SOCIAL SECURITY

Jobless benefit adjustments

Size of handout to the unemployed will depend on the salary they used to get when working

Jobless benefit adjustments

Some 20,000 jobless workers stand to collect a higher unemployment benefit that will be based on the salary they had at the time when they lost their jobs, according to the new bill by the Labor Ministry overhauling the Manpower Organization (OAED) that will be renamed Public Employment Agency (DYPA).

The draft law also provides for an increase both in the amount of the long-term unemployment allowance to about 10,500 recipients. Both the pilot projects, on the salary-based jobless benefit and the long-term unemployment allowance, will be financed by the Next Generation EU (NGEU) fund with 100 million euros.

The bill, published on Friday, outlines such pilot programs that require a shift in the method of payment of regular and long-term unemployment benefits and the various allowances, as well as in the specific terms and conditions for their disbursement.

As OAED chief Spyros Protopsaltis notes in comments to Kathimerini, the aim is to expand the protection net for the jobless and distribute benefits in a fairer and result-orientated fashion, while also strengthening the efficiency of support policies for those seeking work.

According to the “Greece 2.0” National Plan for Recovery and Resilience, funded by the NGEU, the Greek government has pledged to the European Union to implement these programs, while the proposal about an increased jobless benefit associated to the last salary of the unemployed and evolving without dropping below the current level of €400 per month, forms part of the proposals by the Pissarides Committee of government advisors.

Nowadays, the vast majority of the unemployed receives the same, steady amount, determined as 55% of the formal minimum salary (€726) regardless of the salary they used to get and how long they worked before losing their job.

If the original proposal is adopted and implemented on the national level, those collecting low salaries when working will continue to receive €400 per month when they go on the dole, while those who enjoyed higher salaries may get a maximum of €800.