Delivery apps will not go offline during “heatwave outdoor work bans” as the option for take away remains available, but the delivery section will be temporarily restricted.
Clarifications began to emerge on Friday as to the details and practicalities of the “heatwave outdoor work ban” announced by the labour ministry, after confusion arose following the announcement of the decree on Thursday.
The decree detailed that transportation and or delivery of products – be it food, courier services or other related activites – using two-wheeled vehicles are banned between 12pm-4pm while a red or orange alert is valid. That is understood to include mopeds, bicycles, scooters and other such means of transportation.
Syxka Peo general secretary Neophytos Timinis explained that self-employed delivery drivers will not be able to receive orders as they will not have access to them since the delivery section will be temporarily restricted.
He told Politis, however, that some companies had increased the wages of delivery drivers to incentivize them to work during adverse weather conditions.
“[That’s why] only a decree could put an end to this,” he said, but added that vulnerable workers will always attempt workarounds and therefore the penalties are to act as a deterrent.
The relevant health and safety labour law states that a fine of €80,000 can be imposed in criminal prosecutions along with a four-year prison sentence, while extrajudicial fines range from €400-€500.
Tsoulofta was also asked about delivery drivers working during restricted hours.
“Indeed, you can pick up your phone and report it to one of the district labour inspection offices, the report can be made anonymously or with your details,” she explained.
Asked who will receive the fine, she replied that it will be the employer.
But what if the orange alert is valid from 10am – must they wait until 12pm to stop work?
Senior labour inspectorate officer Evangelitsa Tsoulofta explained to Alpha on Friday that Thursday’s decree builds upon the already existing legislation.
“If the alert is valid from 10am then the employer must take measurements of the workspace and if the measurements show that they are above the permitted level then the work must stop,” she said.
“The 12pm-4pm period simply means that no measurements are necessary – no work can be done.”
Orange alerts are valid for temperatures between 43-44C and red alerts are for 45C and above.
Tsoulofta was further asked about the decree which bans all outdoor medium and heavy work during the hours in which a red alert is valid.
“For a red alert, 45C and above, those working in medium heavy jobs indoors such as plumbers – if there’s also a combination of humidity above 22 per cent then the work must stop,” she said.
But for those outdoors the work stops regardless of the humidity and is based on the temperature – “from the moment there’s a red alert then the work must stop”.