This year, the biggest problem for a growing number of companies in the tourism industry is the inability to find employees to fill vacancies in hotels and other accommodation facilities. This refers to the beginning of the pandemic, when the tourism and catering industries experienced a massive exodus of workers due to quarantine. These workers have turned to either retail or courier services, among other sectors.
However, in the current period, a shortage of staff is reported to be threatening the proper operation of some units, especially smaller housing units. On Wednesday, the Confederation of Greek Tourist Accommodation Entrepreneurs (SETKE) sent a letter to the Ministers of Labor and Finance, more or less asking them to allow pensioners and public teachers to work in the tourism business during the summer months, without suffering the penalties provided for by the legislation regarding pensions, and also education.
SETKE says that despite efforts made to find tourism workers and provide incentives, such as the signing of a collective bargaining agreement that provides for a 3% increase in wages this year and an additional 4% next year, “they are not paid off and the problem remains unresolved.”
However, according to SETKE, “there is an increased interest in work both from retirees who have the ability (physical and mental) to work, and from teachers who either do not work during the summer months or want to have a parallel job.”
Therefore, the Ministry of Labor was asked to provide “incentives to fill jobs with the aforementioned social groups, at least for this year’s tourist season with immediate legislative entry into force and until a final solution is found.”
In particular, it is proposed that pensioners not have a 30 percent reduction in their pension for months of work in tourism, and that teachers be given the opportunity to offer parallel work regardless of their existing employment relationships and contracts.