The inauguration of a six-day workweek in Greece – as of July 1 – made international headlines and generated global scrutiny this week, although the details were often left out of the soundbites.

Specifically, provisions of the new labor sector regime affect businesses that operate on a 24-hour basis, five or six days a week. Businesses in sectors described as entailing “continuous operation” now have the right to schedule employees to work a sixth day of the week, at a higher pay scale but losing out on one of two days off.

The legislation, passed last year, apparently aims to cover personnel shortages in the domestic labor market and in sectors where the current shifts regime falls short. In a bid to quell expected criticism and opposition, the conservative government said the measure will combat systematic “off-the-books” and poorly compensated overtime. As such, the sixth day of work will be paid at 40% more than a normal weekday scale.

Nevertheless, the six-day measure will only affect the private sector, with the mostly tenured positions in Greece’s civil service and cavernous wider public sector excluded. Other excluded sectors are public utilities and banks. It’s also noteworthy that the all-important tourism industry and its various sub-sectors are excluded, along with the massive food-&-beverage sector in the country.

In case the sixth day of work during a seven-day workweek falls on a Sunday or official holiday then the pay rate will be increased by 115%. If the shift takes place during late-night hours then another 25% is tacked on.

Remaining conditions in the revised labor law are that daily work cannot exceed eight hours, 11 hours must pass before the end of one shift and the beginning of another, one day off per week is mandatory, while the maximum weekly number of work hours is 48, including overtime.

Employers taking advantage of the measure must also pre-register the particulars of each affected employee on an online labor ministry platform or face a fine.

The move to legislate an expanded workweek, which was vilified by the political opposition and unions, is also accompanied by the obligatory use of a digital labor card as of July 1 in the industrial and retail sectors.