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Labour Minister to meet social partners as Covid-19 labour cost support schemes expire

31/08/2020 09:39

Minister of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance Zeta Emilianidou begins contacts with social partners on Monday, as government schemes to support labour costs and preserve employment amid the coronavirus pandemic expire tomorrow.

Speaking to CNA, Emilianidou said that she will meet on Monday with trade unions representatives, while on Tuesday she will hold contacts with the representatives of employer’s associations in a bid to discuss the next steps concerning government support to businesses, with a view to preserve jobs amidst the crisis created by the pandemic.

“We will discuss the state of play” concerning the labour market, Emilianidou said, adding that “I will hear the social partners and  relevant decisions will be made.”

Since the inception of the pandemic in early March, the government enforced a two-month lockdown and launched labour cost support schemes for businesses that were forced to suspend their operations. The schemes expire tomorrow.

According to data issued by the Treasury, the Ministry of Labour’s total expenditure in the first half of 2020 amounted to €814 million, marking an increase of €306 million or 60% compared with the respective period of 2019, reflecting the Ministry's increased spending due to government schemes aiming to preserve jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic.