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Employment in Greece

Employment in Greece has constantly decreased since January 2015 to 24.47%.

The most common type of work contract in Greece is the full-time contract, with an indefinite duration. Part-time work isn’t common and the maximum length of a single fixed-term contract is 36 months.

Children under 15 years of age are only allowed to work for an industrial business if the only other employees are the employer’s family and if the child’s health is not at risk.

Key points on employment in Greece

There are several key areas to be aware of within the Greek employment regulatory framework, especially for companies that plan to initiate a full local office and human resources department.  These challenges can be mitigated by use of a locally sourced payroll provider who is familiar with all of the local laws and rules for both local employees as well as foreign nationals.

  1. Contracts

    The most common type of work contract in Greece is the full-time contract, with an indefinite duration, while part-time work isn’t common. A fixed-term contracts is prohibited for permanent tasks and the maximum length of a single fixed-term contract is 36 months.

  2. Probation Period

    The maximum length of probationary period is 12 months and dismissal due to redundancy is allowed by law.

  3. Remuneration and Working Hours

    The minimum wage applicable to the worker is approximately 804.7 US$/month. Maximum number of working days per week including a standard weekly working limit of 40 hours. The premium for night work is 25% of hourly pay, while the premium for work on weekly rest day is 75% of hourly pay. There are no restrictions on overtime work.

  4. Statutory Leaves

    Paid Annual Leaves for employees are as follows:

    • Paid annual leave for a worker with 1 year of tenure – 20 working days;
    • Paid annual leave for a worker with 5 year of tenure – 22 working days;
    • Paid annual leave for a worker with 10 year of tenure – 25 working days.

    Sick Leaves: The duration of this leave depends on the employee’s length of service with the company.

    Leave of half a year is granted for various illnesses if the employee worked for four months during the previous year, leave of one year for the same illness if the employee worked 12 months during the two previous years and leave of two years for the same illness if the employee worked 60 months during the previous years.

    Maternity/Paternity Leaves: There are different forms of support provided to mothers in Greece. All benefits – in kind and in cash – are contributory, which means they are provided to insured persons.

    Childbirth aid: this is a lump-sum benefit paid by the National Organisation for the Provision of Health Services (EOPYY) to salaried employees who are directly insured and to pensioners, as well as to the spouses of insured persons and pensioners. The aid is provided to women who choose to give birth at home in order to cover their childbirth costs.

    Maternity leavematernity benefits (pregnancy-postpartum): working mothers who are directly insured are entitled to maternity leave, during which time they receive maternity benefits.

    Special maternity leaves and special maternity protection benefit: special maternity leave follows regular maternity leave and has a duration of up to 6 months, during which time mothers who are insured with IKA-ETAM and are employed at private-sector businesses or undertakings receive the special maternity protection benefit provided by the Labour Employment Office (OAED).

    Parental leave: one of the two parents is entitled to reduced working hours for the 30 or 18 months following childbirth or adoption.

  5. Termination Procedures

    Termination of employment contracts in Greece is governed by Articles 669 et seq. Greek Civil Code.

    Employment contracts can be concluded for both limited and unlimited periods. Fixed (limited) contracts of employment by rights end upon expiry of the period for which they were entered into (Art. 669 Greek Civil Code). Should the employee continue to offer his services after his period of service has expired, however, and the employer accepts these, this is regarded as a tacit extension of the employment contract. The employment contract is consequently regarded as being extended for an unspecified period. Either party can terminate a contract of employment for an unlimited term.

    According to Article 7 of Law N. 2112/20, any unilateral amendment of the employment conditions to the employee’s detriment is deemed termination of the employment contract by the employer. This covers the cases of posting of the employee abroad despite it being against his wishes, for example, demotion to a lesser position and salary cuts.

    Length of service Period of notice or compensation Length of service Period of notice or compensation
    2 months to 1 year 1 month or 1 month’s income 17 years 13 months or 13 months’ income
    1 year to 4 years 2 months or 2 months’ income 18 years 14 months or 14 months’ income
    4 years to 6 years 3 months or 3 months’ income 19 years 15 months or 15 months’ income
    6 years to 8 years 4 months or 4 months’ income 20 years 16 months or 16 months’ income
    8 years to 10 years 5 months or 5 months’ income 21 years 17 months or 17 months’ income
    10 years 6 months or 6 months’ income 22 years 18 months or 18 months’ income
    11 years 7 months or 7 months’ 23 years 19 months or 19 months’
    12 years 8 months or 8 months’ income 24 years 20 months or 20 months’ income
    13 years 9 months or 9 months’ income 25 years 21 months or 21 months’ income
    14 years 10 months or 10 months’ income 26 years 22 months or 22 months’ income
    15 years 11 months or 11 months’ income 27 years 23 months or 23 months’ income
    16 years 12 months or 12 months’ income 28 years and above 24 months or 24 months’ income
  6. Pension and Benefits

    To be entitled to an old-age pension, it is necessary to have reached a general age limit of 67 years and a minimum insurance period of 15 years (4,500 days of employment). The general requirements for receiving a full pension is the accumulation of 40 insurance years (12,000 days of employment) and being 62 years of age.

    Furthermore, dependants are entitled to an additional amount per month, on certain conditions.

Outsourcing Employment Through a GEO Employer of Record Service

Compliance with local employment requirements is just one of the issues foreign companies face when employing staff in Greece. For companies, which intend to employ their staff directly through their incorporated Greek entity, professional legal advice is recommended. Shield GEO provides an alternative path for companies to outsource the employment of their staff in Greece.

As a Global Employer Organization (GEO), Shield GEO acts as the Employer of Record and ensures the employment is compliant with host country regulations regarding employment. In addition Shield GEO will handle payroll processing, tax and immigration. Using Shield GEO is the fastest and most cost effective way to deploy local and foreign workers into Greece.

The Shield GEO solution is an attractive alternative where

– the company is looking to employ staff quickly

– the company doesn’t have an appropriately incorporated entity in Greece

– the company wants to work within a defined budget

– the company wants to limit its initial commitment in Greece

– the company needs help with tax, employment, immigration and payroll compliance in Greece

Shield GEO can contract directly with the company to employ and payroll their staff in Greece. Shield GEO supplies local employment contracts for the staff which ensure that local statutory requirements are met covering issues such as termination, probation periods, leave entitlements and statutory benefits.  Shield GEO is able to advise companies how to cover local employment regulations whilst still providing consistent global employment policies. Understand more about outsourced employment through Shield GEO.

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