Internet InfoMedia greeces six day workweek what to know
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The country, which already has the European Union’s longest average workweek, wants to add another day in some cases, bucking a growing business trend.

As the rest of the world zigs toward a four-day workweek, Greece is opting to zag.

On Monday, a law came into effect that allows some companies to enforce a six-day workweek, a shift that is intended to prop up the country’s aging work force and compensate strapped workers, while respecting workers’ rights.

The law applies to private sector workers in certain industrial and manufacturing sectors, or to those who work in a business that operates continuous shifts 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with some exceptions. And it would be allowed only “in exceptional circumstances,” like an unexpectedly increased workload.

Labor unions, which have long pushed for better working conditions and rights, have opposed the move. It has prompted a fierce debate and, when the bill was approved last year, protests. Greece already has the longest average workweek in the European Union, and it is not clear whether the extended workweek will bolster productivity.

The action in Greece stands in sharp contrast to much of the world. Senator Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont, in March pushed to reduce the standard workweek in the United States to 32 hours from 40 hours. Trials have been carried out in Britain, Iceland and New Zealand, at least in part as a response to the drastic shifts in work that were precipitated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s what to know about Greece’s overtime measure.

Greece is dealing with a shortage of skilled labor, as are its peers in the European Union.

Conservative lawmakers in the country have billed the law as a way to provide more resources for employers, while providing additional income for workers.

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