Govt passes abolition of 'written justification' clause by employers for firings, lay-offs

Friday, 09 August 2019 12:16
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By S. Papapetros

One of three "last-minute" riders attached to draft legislation eventually approved by a majority of ruling ND deputies on Thursday abolished labor law provisions mandating that employers justify, in writing, the reason for firing or laying off a wage-earner in the country.

The urgent draft amendments were sharply criticized by most of the opposition parties, with the latter's deputies, in fact, walking out of the Parliament debate on the last day of the current summer session.

The Mitsotakis government had extended the Parliament plenum session to pass a series of urgent bills after the snap July 7 election, including what's essentially the abolition of a unique "university asylum" law in Greece - first instituted in 1982 - and returning certain executive powers to mayors and regional governors that lacked a majority of councillors on respective councils, as derived from the May 2019 local government election.

Under the previous framework, passed by the previous government, a redundancy would not be finalized if an employer's reasoning was judged, by labor ministry-affiliated services, as "unjustified".

Another amendment abolishes a "co-responsibility" clause between a contractor and sub-contractor for adhering to labor law provisions, as well as changing deadlines in case of arbitration over labor disputes between an employee and employer.

According to the new center-right government, the abolition of the specific articles aims to create new job spots and to effectively protect current employment, while also speeding up the adjudication of labor disputes that reach courtrooms.

Conversely, the opposition, especially leftist SYRIZA, the previous government, sharply condemned the changes as a reversal of recent labor sector conquests and guarantees for working people.

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