Supporting the modernisation of labour inspection, mediation, conciliation and arbitration services in Greece

The European Commission and the ILO will assist the Greek authorities in restructuring the Labour Inspectorate and strengthening the effectiveness of the labour dispute prevention and resolution system of Greece following the 2021 legislation reform.

News | 17 November 2022
A new project funded by the European Union via the Structural Reform Support Programme and implemented by the ILO seeks to strengthen the capacities of the Labour Inspectorate and the Mediation and Arbitration Service (OMED) in Greece in line with international labour standards and best comparative practices.

The project aims at supporting the Greek authorities in two specific areas, namely the implementation of Article 98 of Law No. 4808/2021, which extends the mandate of OMED in the areas of mediation, conciliation and arbitration; and the restructuring of the labour inspectorate into an independent body, as established by Part V of Law No. 4808/2021. Previously, this institution was under the authority of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

The joint action will build the operational capacity of OMED mediators and arbitrators in their revised functions, through a tailored three-tier training programme. A special focus will be given to the newly recruited practitioners who were hired by OMED in 2021 to respond to the expansion of its mandate. In addition, technical support will be provided to the Labour Inspectorate to strengthen its operational capacity through targeted recommendations. Ultimately, the project intends to benefit workers and employers by improving access to labour justice and labour law compliance in Greece.

“I am confident that this project will bring added value to our national expertise”, stated Apostolos Agnantopoulos, Advisor to the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, during the project’s kick-off meeting on 14 November. The President of the Labour Inspectorate, George Tzilivakis, also welcomed the ILO support at a crucial moment for the new independent authority as the body is currently organising its internal structure and defining its operational focus. OMED President Konstantinos Papadimitriou highlighted the importance of capacity-building, in particular for the newly recruited OMED mediators and arbitrators.

Raluca Painter – Head of Unit Labour Market, Education, Health & Social Services at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM) – emphasised that the new intervention represents a natural continuation of previous projects carried out by the institution in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. For the first time, the collaboration will be held directly with two independent authorities (OMED and the Labour Inspectorate).

Improving the effectiveness of national dispute prevention and resolution policies and systems, including judicial and non-judicial mechanisms, are critical for ensuring inclusive and fair access to labour justice for all, including vulnerable workers.

Cristina Mihes, Head of the ILO Labour Law and Reform Unit (LABOURLAW)
The interventions of the project “Support to the Operational Modernisation of the Labour Inspectorate and the Mediation and Arbitration Service (OMED) in Greece” will be implemented in close cooperation with the International Training Center (ITC/ILO) and funding from the European Union via the Structural Reform Support Programme.