New Labour Law 5053/2023

An overview and critical evaluation of the most important changes brought by the new Labour Law 5053/2023

(Article by Elianna Maratou, Junior Associate, ROKAS Athens)

An overview and critical evaluation of the most important changes brought by the new Labour Law 5053/2023, including its practical consequences on Labour relations.
There are always three parties involved in Labour law issues: employees, employers, and the society as a whole. Any ideal regulation therefore seeks to compromise in the best possible way their often-conflicting interests. For this reason, the evolutions in the field of Labour Law are always at the centre of discussions.
The recent Labour Law 5053/2023 dated 26 September 2023 introduces some radical changes in the Greek legal system, mainly in the field of individual Labour Law. This Law transposes, among others, the Directive 2019/1152, the purpose of which is to improve working conditions by promoting more transparent and predictable employment while ensuring labour market adaptability.
One of these important changes, which also raises an issue of an infringement of European law, was made to the provisions concerning the probationary period.

The previous legislation, the current labour law 5053/2023 and the regulation provisions of Directive 2019/1152

In accordance with the previous legislation and with the Article 17 par. 5 of Law 3899/2010, which was added to article 74 par. 2 of Law 3863/2010, employment under an employment contract of indefinite duration is considered as a probationary period for the first twelve (12) months from its effective date and can be terminated without notice and without compensation for dismissal, unless otherwise agreed by the parties.

According to Article 8 of Directive 2019/1152 entitled ”Maximum duration of any probationary period”:

«1. Member States shall ensure that, where an employment relationship is subject to a probationary period as defined in national law or practice, that period shall not exceed six months.

2. In the case of fixedterm employment relationships, Member States shall ensure that the length of such a probationary period is proportionate to the expected duration of the contract and the nature of the work. In the case of the renewal of a contract for the same function and tasks, the employment relationship shall not be subject to a new probationary period.

3. Member States may, on an exceptional basis, provide for longer probationary periods where justified by the nature of the employment or in the interest of the worker. Where the worker has been absent from work during the probationary period, Member States may provide that the probationary period can be extended correspondingly, in relation to the duration of the absence»…

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