25 nov. 2012

ESRC forbids reduction of social rights during economic crisis, GENOP-DEI v Greece, 65/2011

Due to the economic crisis, Greece issued new law allowing dismissal of a person with indefinite contract during a probation period of 12 months without notice (§§ 8, 14). The European Social Rights Committee reminded the Greek Government that in the general introduction to its Conclusions XIX-2 (2009) the Committee dismissed any possibility of reducing social rights during an economic crisis, since it is the time when the beneficiaries need the protection most (§ 16).

The Greek Government tried to maintain that the trial nature of the period justifies the initial instability of employment (§§ 23-24), but the Committee replied that the concept of trial period may not be interpreted so broadly that the notice and severance pay guarantee would become ineffective (§ 26).

Thus, Greece violated Article 4(4) on the right to reasonable dismissal notice of the European Social Charter.

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