The new law 5053/2023 aims to strengthen and increase employment, simplify administrative procedures, establish new protective rules for employees as well as combat undeclared employment, in order to ensure the competitiveness of businesses in accordance with EU law principles.

This law incorporates Directive (EU) 2019/1152 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on transparent and predictable working conditions in the European Union (L 186).

The most important changes and innovations are introduced with the following articles of the Law:

• Article 4: Probation period

The employer may, when entering into an employment contract of indefinite duration, agree with the employee a probation period of up to six (6) months, during which the contract or employment relationship is under probation. If, during or at the end of the period of time in paragraph 1, the employer considers that the probationary performance of the employee is successful and offers an employment contract, the initial date of employment of the employee is considered as the time of commencement of the contract for all the rights. If, during or at the end of the probationary period, the employer considers that the probationary performance of the employee is not adequate, the probationary contract is automatically terminated and the time spent working/providing services is counted as working time for all the rights produced until the point of its termination.

• Articles 5-8: Disclosure of working conditions - Providing information to employees

The employer is under obligation to officially inform the employee of an extended list of terms/ conditions of the employment contract. Any change to the employment terms and conditions must be made known as soon as possible and, at the latest, on the effective day.

• Article 9: Parallel Employment

Agreements or clauses that prohibit the employee from providing work to other employers outside of the working hours, shall not be valid, unless justified by objective reasons such as health and safety, protection of the business privacy, working in competing businesses or avoiding conflicts of interest. Agreements or clauses prohibiting the provision of work to other employers are void.

• Article 12: Compulsory training

The employer must provide training to the employee for the performance of the agreed work. This training is provided free of charge to the employee, is counted as working time and takes place within the contractual hours, as long as this is feasible.

• Article 17: Protection from dismissal and burden of proof

Articles 339 of the Labor Law Code and 66 of Law 4808/2021 (A' 101) are amended and the termination of the contract by the employer (dismissal) becomes invalid, when is done abusively or if it is done as a reaction to the exercise of a legal right.

• Article 19: Termination of an employment of indefinite contract without notice and without severance pay

Employment with an employment contract of indefinite duration for the first twelve (12) months from its effective date may be terminated without notice and without severance pay, unless otherwise agreed by the parties. If the contracting parties agree on a probation period of article 1A and the conditions of par. 2 of this article are met, the time period of the trial period is counted in the time of twelve (12) months of the first paragraph hereof.

In addition, various provisions are introduced regarding additional obligations for electronic submission to the "ERGANI" employment governmental platform.

Natalie Varsano

Attorney-at-law, LL.M. Bocconi University