Greece, located in Europe and noted for its beauty, is a great country with one of Europe's most rapidly expanding economies. Due to new jobs and investments by global corporations, the country is also experiencing one of its lowest unemployment rates in decades. In addition, the GDP is expected to rise by 2% in 2024, adding to the country's financial stability. Companies worldwide are keen on hiring employees in Greece and expanding their presence in the nation.
Labor Laws in Greece
The Greek labor laws include employer and employee rights, statutory benefits, and so on. Hence, it is important for businesses looking to hire in Greece to understand the labor regulations in the country.
Conditions of Service
- Statutory working hours in Greece are eight hours a day and 40 hours a week.
- For a five-day system, the daily contractual hours are eight. In a six-day system, the daily contractual hours are six hours and forty minutes.
- Discrimination based on age, gender, country of birth, religious belief, or gender identity during work is strongly illegal under Greek labor laws and international treaties.
- Greece has approved International Labor Organization Convention No. 190, which requires businesses with more than 20 employees to promote non-discrimination and equality in the workplace, particularly for women.
- The minimum wage in Greece is 780 Euros monthly.
- Statutory benefits in Greece are provided to employees through various leaves, social security contributions, 13th and 14th month pay, and so on.
- The 13th-month salary is equivalent to one monthly salary. It is paid in full by December 21 each year, around Christmas.
- The 14th-month salary is split into two payments: half during Easter and the remaining half during summer.
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Payroll and Taxes in Greece
Employers are required to pay employees every month. Learn more about the payroll in Greece here:
- Overtime is allowed for up to 5 hours per week in a five-day work week and up to 8 hours per week in a six-day work week.
- The annual overtime hours have recently increased from 120 to 150 hours.
- Employers must announce extra work in advance to the "ERGANI" information system. Reimbursement is made as follows:
- Breaks are excluded from the calculation of working time.
- The end of the daily work time is extended based on the break duration to fulfill the agreed-upon working hours.
Employer and Employee Contributions
- The Social Security agency in Greece, known as the e-National Social Security Fund or e-EFKA, collects social security contributions from employees and employers.
- Employees have 15.33% withheld for social security contributions.
- Employers contribute 24.33% to social security on behalf of employees.
- Income tax in Greece is based on a progressive scale.
- Employers must withhold and pay the relevant tax amounts to the Greek Tax Control Authority.
- The tax rates are:
Employee Benefits in Greece
Employee benefits in Greece help provide a safety net to workers and also aid in maintaining a work-life balance.
Leave Policy in Greece
Paid Time Off:
As per the leave policy in Greece, employers are required to grant paid annual leave to their employees based on the duration of their employment.
- Employees can use annual leave at any time. It is mandatory to take at least half during summer (May 1st to September 30th).
- Employers must pay a full salary for annual leave days. Employees receive payment for public holidays during their leave.
- Regular leave, if not requested, must be granted by December 31st; it can be transferred to the first quarter of the following year (until March 31st).
- The following public holidays are recognized in Greece:
- Employees get 17 weeks of paid maternity leave in Greece. Out of these, four weeks are paid to the employees.
- Mothers can take eight weeks before the baby's birth and the other nine weeks afterward.
- Paternity leave in Greece is limited to 14 days.
- Parents can take childcare leave for a maximum of 4 months until their child is 8. This leave can be taken continuously or in parts.
- To be eligible, employees must be employed with the same employer for a year.
- The approved sick leave in Greece depends on the duration of employment.
- In Greece, employees must provide a signed medical certificate within 48 hours of requesting sick leave.
- Employees get a minimum of two days of paid compassionate leave.
- In case of the death of a child, employees can take 20 days of leave.
- Employees with six months of continuous employment via fixed-term contracts qualify for carer's leave.
- Carer's leave lasts up to five working days annually.
- The leave is granted when significant care or support for a serious medical reason is needed, confirmed by a medical opinion.
- Jury duty leave is unpaid, and the duration varies based on the service length.
- Employees must inform their employer and provide a copy of the jury summons to take jury duty leave.
- Employers are prohibited from dismissing or penalizing employees for taking leave for jury duty.
- Employees may seek benefits from the government by contacting the Greek Social Security - Institute (IKA).
- Claiming benefits requires a copy of the jury summons and a court certificate confirming jury duty.
- Benefit amounts depend on income and family size.
Carry Forward of Leaves:
- Unused annual leave in Greece cannot be carried forward to the next year.
- All unused leave must be utilized by March 31st of the following calendar year.
- Failure to use the leave by this deadline results in forfeiture of the unused days.
- The probation period in Greece lasts for 12 months.
- If an employee leaves during probation, there is no minimum notice period.
- Employers have to provide a written notice before terminating the indefinite contract.
- Notice period varies depending on the duration of service.
- If an employee terminates an indefinite contract, the notice period is set at half of the duration stipulated for the employer.
Cost of Hiring an Employee in Greece
The cost of hiring in Greece varies depending on several factors, such as:
- Size of the company
- Job postings
- Training (if any)
- Onboarding processes
- Overtime pay
Establishing a Subsidiary vs. Employer of Record (EOR) in Greece
Top Job Listing Sites in Greece
To hire in Greece, you can post on one of the following top websites:
- Jobfind: This site has over 1.1 million visitors yearly, so recruiters can pick from a huge talent pool. Job posts remain active for 30 days. Furthermore, companies can easily filter CVs and evaluate candidates with ease.
- Skywalker.gr: Skywalker allows recruiters to send newsletters to candidates for better visibility. Furthermore, companies can also access their resume database to pick the most eligible candidates.
- Kariera.gr: One of the distinguishing features of this website is that it evaluates a company’s application process to ensure recruiters can attract more candidates. Furthermore, this site provides various support features to simplify the recruitment process.
- Jooble: If you are interested in free job posting websites, then Jooble might be the right match. Furthermore, recruiters can keep their ads on the website for an unlimited time, and hence, increase their chances of finding the right applicants.
- LinkedIn: Needless to say, LinkedIn is one of the biggest professional social media platforms. In Greece itself, the website has over 2.1 million users. Recruiters can post their job vacancies for free here and get assistance scheduling interviews.
Compliance Risks of Hiring Employees in Greece
To hire employees in Greece, companies must comply with all the labor regulations of the country. Failure to do so may result in penalties such as:
- Criminal proceedings or fines against employers who fail to file employee income taxes within time or file the wrong amount.
- As the Government indicates, failure to pay the minimum wage may also result in legal punishments.
- Employers are also at risk of lawsuits filed by employees if they fail to adhere to Greek labor laws or provide a safe working environment.
How to Hire Talent in Greece
To hire in Greece, employers can choose one of the following options:
Option 1: Establishing a Subsidiary
Opening a subsidiary in Greece is ideal for companies planning a long-term commitment to the country. A subsidiary also allows for greater control, oversight, and visibility into a company’s hiring processes. However, establishing a subsidiary would require higher expenditures. Furthermore, this option also increases the risk of non-compliance.
Option 2: Hiring On A Contractual Basis
If you need to hire someone for a short period, you can do it on a contractual basis. This will provide additional freedom. However, special care should be taken to create contracts that adhere to Greek labor laws to avoid penalties and lawsuits.
Option 3: Partner with an Employer of Record
Partnering with an employer of record like Skuad is the perfect solution for companies that want to remain flexible but also want to adhere to all local regulations while hiring the top candidates. Skuad has a reliable hiring process and is adept at understanding and implementing Greek labor laws to avoid penalties.
Hiring Trends in Greece in 2024
The following practices are being used to hire employees in Greece:
- Most companies in Greece find it challenging to attract top talent and keep them engaged. Furthermore, companies are also finding it difficult to meet candidates' salary expectations. To combat these issues, companies prioritize training programs and improve their wages.
- A survey showed that 34% of companies plan on deploying remote and hybrid work models to attract good candidates and help existing employees maintain their work-life balance.
- Companies are also more invested in offering better benefits and career progression opportunities to retain their employees. These benefits include company cars, bonuses, life insurance, travel bill reimbursement, and more.
Hiring in Greece Made Simpler with Skuad
The Greek labor laws outline all aspects of employer-employee relations. However, it may be challenging for international businesses to comply with Greece’s legal framework when hiring.
Skuad’s unified platform platform enables companies to hire, pay and manage employees in Greece seamlessly. Skuad guarantees compliance and, hence, lowers the risks of penalties and lawsuits. Book a demo today!
How to hire employees in Greece?
- Set up a local legal entity - Companies can set up their own subsidiary in Greece for hiring. Although establishing a business is relatively straightforward in this country, it can be time-consuming and financially draining.
- Partner with an Employer of Record - An EOR, like Skuad, takes on the responsibilities of hiring and employee management for a company. This choice is more streamlined and efficient, especially for businesses looking to simplify the process of hiring in Greece.
What is an Employer of Record in Greece?
An employer of record or EOR in Greece, e.g. Skuad, is a third-party organization that is responsible for hiring and complying with local regulations on behalf of the company it has partnered with.