The establishment of a statutory schedule for the officers of the Armed Forces was decided by the Council of Ministers, after consultation with the Ministries of Defense and Finance. Yesterday, the relevant regulations were submitted to the Parliament for a vote, which, among other things, provide the following:
- The existing total weekly service time of the members of the army is regulated by 37.5 hours, whether they apply regular or special working hours. For those who apply special working hours, if they are required to work on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, these days will be counted as working hours.
- A maximum working time of 48 hours per week is set. The average will be calculated with a reference period of six months, excluding periods of annual leave and sick leave, holidays, business trips and working time on standby.
- A member of the army may work more than 48 hours on average per week if he / she agrees in writing with the placement, the transfer or the posting or the disposition for the provision of this work. The army member will have no effect if he refuses to perform this task.
- The members of the army, in order to carry out their mission, are expected to be called for service beyond the above weekly service time (37.5 hours), subject, however, to the provision of an average of 48 hours for the performance of special duties, such as e.g. during exercises, for the implementation of vigilance measures, for the execution of a military service security service, for the execution of control or readiness services, for the training of new recruits of the National Guard, etc.
- Compensatory rest time will be granted for the performance of special tasks. It should be noted that the provisions concerning the compensatory rest time correspond to what is currently in force in accordance with internal instructions and orders, without incurring any additional financial or administrative costs. However, the compensatory rest time may be increased by a reasoned decision of the leader.
- The working hours of the members of the army shall not be exhaustively determined and no strict restrictions shall be imposed, except those most necessary to ensure the health and safety of the workers, so that the leader may act as freely as possible, as fully responsible for maintaining the operational readiness of EF.
- By decision of the commander will be determined the services that will apply special working hours, the exact start and end time of normal and special working hours, the possibility of application and the conditions of application of flexible working hours, the exclusion of specific categories of army members from the assignment of special the frequency and duration of the exercises, as well as the increase of the compensatory rest time specified by the regulations.
- During periods of alert due to an emergency, members of the army are obliged, by decision of the commander, to show up and stay for as long as required and beyond the set hours.
The absence of statutory hours for the officers of the Armed Forces is an issue that has plagued the professional members of the army for years and is a constant request of the Liaison Officers and NCOs. The practice followed until today is the regulation of the schedule to be done by orders of the head of the Armed Forces, while all matters related to working hours and services are left to the discretion of the respective unit commanders. According to the two associations, the military are the only professionals who do not have statutory working hours. The military basically demands fixed working hours and is treated in the same way as police and civil servants, who are paid overtime for the extra hours they work. In the armed forces of many European countries, working hours have been institutionalized for years now.
The first attempt failed
The first attempt was made to establish a schedule in the Armed Forces in 2014, with the submission of relevant regulations in Parliament by the former Minister of Defense Christoforos Fokaidis. When the article-by-article discussion of the regulations began in the Defense Committee, both Mr. Fokaidis and the head of the Armed Forces refused any discussion with the representatives of the Officers 'and NCOs' Associations, citing military discipline. As they have pointed out, this does not mean that the leadership proposes to be challenged by the Associations of Officers and NCOs. Thus, the regulations were withdrawn by Mr. Fokaidis, preventing their voting, as the deputies had adopted several of the proposals of the Associations of Officers and NCOs with which the Ministry of Defense disagreed. Therefore, the discussion of the new regulations in Parliament is expected with particular interest.