Reed Smith Client Alerts

While Greece very cautiously reopens for tourists, with the aim of reducing the impact of COVID-19 on its national economy, the Greek government on 1 July 2020 announced the extension of the employer’s unilateral right to require employees to work remotely until 31 July 2020.

Authors: Anthony Poulopoulos Christina Nikiforaki Doretta Frangaki

chairs around meeting table

In Greece, remote working is a new concept. It is estimated that prior to the COVID-19 outbreak only 5% of employees worked remotely, whereas during the pandemic, this percentage climbed to 70%. Undoubtedly there is an ongoing discussion on how the pandemic has and will further impact working conditions throughout the world, but it is clear that many businesses aim to adopt more flexible working arrangements and remote working may be the “New Normal” in the years to come.

The existing legal framework for remote working in Greece is quite narrow. Under normal circumstances, remote working is voluntary for the employer and the employee. The employer cannot force the employee to work remotely and cannot dismiss the employee, in the event that the employee rejects the option to work remotely.

A remote working arrangement can be agreed at any time, with a 3-month trial period. Specific provisions are in place aimed at ensuring that an employee working remotely is well informed about vital aspects of the employment relationship, enjoys the same rights as an employee working on the premises, and does not feel disconnected from the employer’s business.