Gov’t mea­sure to help young sci­en­tists is prov­ing a trap

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY ROULA SALOUROU

Last year’s an­nounce­ment by Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras that young sci­en­tists would be able to pay re­duced so­cial se­cu­rity con­tri­bu­tions for their first five years of work is prov­ing a trap: After the ex­piry of the five years, they will be ex­pected to pay all the con­tri­bu­tions they did not pay in that pe­riod, with in­ter­est, ac­cord­ing to a cir­cu­lar is­sued on Tues­day by the new Sin­gle So­cial Se­cu­rity En­tity (EFKA).

This is not the only ex­am­ple of ad­di­tional, pre­vi­ously hid­den bur­dens on work­ers, as cir­cu­lars on so­cial se­cu­rity con­tri­bu­tions ac­cord­ing to the law in­tro­duced by for­mer la­bor min­is­ter Gior­gos Ka­trouga­los are now com­ing thick and fast, re­veal­ing the ex­tent of the con­tri­bu­tion hikes and the traps for var­i­ous cat­e­gories of work­ers.

Re­gard­ing the bur­den on some 900,000 free­lance work­ers and the self-em­ployed, Tues­day’s cir­cu­lar in­tro­duces a flat rate of con­tri­bu­tions amount­ing to 20 per­cent of rev­enues go­ing to­ward their pen­sion fund and 6.95 per­cent to health­care.

It also clar­i­fies that de­duc­tions for for­mer mem­bers of the free­lance work­ers’ fund (OAEE) will fur­ther in­clude an­other 10 eu­ros per month that will go to the Man­power Or­ga­ni­za­tion (OAED). This charge is flat, with­out any in­come­based vari­a­tions.

The lim­its on monthly con­tri­bu­tions are set at a min­i­mum of 167.95 eu­ros and a max­i­mum of 1,589.49 eu­ros.

As re­gards lawyers, they will be ex­pected to pay their so­cial se­cu­rity fund a 20 per­cent share of each ad­vance pay­ment they re­ceive. Cru­cially, even those who have tem­po­rar­ily sus­pended their ac­tiv­ity will still have to pay monthly con­tri­bu­tions amount­ing to the min­i­mum level es­tab­lished.

De­duc­tions for for­mer mem­bers of the free­lance work­ers’ fund (OAEE) will in­clude an­other 10 eu­ros per month that will go to the Man­power Or­ga­ni­za­tion (OAED). This charge is flat, with­out in­come-based vari­a­tions.

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