Employment laws form a vital framework that governs the relationship between employers and employees. Various aspects like work hours, minimum wage, leave entitlement, and termination procedures are covered under these regulations.
If you have a company or plan to establish an organization in Greece and employ people, you must understand and comply with Greek employment laws. These laws protect workers' rights, ensure fair employment practices, and promote a healthy work environment. To foster an equitable workplace and stay away from noncompliance risks, both employers and employees must understand these laws.
Under Greek employment law, contract-based employment agreements are fundamental to defining the terms of employment. While the specifics may vary, these agreements cover critical details outlining job roles, compensation, work hours, and employment duration. Some contracts may even include non-compete clauses limiting employees from taking up work from direct competitor companies or engaging in similar businesses.
An employment agreement in Greece can prove crucial to preventing disputes, complying with legal requirements, and providing a foundation to resolve potential conflicts during employment.
Having an employment agreement safeguards the interest of all involved parties and fosters a harmonious work environment.
Types of Employment Contracts in Greece
Different types of employment contracts under Greek law are:
- Fixed-term contracts - clearly outline a predetermined end date of employment.
- Indefinite contracts - continue indefinitely till they are terminated.
- Part-time agreements - include reduced working hours and may be fixed-term or indefinite.
Understanding these contract types enables employers and employees to navigate the Greek labor market effectively.
Obligations and rights for both parties
Employment laws in Greece define clear obligations and rights for employers and employees.
Employers are responsible for -
- Providing safe working conditions
- Fair wages
- Timely payment
- Employers can terminate employees for just cause and must follow proper procedures
Employees have the following rights and duties -
- Right to fair treatment
- Reasonable working hours
- Paid leave
- Must perform duties diligently
- Must follow company policies
- Must maintain confidentiality
These legal provisions create a balanced and respectful relationship between the two parties, ensuring their rights are upheld.
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Working Hours and Overtime
This section details working hours and overtime-related regulations set by the government in Greece.
Regular Working Hours
Employment law in Greece typically defines standard working hours as 40 hours per week, with a maximum of 8 hours daily. This framework ensures employees a fair and balanced work schedule and allows employers operational flexibility.
Overtime Regulations and Compensation
Depending on work requirements, more than 8 hours may be needed, and employees may have to work overtime. While overtime may be necessary, Greek employment law limits it to 120 hours a year. Working overtime entitles employees to compensation that may include extra pay or compensatory time off as outlined in the employment agreement.
These regulations promote work-life balance by ensuring fair work hours, employee compensation, and employer compliance with overtime limits.
Minimum Wage and Compensation
Greek employment law establishes a minimum wage, which is subject to periodic adjustments by the government and serves as the baseline compensation for employees.
Minimum Wage Rate in 2024
As per the most recent revision, which took effect on 01 April 2024, Greece's minimum wage under employment law is EUR 780 before tax. Any employer failing to adhere to the compensation guidelines can face strict action from the Greek government.
Factors Affecting Wage Determination
With the minimum wage serving as a baseline for compensation, the actual wages can vary based on a variety of factors, including:
- Employment sector
- Type of job
- Collective bargaining agreements negotiated by labor unions
- Periodic adjustments to the minimum wage rate by the government
Both parties must consider these variables while negotiating compensation to ensure compliance with Greek labor law and industry standards.
Employee Benefits and Social Security
Greek employment law offers workers various employee benefits and social security coverage through regulations to which employers and employees must adhere. By following these regulations, employers can ensure the workforce's well-being and maintain legal compliance.
Employment laws in Greece mandate several statutory benefits designed to safeguard employees' rights and well-being throughout their careers.
Employment contracts typically outline these benefits, ensuring transparency and legal compliance. The benefits include -
- Paid annual leaves
- Public holidays
- Sick leaves
- Social Security contributions
- Maternity or paternity leaves
Additional Perks and Benefits
Apart from the mandatory benefits, employees may also be offered additional perks like -
- Supplemental work-from-home allowance
- Supplemental insurance
- Meal allowance
- Transportation stipends
- Gym memberships
- Company cars
Social Security Contributions and Requirements
Employees in Greece are entitled to social security coverage under employment law in Greece for
- Healthcare - Employer and employee both contribute towards healthcare coverage for the employee.
- Retirement benefits - Both the employer and the employee contribute towards the pension fund.
- Unemployment insurance - Employee and employer contributions towards unemployment insurance provide financial assistance in case of job loss or redundancy.
Employers and employees must report and pay social security contributions monthly or quarterly. The contribution amount varies according to income levels and has distinct limits. As of June 2022, the employee contributes over 13.87%, while the employer’s contribution is 22.29% as per Law 4756/2020.
Employers must comply with regulations to avoid penalties, and maintaining accurate records is vital for dispute resolution and access to benefits.
Vacations and Paid Time Off
Greek employment law mandates paid vacation time for employees, which can vary depending on seniority and the industry.
Annual Leave Entitlement
Employees in Greece are entitled to annual paid vacation leaves and sick leaves.
- Paid vacation leave - Typically ranges from 20 to 25 days annually, depending on the industry, number of working days per week, and employee seniority.
- Sick leave - To be eligible for compensation, employees must provide a medical certificate within 48 hours of the onset of illness. The number of sick leaves granted depends on how long the employee has worked with the employer. Typically, employees can take up to 13 sick days off during the first year of employment. This extends to 25 days from the following year of employment.
Public Holidays and Special Leaves
In addition to paid vacation leaves and sick leaves, employees are also entitled to the following:
- Public holidays - Workers in Greece are entitled to 12 public holidays annually.
- Maternity leave - Female employees are entitled to a maternity leave period of 119 calendar days.
- Paternity leave - Male employees may avail of 14 days of paid paternity leave.
- Parental leave - Up to 4 months, non-transferable, can be taken continuously or intermittently until the child reaches 8. Adoption of a child under 8 years also qualifies for parental leave.
- Childcare leave - Up to 30 months after maternity or paternity leave expires, reduced working hours or full leave days every week, or continuous leave may be available.
Provisions for paid time off contribute to a balanced work-life dynamic and promote employee well-being.
Termination and Severance
Termination under Greek employment laws can occur if there is a just cause as defined by legal provisions. Severance pay is typically offered when the employment is terminated.
Grounds for Termination
Employment laws in Greece outline specific grounds for termination -
- Poor performance
- Redundancy due to business needs
Employers are obligated to provide proper notice and, in some cases, severance pay.
Notice Period and Severance Pay
Notice periods for employment termination vary based on the length of service and cause of termination. It typically ranges from 1 to 6 months.
Additionally, severance pay may be required based on the following factors -
- Employee tenure
- Circumstances of termination
Discrimination and Equal Opportunity
Employment laws in Greece prohibit workplace discrimination based on several factors. Employers must promote equal opportunity and fairness during recruitment and workplace practices. Victims of discrimination have the right to seek legal recourse.
Prohibitions Against Workplace Discrimination
Greek employment law unequivocally prohibits workplace discrimination, safeguarding employees against biases related to -
Health and Safety Regulations
Greek workplace health and safety regulations prioritize employee well-being through a comprehensive legal framework. Key aspects include:
- Thorough risk assessments
- Employee training
- Safety committees
- Provision of personal protective equipment
- Maintenance of equipment compliance
Non-compliance to health and safety regulations can result in legal consequences.
Stay Compliant with Skuad
Complying with employment and labor laws is crucial to operating your business in Greece. Whether you have an established business or are just exploring the country for business, you must ensure compliance to make the most of the business opportunities and a talented workforce.
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- What is the work ethic in Greece?
With Greek society rooted in tradition and tight-knit community bonds, employees here demonstrate a strong work ethic.
- Does Greece have a 4-day work week?
The usual work week, as per law, is 5 or 6 days and outlines maximum work hours for each type.
- Is Greece an excellent place to work?
Yes, Greece can be an excellent place to work for those who appreciate a blend of modernity and tradition. It can be a rewarding place to work for those who embrace its unique cultural values and work ethic.