Raise for 900,000 employees

Freezing of seniority system for salaries set to end in January after almost 12 years

Raise for 900,000 employees

The reinstatement of all statutory minimum salary increases due to seniority, the so-called “three years,” which have remained frozen since February 2012, will be state law by the end of the week.

The activation process will start on January 1, 2024, with the winners not only being the old insured, who carried the right to increase from the past, but also the new ones, who will receive their first increase due to previous service on January 1, 2027. This is approximately 550,000 to 600,000 workers who today, according to the data of the Ergani system, are paid the minimum wage – i.e. 780 euros per month.

At the same time, the provision will provide for the lifting of the suspension of provisions of collective labor agreements and arbitration decisions which currently provide or will provide in the future seniority increases (three years, five years and generally multi-year work benefits). In practice, this means that the favored employees of the private sector will also include approximately 300,000 workers who are covered by the current sectoral contracts.

On the contrary, the prime minister’s announcement, which brought about the activation of the relevant provision at least 18 to 24 months earlier than planned, does not concern employees who are not covered by a collective agreement in force and receive a salary higher than the minimum wage. It also does not apply to all employees for the period between February 14, 2012 and December 31, 2023, since, as the Ministry of Labor clarified, it cannot, and will not, have retroactive effect. In practice, in order to calculate the seniority allowance, the working time spent by the employee before February 14, 2012 and that which will be spent after January 1, 2024 will be recognized.

Minister Adonis Georgiadis pointed out that the reason the government is proceeding earlier with the unfreezing of the three years is because the economy is on track, its competitiveness is back, exports are increasing, foreign investment is going from one record to another, unemployment has fallen dramatically and the signs are that it will continue to fall.

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