Greece: Introduction of Digital Work Card
On 16th June 2021, the Greek Parliament adopted a new law 4808/2021 (Act) for the protection of employment, which brings about substantial changes in the labor law provisions. All companies are required to have and operate an electronic system for measuring the working time of their employees directly connected and interoperable, in real-time, with the P.S. ERGANI II – Information System (ERGANI II). Pursuant to this, one of the most important provisions introduced is the Digital Working Card (Card), where all information on working hours, overtime, shifts, breaks, breaks and leave, will be declared electronically and available easily to employees and employers.
In May 2022, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs released the Implementation Guide which put forth the basic requirements and steps for the implementation of the regulations under the Act which include the following:
- Pursuant to Art. 74 par. 1 of the Act, employers must introduce an electronic system for keeping track of working time. From June 2022, the digital recording and organizing process of the Working Hours has started for all employers, which aims at the recording and availability of the scheduled working hours in digital form, which will collect all the declared data regarding the working hours, overtime and leaves.
- All companies in the country will have to enter the new electronic platform “ERGANI II” and fill out the new simplified forms posted for the start of the operation of the “digital timetable”.
- After the transition to the new digital environment, employers will submit in ERGANI II:
- Statement of Change of Employment Relationship Details
- Declaration of Organization of Working Time
- Declaration of actual start and end of employment of employees – Digital work card details.
The employer will declare, for each employee, the general data concerning the employment relationship, the working hours (either fixed weekly or variable per day), exceptional modifications of working hours, overtime, and leaves. The Card for each employee will be connected directly to the ERGANI II online system.
After the registration has been completed, ERGANI II will be showing the working time record per employee, which will be made directly available to both the employee and the employer.
Employees will be able to report their arrival and departure from work through an app, scanning their work card, which will be displayed on the mobile phone in QR code format and the information will be transmitted automatically in the ERGANI II.
All data will be recorded by centralized electronic control. All the information on the Digital Work Card will be available in real-time to employers in digital calendar format (Real Employment Calendar), while employees will also have direct access to the data of their individual Digital Work Card, through the myErgani web portal and myErgani app.
Data Retention Requirements
The data of the working time measurement system of each company must be kept for a period of at least 10 years and every employee has access to the data of the system that concerns him. The corresponding data in. ERGANI II must be kept for a period of at least 6 months and every employee has access to the kept data of the system concerning him.
Labour Inspection and Audit
According to Art 74 (4), as the Card will be used by Labor Inspection to check compliance with business hours, the corresponding inspection will be automated by the inspectors of the Labor Inspection Body, who before entering a company will have a complete electronic recording of all working hours and their changes for all employees working.
If during the on-site inspection in a company, it is established that the employee’s digital card is not activated, it is imposed on employers a fine of 10,500 euros per employee who does not have an activated vote physical card. In the event that in three checks, within a period of 12 months, an established violation of this provision shall result in the temporary suspension of the business for a period of 15 days.
The Card will be connected directly to the ERGANI II online system and, in this way, the employee’s employment, exceeding the legal hours, overtime, and overtime will be recorded immediately and in real-time, and thus the relevant consequences will immediately occur (employee overtime claims and employer penalties if overtime is illegal).
Digital Card shall extend to all businesses and employees in the country. The implementation of the digital work card will be done in two stages: employee inventory-census process of the hours of employment and work planning – recording of real working time.
After multiple extensions granted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the application of the Digital Work Card will begin on September 1, 2022, for all Banks and Supermarket businesses with more than 250 employees, while within the time period from June 1 to August 31, 2022, the said businesses are required to complete the census process of the hours of employment. The recording process/employee inventory will have to be completed by November 30, 2022, for all other businesses.
(Kindly refer to the earlier blog post published on the important labor law changes as per 4808/2021).