A week has passed since the day when some shops in the northern capital of Greece, taking into account the proposals of the Thessaloniki Trade Association, switched to a new work schedule with reduced working hours. What are the results?
The offer was advisory in nature, in order to reduce energy costs, and was not mandatory, so many commercial enterprises continued to operate on a regular schedule. However, some followed the advice and introduced new opening hours: on Monday-Wednesday-Saturday until 16:00, on other days – until 19:00.
Pantelis Philippidis, President of the Commercial Association of Thessaloniki, tells CNN Greecethat few closed their stores early last Monday, but that number increased in the following days. And while most businesses haven’t followed up on the Trade Association’s proposal so far, Philippidis notes that a final assessment of whether the recommendation has worked will be made a month after it’s implemented. He is sure that “new ideas do not ripen immediately”, and in the next period, professionals “will think better”, since the proposal made is beneficial to them.
As winter approaches and darkness falls earlier, the association expects that the need to limit electricity consumption will increase, which will entail the restriction of commercial activities in stores. At a recent press conference, Mr. Philippides answered questions about employing workers in the event of a reduction in work hours: “Employment contracts require 40 hours per week, our proposal says 45 hours per week. Jobs will not be lost, perhaps , by saving 15% on energy costs, 6 hours of overtime work per week or 2 days off per month will be lost.
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