Most firms found ways to reduce labor costs


More than two thirds (68 percent) of corporations in Greece reduced their salary costs from 2010 to 2013, a survey conducted for the Bank of Greece has shown.

The reduction of economic activity in the first three years of the bailout programs had a particularly negative impact on the business sector and on workers, as business people said that the institutional framework assisted them to proceed to salary reductions and employment adjustments.

The measures Greek firms used to cut their salary costs were the reduction in working hours per employee, individual layoffs, the reduction of outside contributors or associates, the non-renewal of time-specific contracts and of course the freezing or reduction of net salaries.

On the contrary, the survey has found that group lay-offs or early retirements were not used to a great extent by businesses in Greece.

Interestingly the rate of companies in Greece that adjusted their salary costs is far higher than that of other countries monitored by the survey: In other countries of the European south the share of companies that cut their cost of labor stood at 29 percent for Spain and 23 percent for Italy.