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Part-time rules in Greek labor market: half a million employees have to live on less than €400 per month

Everyone who lives in Greece knows that there are no jobs. And that if there are any, they are badly paid. Not so much because of the low salaries but because full-time jobs have become a rarity. Part-time jobs prevail and rule the Greek labor market. Almost half a million people have a part-time job and earn 412 euro per month gross, which is below 380 euro net. Survival tricks are urgently needed.

According to a research conducted between April 2014 and April 2015 by IKA,  Greece’s biggest social security fund for the private sector:

for 491,440 part-time employees the average gross salary is €412.62 per month.

According to IKA data, in one year the total number of employees increased by 3.56%.

However, the number of part-time employees (four hours per day) increased by 10.34%, while the number of full time employees increased by just 2.07%.

 The average gross salary* for full-time employees (1,305,686 people) in April 2015 stood at 1211.88 euros. From April 2014 to April 2025 the gross salary decreased by 1.34%.

In the net salary for the 1,305,686 full-time employees is below 1,000 euro after deduction of taxes and social security and health contributions, while the net salary for the 491,440 part-timers is below 400 euro.

However we often hear in real Greek life that part-timers work half the time on the papers and full time in real life. We also hear that full-time jobbers sign contracts of 600-700 euro gross, if they are lucky. Because in the Greek labor market, anyone with no previous experience in his new full-time job, gets the minimum salary of €580 gross and €480 net. Minimum salary for those below 25 is set to 480 euro gross.

What if you have have a university degree in Engineering and in addition also a PhD.  If you manage to get a job in a drug store, for example, or a shoe store, you will get the minimum salary.

With unemployment at 25% at least and many households having only one source of income if at all, one can very well imagine how one can feed a family of four, cover their needs and pay the extra taxes with 800 euro per month. and, No, I cannot even dare to imagine how it is to feed your family with just 380 euro, if you’re a part-timer.

No wonder that one out of two Greek school kids especially in the vulnerable areas of the country, does not know if there will be a meal on the family table.

* I suppose the 1,211.88 euro gross salary refers to employees with several years on the same company. Because I hardly hear of such wages in new hiring in the last few Memorandum & Austerity years.

PS yet, civil servants still get better, higher wages.

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15 comments

  1. As an employer, I only have full time 1 employee becacuse they are so expensive. It’s not the employee’s fault, but paying 40% IKA + Auxiliary pension fund and 10% solidaity tax is simply crazy.

    Unless the govt makes IKA much cheaper like UK (it is 20% there not 40%) then no employer will hire someone full time. So unless things change, employers will only hire part time employees.

    This is all the govt’s fault and for Papandreou Andreas for ruining the country. IKA was expensive long before the Troika ever came to Greece.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      and if contributions are cut by 40%, any suggestion & projection about the future pension of the present employee?

      • That’s the problem. Contributions are suffering anyway as no one can afford them anymore. So basically the pension system in its current form is completely dead, especially with less people working and more people becoming pensioners due to high unemployment, the low Greek birth rate, and Greeks generally (in the past at least) retiring very early and dying like 30 years after retirement, in some cases being retired for longer than they worked!

        I think what should happen is a minimum guarenteed pension of lets say 400 Euros a month for all Greeks over 65 regardless of whether they worked or not and the rest depending on how much you contribute over the period of your life.

        • keeptalkinggreece

          LOOOL – are you at the SYRIZA Minister’s office???? First of all you should pay your debts to IKA & OAEE.

          • can’t afford them along with all the other greeks. No one can afford their debt thats why Greeks owe the taxman 80,000,000,000 Euros. I think 100,000 thousand companies owe money to the state?

            Why do you think? Because Greek taxes are unaffordable and the system is a mess! It will only get worse now, the Greek govt can seize what they want some people have nothing to be seized anyway in the first place.

            Tough days are coming!

            I think they should just write off the past debts and then start fresh and then take measure to collect debts that were accured after Greece decided to start becoming a country again after 2010 when they decided to start reforming because they went bankrupt.

            • So if i have to pay them I will go bankrupt and then 2 employees will lose their jobs. So we will help the Greek unemployment rate even more then and of course stop paying IKA completely! I’m sure that will do wonders for the Greek pension funds.

              At the moment we pay IKA when we can and eventually arrange settlements for previous debts.

            • hahaha! why don’t you send directly the Ministries/Government press releases?

              • No that wouldn’t work. You see, I say the truth, while the ministry/govt press releases generally lie = )

      • In other countries one pays indeed only 20% ‘IKA’ and no solidarity tax. Where I am from they still have a nice health coverage, very nice pension. So how do they pay for that? Or, probably better, why can’t Greece not manage with 20%, then have now only a very poor health coverage and no pension to speak of?
        Oh and with a longer unemployment benefit AND after that a very decent dole for as long as it takes. Why can it be done in other countries but not in Greece. THAT is what you should ask.

        But we all know the answer, I’m afraid… 🙁

        • keeptalkinggreece

          yes, we do. 1. Greece is economically collapsed 2. Creditors won’t allow it

          • as i said, nothing to do with creditors.

            Greece had very high pension taxes (40%) since the 1990’s!

            And lets not get started with healthcare, it was always rubbish.

            Blaming the troika is easy = ) First the Greek state must look in the mirror before blaming Germany.

            Of course, now it will be very hard to do with that burden of debt, which Papandreou SR took to party with his voters = )

            So maybe in 20 years.

  2. And let’s not forget, full time employees take home 14 salaries. So imagine, not only do i have to pay the employee 14 times, but IKA was well! IKA gets a christmas bonus from me! Complete madness.

    • You should be grateful that you aren’t an employer in Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, France where the employers contribution are higher.

      As a former employer I did not mind. We take the profits after all.