October 19, 2021

According to article 4 of Presidential Decree 88/99, as amended by article 56 of Law 4808/2021, pursuant to Directive 93/104 / EC, when the daily working time exceeds four (4) hours, a break of at least 15 minutes and a maximum of 30 minutes is granted, during which employees are entitled to leave their jobs. These breaks cannot be taken continuously at the beginning or end of the working day, as they need to maintain in essence the character of the break, as an intermediate interruption of the normal working day.

The break, if not defined differently, is not considered as working time and therefore the end time of the daily work is extended based on the duration of the break for the agreed schedule to be completed.

It should be noted that if the employer provides the break to the staff for a long time, without extending the working hours accordingly, i.e. if the break is included in the daily working time, then a business habit is created and any different treatment by the employer falls under the provisions of employees’ unilateral detrimental change of working conditions.

Εmployees with intermittent working hours: Employees who work full-time but with intermittent hours for all or part of the week are entitled to rest, between shifts, which may not be less than three (3) hours.

Based on the above, in cases where an individual employment contract provides for a break of more than 30 minutes, the contract should be adjusted as this is not covered by current legislation. In any case, the break cannot exceed 30 minutes in total.