Labor Minister: Christmas bonus to be paid out by Dec. 21 in private sector

Private sector employees will get their Christmas bonus by December 21, Labor and Social Affairs Minister Yiannis Vroutsis told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA) in statements published Sunday.

Vroutsis said the bonus will be paid by the employers who did not file for suspension of their employees’ jobs, with the rate corresponding to the period May-November being supplied by the ministry. In addition, the rate corresponding to December itself will be paid out later, “hopefully as of January 12,” he said.

He clarified that the amount employees will get will be based on real salary and for regular work. A related ministerial decision on the above, including details and examples, is expected to be issued by the ministry on Monday.

The government “will take care that the payout for the Christmas bonus reaches all workers early, based on labor legislation and taking into account the difficult last month of the year and the tough determination of which business will open and where,” Vroutsis told ANA-MPA, referring to coronavirus pandemic lockdown of most retail stores.

The minister also spoke of the success of “Ergani”, the labor ministry’s platform for employees and employers, which was established in 2013. “Nothing would have been the same in Greece without Ergani,” Vroutsis stressed, “which by the end of December 2020 will have carried out nearly 3.5 million payouts to employees of 186,000 businesses, in amounts totalling 3 billion euros. This happened without pain or in-person transactions, [but] speedily, reliably and transparently.”

From March to December 2020, the government’s main focus was to retain jobs and employees’ insurance rights at their salary level, to prevent any loss in future pension rights, the minister added.