The Region of Attica will enter a tougher Covid-19 lockdown on Thursday with additional relief aid for employees, including extended unemployment benefits and subsidies, the Greek Labor Ministry said.
Secretary General of Labor Anna Stratinaki announced that employed parents would be issued special leave of absence to attend to their children after schools in Athens and the surrounding Attica region close down on Thursday.
Others measures include the extension of the Syn-ergasia job retention program which allows Covid-19-impacted businesses to slash the working hours of their full-time staff by half without affecting their working agreement. The state will in turn cover up to 60 percent of their lost income.
Unemployment benefits that expired in January or February will be extended by two months as will a 400-euro subsidy for the jobless in tourism and F&B without an obligatory re-employment requirement.
Additionally, private companies will be required to operate with 50 percent of their staff through telework and announce which employees will be doing so on the labor ministry’s Ergani platform as well as provide alternative working times.
Covid-19 testing for employees
Enterprises with over 20 employees will be able to request free Covid-19 testing for their employees twice a month. This will not be mandatory, Stratinaki underlined. Employees wishing to be tested are entitled to a 3-hour leave of absence. Authorized time off will also be given to employees who must undergo quarantine.
Stratinaki added that due to the unforeseen circumstances companies will be able to go into the Ergani system and make corrections, amendments or update the information provided.
Public services throughout Attica, meanwhile, will be operating on skeleton staff and addressing urgent cases by appointment only, according to the announcement made earlier on Wednesday by Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias.
Read about new lockdown measures to go into effect tomorrow in the wider Athens area here.