Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou warned yesterday that private sector employers who failed to pay their workers 13th salaries as usual would be in violation of the law.
Speaking after a House Labour Committee meeting, Emilianidou said that the 13th salary was considered to be part of an employee’s pay package.
“If there is not a written agreement between the employee and employer, because it depends on if there is or not, that the 13th salary will not be paid, based on the law, the employee can pursue the matter in the civil courts,” she said.
The minister said that non-payment of the 13th salary as agreed was, “also a criminal offence in accordance to the law.”
Also speaking after the meeting, Committee Chairman Andreas Fakontis, an Akel MP, told reporters that the law on 13th salaries was clear and that not paying them was illegal. He called on all employers to comply.
However, Diko MP Athina Kyriakidou expressed concern that, because of the ongoing financial crisis, employers forced to pay out 13th salaries may later have to dismiss employees.
Also yesterday, state high school teachers union Oelmek said Parliament would be violating the constitution if it went ahead with a proposal to cut state teachers’ 13th salaries by 3%.
The House Plenum is on Thursday expected to vote on a proposed 3% cut from civil servants’ 13th salaries.
In its announcement Oelmek yesterday said that such a cut would also be in violation of teacher employment agreements with the government.