The renewal of the decree on the national minimum wage will be done in accordance with the needs of society and the possibilities of the economy, the Minister of Labor and Social Insurance Yiannis Panagiotou emphasized on Monday. /p>
Mr. Panagiotou met with the social partners in the framework of the session of the Labor Consultative Body. The meeting was occupied by the imminent issuance of the National Minimum Wage decree effective January 1, 2024, the reduction of the actuarial adjustment of early retirement, the extension of Social Insurance Fund benefits to self-employed workers and the complete digital census of all workers.< /p>
In his statements after the meeting, Mr. Panagiotou emphasized that the government's aim is to form a consensual discussion framework, “which will be mutually beneficial according to the needs of society and the potential of the economy”.< /p>
As he explained, through this framework, “it will be possible to determine the limits within which both for the issuance of the upcoming decree and for the issuance of the next two decrees, which will be issued during the term of our government, for the minimum wage can be accepted by the social partners in the context of a relevant consensual agreement”.
Asked about the distance that separates the proposals of trade unions and employers' organizations, Mr. Panagiotou acknowledged that “there are discrepancies due to the different readings” to add that “I would not say that these discrepancies are prohibitive in relation to our pursuit of formation of a consensual framework within the limits of which the government will be able to take its final decisions”.
Reiterating the government's pursuit of consensus, the Minister of Labor emphasized that “nevertheless, even if this does not become possible or if this becomes possible, the decree will be issued according to the procedure by the government”.
“What I want to emphasize is the following, the renewal of the decree on the minimum wage will be done according to the needs of society and the possibilities of the economy”, he underlined.
In relation to the prospect of the targeted relief in the actuarial adjustment for early retirement, Mr. Panagiotou said that clarifications were given and questions were answered regarding the government proposal, adding that it was agreed to continue the discussion focusing on the technical aspects of the matter with a time horizon the end of January.
Regarding the extension of Social Insurance Fund benefits for the self-employed, the Minister of Labor stated that the content of the bill already prepared by the Ministry was presented.
Based on the proposed bill, it is possible to pay parental leave and benefits due to work accidents and occupational diseases to self-employed workers who meet certain conditions of benefits for which they were not entitled in the past, he added.
Finally, as he said , the social partners were informed about the upgrading of the technological infrastructure of the Ministry of Labor and the intention for a complete digital census of all employees, so that it is possible to update the data for the benefit of both employees and employers, for a more efficient operation of the labor market.