a quite important Bill since it proposes important measures for tackling undeclared and unpaid employment as well as any infringements of workers rights on the part of employers.

In effect, the Bill that was further discussed at a meeting held at the government’s Vice President’s Office under the auspices of Mr. Yannis Dragasakis is clearly geared towards and aiming to support the private sector’s salaried workers which in effect remain without pay or salary for quite a long time – this refers to thousands & thousands of employees – and comes as a result of the current financial crisis. The Bill, parts of which were presented and talked about by the minister in charge, Ms. Efi Achtsioglou bring forward many new regulations that push for and encourage the business & management’s compliance with the legal framework set by the government, while at the same time, reinforcing Labor laws and their strict appliance and adherence by the national courts and the national administration.

Further to the new laws and regulations pertaining work-related matters, there are new provisions within the Bill that further safeguard maternity rights and for women that are involved in adoptions and/or surrogate mother issues & affairs.

According to government sources, the Bill which is about to be submitted by the Ministry of Labor is aimed at solving long-standing issues and problems that have been plaguing the everyday life of citizens and salaried workers. For example, according to a high-ranking government official, with the new Bill, the request made by lawyers and mechanical engineers is addressed – in its entirety – and they are exempt from the obligation to pay any kind of social welfare contributions to their insurance body simply because they undertook their legal obligation to subscribe to their Technical or local Law Associations, as long as they have no income to declare. The obligation to pay up insurance dividends and social welfare contributions will now, only rest, with those that have declared that they are starting off their business activity at their local Tax Offices & Authorities and only for the duration that they are professionally active.

The government, in a further attempt, to assist those that are socially underprivileged and weak has announced, as Ministers for Digital Policy and Education, Mr. Pappas and Gavroglou, have announced a government subsidy for all the 72.000 first-year students for Internet usage. “The initiative for a monthly subsidy for the student’s internet connection and usage, in both higher education and university institutions, comes within an overall policy framework that aims to bring the future, today”, as Mr. Nikos Pappas stated during the government’s plan presentation along with Mr. Kostas Gavroglou.

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