Labour Law consists of all the provisions of law, which regulate all of the relations formed on the occasion of providing dependent employment to an employer.
Our field of expertise includes Labour Law cases. For the last fifteen years, Vassilios Kartaltzis and Associates Law Office has been offering legal and advisory services for Labour Law cases pertaining to all issues and case law. Specifically, our law office specializes in individual employment relationships/ /contracts and cases referring to the termination of employment contracts, overtime and working hours, individual claims (salary, leave of absence etc.), by representing its clients both before the Court and other authorities. Our law office also specializes on collective claims settled before the Mediation and Arbitration Service [OMED] regarding the conclusion of Collective Labour Agreements or negotiations leading to the issue of Arbitral Awards, or other labour issues pertaining to strikes, collective negotiations etc.
Throughout the misfortunate and rather difficult times that Greece is having for the last years, especially due to the economic crisis and the Memorandum of Understanding, multiple amendments have been made on labour laws, which have created a great challenge for our law office, as well as for any other labour law enforcer.
Furthermore, Vassilios Kartaltzis and Partners/Associates Law Office pays special attention to cases regarding foreign issues, operating with a well-respected clientele of both enterprises/companies and individuals from several EU countries. Across our consistent and successful practice on labour law, we have encountered an abundance of issues arising from employment relations and have worked on cases of major importance, which were brought before the Supreme Court of Greece forming precedents on labour law cases.
Labour law distinguishes between individual relationships formed between employer and employee within the framework of providing dependent employment (Individual/Contract labour law) and collective labour relations formed between the social partners on the occasion of providing dependent employment (Collective labour law) as a result of the “conflict” between the social partners and the regulatory intervention of the state.
Moreover, in both of the aforementioned categories public law relations also develop in response to the provision of dependent employment between employees or employers of the one part and the State or any public persons governed by public law on the other part (law of occupational health and safety, protection law for special groups, such as minors, persons with disabilities, women in pregnancy and puerperium, conscripts for military service, etc.)
Finally, the regulatory competence for the operation of public bodies exercising and supervising the implementation of state social policy through the adoption of formalities, control mechanisms etc., also falls under the category of labour law in a broader sense (also related to Public Law).
Due to the diversity and the wide scope of the relevant regulations, Labour Law consists of many different law branches and is closely related to Civil Law (especially with regard to regulations for contracts and contractual relations), Constitutional Law (especially with reference to basic constitutional principles for employment relationships and related social rights), Administrative Law (in particular as to the employer’s obligations under public law and the administrative authorities supervising labour market and promoting the employment policy and human resource development).
Also, in view of economic globalization and internationalization of labour law, a major part of employment relationships either depicts foreign elements or is regulated by provisions of transnational origin and constitutional force (International Labour Conventions, EU Regulations and Directives etc.), that prevail any conflicting national regulations and which a national court must respect and implement (see indicatively Directive in relation to employees with fixed-term contracts. This is an issue that has concerned Greek case law for many years. Most recent decisions on fixed-term employment is the case of employees of OPAP S.A. vs OPAP S.A., the cleaning crew of the Hellenic Ministry of Finance vs the Hellenic Ministry of Finance, etc.).
LABOUR LAW WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
During the years 2010-2015, an abundance of new provisions, often legislated without the appropriate preparation by the government, were added to Labour law legislation. The integration of the Greek economy in the European Stability Mechanism was combined with significant institutional interventions pertaining to the amendment of the national model of labour relations, as instituted in the texts of the First Economic and Financial Policy Memorandum (May 2010) and the Second Memorandum of Understanding (February 2012, as amended) and were regulatory vested notably by Laws 3833/2010, 3845/2010, 3863/2010, 3899/2010, 4046/2012, 4093/2012, 4144/2013 and 4254/2014.
Indicatively, the most significant modifications/alterations have been noticed in:
- Regulation of the requisition process for personal services
- Standardization of special apprenticeship contracts
- Renewal of fixed-term employment contracts
- Reform of part-time employment framework
- Incorporation of Directive 2008/104/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 on temporary employment business
- Introduction of a new overtime regulation model
- Introduction of the institution of increased employment periods
- Amendment of compulsory notification procedures overtime
- Introduction of “legislative regulation” for the determination of minimum salary
- Standardization of the statutory minimum employees’ salary and the wages of blue-collar workers since 12.11.2012
- Reform of the framework on termination of employment contracts (dismissal compensation, Act of the Ministerial Council under number 6/2012, notice of dismissal)
- Introduction of a new compensation model in case of dismissal of employees with employment contracts of indefinite duration/term
- Reform of the framework regarding the process of resolution of collective disputes by the Mediation and Arbitration Organisation (O.M.E.D.)
- Introduction of a new model for resolving labour disputes by the Hellenic Labour Inspection Authority
- Introduction of the Special Collective Labour Agreement
- Reform of the regulating model of collective bargaining of Law 1876/1990.
Finally, within the text of the Memorandum of Understanding lies an obligation of the Greek State for amendments relating to collective redundancies and of Law 1264/1982 pertaining to trade unionists’ employment (dismissal protection, leave for trade union affairs, etc.)