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Society

Greek Court: Public Workers Using Computers Must Take a 15-Minute Break Every 2 Hours

ATHENS — According to a ruling issues by the Council of State, Greece's supreme administrative court, all employees that work at a computer in the broader public sector (civil service, local government, public-sector-law entities and broader public-sector entities) must take a 15-minute break every two hours, either to rest or to do other work that does not involve using a computer.

It further ruled that those directing such agencies must organise the work in such a way as to ensure a break is taken every two hours.

The ruling was issued in response to a lawsuit filed by a former hospital employee who claimed that he had lost 60 minutes of breaks per day that he was entitled to under European law and asking to be compensated for this time and moral damages for his exposure to work practices that put his health at risk.

The court found that the short breaks are considered working time within the employee's legal working hours and the hospital's failure to provide scheduled breaks and take the required protective and preventive measures for its staff (regular eye tests, special glasses etc) placed the health of employees at risk and they were therefore entitled to financial compensation.

The Council of State referred the case to the administrative courts to decide the size of the compensation for moral damages and rejected the other claims.

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