Court upholds rest breaks for computer work in civil service


Greece’s highest administrative court on Monday ruled in favor of the plaintiff in a lawsuit against the administration of a public hospital he worked at because it failed to secure regular rest breaks during long hours of work in front of a computer. 

The Council of State ruled that public sector employees whose work involves extensive computer use must be granted a 15-minute break after every two hours spent in front of the screen. The ruling is in line with European Union directives on minimum safety and health requirements for work with display screen equipment.

The judges said that the hospital violated health and safety standards by not giving the accounting department worker regular breaks or assigning him tasks that would take him away from the screen at regular intervals.

The plaintiff is also seeking damages for the lost rest time. The Council of State forwarded that part of the case to the administrative courts, which will decide on the level of compensation he is to receive.