In total, the benefits that a new working mother in the private sector receives and are linked to the birth, can reach or even exceed 11,000 euros, said the Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Security, Panos Tsakloglou, in an interview with Ertnews.

Regarding the maternity allowance, the Deputy Minister of Labor noted that, during the previous four years, the government extended the maternity allowance for private sector employees to nine months, and now extends the provision to freelancers, self-employed women and farmers.

As he said, the condition is that they are insurance aware. If they’re not insurance aware, the respective platform pops up a message saying ‘please either pay or settle your debt so you can get your maternity benefit’.

This is an insurance and not a welfare benefit.

The self-employed pay a monthly contribution of 10 euros, which previously only covered the risk of unemployment. We found that there was the fiscal space to cover the maternity allowance, which we did.

The allowance has two objectives. First, to strengthen the family, in a period in which it is really very useful for the mother or one of the parents to stay with the child and, at the same time, it facilitates women to participate in the labor market, it encourages families who want to have children, to do so, reconciling work and family life”.

To a question about the six-day work, Mr. Tsakloglou answered the following: “It has been legislated for some more branches, where the production is ‘continuous flow’, which we had not previously covered and it gives the right to the employer to ask the employee to work a sixth day with the wages provided for by law. The measure covers a relatively small number of employees and, certainly, it is not about generalizing the measure to all employees”.

Regarding when someone can get a pension, the Deputy Minister of Labor clarified that, in order to get a pension, someone must have at least 15 years of insurance contributions and be at least 62 years old. If he has 40 years of contributions, the pension is paid without any reduction. If he does not have 40 years of contributions and wants to retire, after 62 and before 67, there is a cut equal to 1/240 of the national pension for each month of the difference from the theoretical maximum of 40 years. At 67, someone who meets the 15-year eligibility criteria retires, with no reduction in the national pension.

Those in the armed forces and security forces, where the retirement age is 60, as well as workers in heavy and unsanitary occupations, can take full retirement earlier than the age of 62.

Finally, regarding the retirement age limits, Mr. Tsakloglou said the following: “In our legislation, the retirement age limit is linked to the life expectancy at 65 years. The examination of the corresponding limit takes place every three years. It was done last year and it was found that the life expectancy at 65 years did not increase in Greece, due to the pandemic. The next review will be in 2027 and, until then, absolutely nothing is going to change.”