Employees cry foul over Xmas bonus


Complaints by workers about employers’ foul play regarding the Christmas bonus have increased significantly this year, with a number of businesses failing to pay their staff an extra month’s salary by last Monday, while others credited it to their employees’ accounts and then asked them to return it in cash, according to the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE).

Similar complaints have arisen about the special compensation to workers on furlough, with Labor and Social Security Minister Yiannis Vroutsis issuing a clear warning to any companies found to be violating the regulations and blackmailing their staff either by asking for the handout back or by forcing them to work even though they are on furlough.

The law passed on Monday provides for serious sanctions for any company found to be blackmailing employees, with jail terms of up to six months and fines of 5,000 euros per case.

Vroutsis told Parliament on Tuesday that the Labor Inspection Squad is increasing its checks, and that it will even accept any anonymous complaints and probe them in detail.