One in two workers in Greece’s private sector left out of work

June 9, 2020

The lockdown imposed almost horizontally due to the coronavirus pandemic had almost one in two private sector workers out of work, either permanently or for a limited period, according to report on labor published by the National Institute of Labor and Human Resources (EIEAD).

The report shows that more than 940,000 employees in Greece were laid off or had their contract suspended during the peak of the crisis.

In Greece, permanent lay-offs lagged the European average and affected 4.7% of workers, but the country had the highest rate in suspended contracts, which affected 41.8% of workers. This puts Greece top among the EU-27 in the temporary or permanent loss of work.

Across the 27 European Union member-states, 5.3% percent of workers have lost their jobs permanently as a result of the health crisis, while the temporary loss of work concerned 23.2% of workers.

In Greece the corresponding results are 4.7% (permanent loss of job)  and 41.8% (temporary loss of work.)

15,6% of workers in EU express strong fear to be “fired” in the direct future due to the crisis. The highest rates are in Bulgaria (34%) and Greece (26.6%).

Over 50% of EU workers suffered smaller (16%) or bigger (34%) decrease in working hours. Workers in Greece, Cyprus, France and Italy declare the highest reduction of working time.

Over 1/3 (37%) of workers in EU who were previously worked with physical presence has been sent to work from home.

Approximately 45% of workers in Greece’s private sector had suspended work contracts and received 800 euros for the lockdown period March 15- April 30 and 534 euros after May 1 depending on the days of no work.

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An increase in turning full time contracts to part-time contracts has started to be recorded, the EIEAD report notes.

This has to do with the government program SYN-ERGASIA and the EU funded SURE that enables work in rotation of 50% of workers at a business.

Although the official figures from the Labor Ministry’s Ergani database have not been published yet, it is estimated that Greece’s rate of suspended contracts could climb to 45% in the private sector, given the 800-euro subsidies being handed out.

EIEAD report on EU and Gree labor in the pandemic here in pdf in Greek.