Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis defended on Wednesday the government’s new labor law, arguing that it “sets some rules in the [labor] jungle” and “builds a modern working environment” in Greece, during a debate in parliament.
Speaking to lawmakers on Wednesday, he said existing labor law makes no provision for the changes brought on by technological developments, such as teleworking, or the role of both parents in raising their children.
The new bill introduces for the first time a 14-day paid paternity leave, Mitsotakis said, pointing out that it is longer than the 10 days foreseen in European legislation, while the new father will be protected from dismissal for 6 months.
Concerning strikes, Mitsotakis says the bill aims to prevent strikes ruled illegal by a court, arguing that labor action is often carried out by a few to the detriment of many.
“That is why the new law comes to change the situation that existed since 1982,” he told MPs and accused those who oppose the bill as supporters of “conservatism and stagnation.”
The prime minister alsi called for a roll-call vote on all the articles of the bill.
The most disputed part of the bill allows employees to work up to 10 hours on one day and less time on another. Unions, which went on strike on Wednesday, fear that will enable employers to force workers to accept longer hours.
The bill would also give workers the right to disconnect outside office hours and introduce a “digital work card” from next year to monitor employees working hours in real time, as well as increase legal overtime to 150 hours a year.