This year’s biggest problem for an increasing number of companies in the tourism sector is an inability to find employees to fill positions at hotels and other accommodation units. That dates from the start of the pandemic, when tourism and food service experienced an exodus of workers due to lockdowns. Those workers turned either to retail commerce or courier services, as well as other sectors.
However, in the current period, the lack of employees is said to be threatening the proper operation of some units, especially smaller accommodation units. On Wednesday the Confederation of Greek Tourism Accommodation Entrepreneurs (SETKE) sent a letter to the ministers of labor and finance, in which it more or less asked them to allow retirees and public teachers to work in the tourism business during the summer months without suffering the sanctions provided by the legal framework regarding pensions as well as education.
SETKE states that despite the efforts made to find employees in tourism and the provision of incentives, such as the signing of a collective labor agreement which provides for a 3% salary increase for this year and an additional 4% for next year, “these have not paid off and this problem remains unresolved.”
However, according to SETKE, there is “intense interest in work both from retirees who have the ability (physical and mental) to work, and from teachers who either do not work during the summer months or want to have parallel employment.”
It has therefore been proposed to the Labor Ministry to provide “incentives for the filling of jobs by the abovementioned social groups at least for this year’s tourism season with immediate legislative effect and until a final solution is found.”
In particular, it is proposed that pensioners should not have a 30% reduction in their pensions for the months they work in tourism, and that teachers should be able to offer parallel work regardless of their existing employment relationships and contracts.