Greece is emerging as an attractive destination for businesses seeking to tap into a diverse talent pool and establish a robust international workforce. Recent developments indicate its potential as a preferred country to work in, especially with employment laws leaning towards a pro-employee stance along with numerous incentives for employers.
Among these advantages are competitive minimum wage standards and a comprehensive suite of employee benefits, including extensive leave entitlements. These provisions bolster employee satisfaction and entice foreign employers looking to retain top talent.
The article will provide a breakdown of the leave policy in Greece to foster a conforming workplace.
Types of Leave in Greece
The leave policy in Greece provides various benefits to support employees in multiple aspects of their lives. It strives to balance work and personal life and recognizes the diverse needs of its workforce.
1. Annual Leave
Greece offers annual paid leave to employees as a crucial employment benefit. The paid leave allows employees to take time off work while receiving regular wages.
The allocation of paid leave in Greece follows a structured pattern based on the years of service and work schedule.
First Calendar Year of Employment
Employees receive a proportionate holiday allowance during the first year, regardless of the work schedule.
- Employees in a six-day work schedule receive two days of paid off for every month of employment, which equals 24 days for the year.
- Employees working on a five-day work schedule round-up for shorter employment periods and accumulate 20 days for the year.
Second Calendar Year of Employment
Employees earn an extra day of paid holiday as an added benefit after completing 12 months of service.
- Employees following a six-day work schedule enjoy 25 days of paid holiday.
- Employees on a five-day work schedule gain 21 days of paid holiday entitlement.
Third Calendar Year of Employment
Employees in Greece gain greater flexibility in managing their annual holiday allowance in the third year of service.
- Employees working on a six-day work schedule receive the holiday entitlement, which extends to 26 days.
- Employees following a five-day work schedule are entitled to 22 days of paid holiday.
The holiday entitlements become more generous after years of employment.
- Employees with over 12 years of service or 10 years with the same employer receive 25 days of holiday in a five-day work schedule and 30 days in a six-day work schedule.
- An extra holiday is added after completing 25 years of service and amounts to 26 days for a five-day work schedule and 31 days for a six-day work schedule.
Related Read: What is a Sabbatical Leave? Everything You Need To Know
2. Sick Leave
Sick leave in Greece supports employees during times of illness or medical incapacity. The leave duration is determined by their years of service and ensures that employees receive appropriate assistance when dealing with health-related challenges.
Up to Four Years of Service: Employees with up to four years of service receive one month of sick leave.
Four to Ten Years of Service: Employees with four to ten years of service can take up to three months of sick leave.
More than Ten Years of Service: Employees with over ten years of service are eligible for up to four months of sick leave.
More than 15 Years of Service: Sick leave entitlement extends to six months for employees with over 15 years of service.
3. Parental and Family Leave
The parental leave policy in Greece affirms its commitment to supporting families through significant life events such as childbirth and raising children. These policies facilitate a harmonious balance between work and family life. It helps parents to care for and nurture their children during the crucial early development years.
Maternal Leave: Female employees in Greece benefit from maternity leave and job protection measures. It aims to support and care for expectant mothers and ensures their health and job security during pregnancy and postpartum.
Expecting mothers are entitled to up to 17 weeks of paid maternity leave. The period is divided into eight weeks before childbirth and nine weeks after the birth.
Special Six-month Leave: Mothers also have the option to take a special six-month leave, during which the Manpower Employment Organization provides monthly payments. These payments equal the statutory minimum pay and augment a proportionate amount for holiday bonuses and allowances based on that minimum pay.
Paternity Leave: Fathers receive up to fourteen days of paid leave following the birth of their child in Greece. Paternity leave in Greece allows them to be present during the early stages of parenthood and bond with their newborn.
Parental Leave: Parents can take unpaid parental leave for at least four months for each parent. This leave period begins after the maternity leave and can continue until the child reaches six years old. Parents can focus on caregiving and fostering a strong connection with their children during the leave.
Surrogacy Leave: Intended surrogate parents obtain the same leave entitlements as the genetic parents. It ensures that the individuals or couples who have opted for surrogacy can fully engage in childcare and provide the necessary care and attention during the early life stages of the child.
Adoption Leave: Employees in Greece are eligible for paid leave when adopting a child younger than six years old. The provision recognizes the significance of the adoption process and allows parents to dedicate time to welcoming and adjusting to their adopted child's needs and routine.
Childcare Leave: Working parents have the option to take childcare leave. The special leave is available for a period of up to 30 months following the conclusion of maternity leave or parental leave. The parent choosing to use this benefit can start work an hour later, finish an hour earlier, or take a one-hour break each day, depending on their preference and work needs.
4. Unpaid Leave
Unpaid leave in Greece allows employees to voluntarily take time off from work without receiving their regular wages. This arrangement is initiated through a mutually agreed-upon, personally written agreement between the employee and the employer.
5. Special Leave
Special leave comprises various types of leave granted for exceptional circumstances not covered by standard leave policies. It enables employees to deal with unexpected situations, such as personal emergencies, important family events, or specific cultural or religious observances, that may require additional time off from work.
Special leave policies vary between employers and regions, often allowing employees the flexibility to address unforeseen or distinctive needs without impacting their job security or financial stability.
Marriage Leave: Employees can take a 5-day marriage leave. The extended leave period ensures they can fully immerse themselves in this significant life event while balancing their personal and professional commitments.
Bereavement Leave: Employees can take up to two days of paid bereavement leave upon experiencing the passing of a close family member. The leave policy in Greece grants individuals the time to grieve, make essential arrangements, and attend funeral services. It allows them to navigate the challenging period following the death of a loved one while still receiving their regular wages.
Election Leave: Employees are entitled to one to three days off work to cast their votes during elections or referendums. The number of days granted depends on the distance between their workplace and the polling station. This policy allows employees the necessary time to exercise their right to vote and promotes active civic engagement.
Jury Duty Leave: When summoned to serve on a jury, employees receive a break to fulfill their civic duty. Although precise details may vary, the leave permits employees to participate in the legal process as jurors without adverse employment consequences.
Study Leave: Employees in public schools or universities in Greece can benefit from a unique leave policy designed for educational pursuits. It allows them to take up to 30 days of special leave each year, specifically for studying. Employees continue to receive payment from the Labor Force Employment Organization during the study leave.
Related Read: What is Compensatory Leave? A Guide for Employers
Statutory Minimum mandate is 4 months of unpaid leaves per child.
- The leave can be taken either consecutively or in blocks.
- To be eligible for childcare leave, parents must have been employed by the same employer for at least one year. They must also have a child under the age of eight.
- Parents who take childcare leave are not entitled to any pay. However, they may be able to claim benefits from the Greek government.
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Stay Compliant with Skuad
Navigating leave policy in Greece can be complex owing to the intricacies of local labor laws and the various leaves and entitlements offered.
When you partner with Skuad as your Employer of Record, we take care of everything - from onboarding to payroll, managing taxes, to staying compliant with the Greece leave policy. Speak to our experts to learn more about how we can help you stay compliant with local labor laws in Greece.
Q1. How many vacation days are standard in Greece?
Full-time employees accrue vacation of 24 days in a 6-day workweek or 20 days in a 5-day workweek during the first employment year. However, the employee receives one extra annual leave once they complete a year. They are entitled to 26 days annual leave for a 6-day workweek and 25 days for a 5-day workweek following the two years of employment.
Q2. What is the family leave policy in Greece?
The family leave policy in Greece allows paternal leave to both a mother and father. A female can seek a basic maternal leave for 17 weeks– eight weeks before birth and nine weeks after birth. They can also apply for a six-month special leave before using flexible working.
Meanwhile, a father can take up to two weeks of employer-paid paternity leave. Further, employees with six months of service can request five days of caregivers' leave annually to care for a relative or a person with medical conditions.
Q3. What are the legal working hours in Greece?
Standard working hours in Greece are 40 hours weekly, irrespective of whether it is a 5- or 6-day work week. The entire contractual working hours shall be 8 hours daily in a 5-day weekly work system. However, it amounts to 6 hours and 40 minutes per day in a 6-day weekly work system.