📢 Introducing Lano 2.0!Global Employment just got a whole lot easier
📢 Introducing Lano 2.0!
Global Employment just got a whole lot easier
Especially in sectors such as statistics, maths, science and engineering, Greece offers international employers a large pool of skilled workers. The country’s academic tradition still continues till today and enrolment rates in tertiary education are among the highest in Europe, with many young people leaving university with a master’s degree or a PhD in their pocket.
As an aftereffect of the financial crisis the country has been through in recent years, Greece’s unemployment rate is still over 20%. Given the poor local job perspectives, a large part of the country’s highly skilled workforce is available for employment by international companies which will usually find the costs of employment relatively cheap.
As there is no legal requirement for companies to set up a proper employment contract, employers also have the option to simply provide their new employees with a written statement outlining the terms of the employment agreement which must include the following details:
Identification of both parties
Date of commencement (and employment duration for temporary contracts)
Place(s) of work
Job description such as group of profession
Base salary as well as other compensation or benefits
Total number of holidays
Notice periods for employment termination
Reference to collective agreements
There are no rules and regulations regarding the form in which the above mentioned information is to be provided but it must be made available to the new employee within the first two months of employment. Greek labour law generally distinguishes between fixed-term and permanent employment contracts.
Under a permanent employment agreement, the initial probation period for a new employee can extend to up to twelve months. During probation, the employment may be terminated by either employee or employer without any prior notice and without any obligation for the employer to provide severance pay.
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A normal work week in Greece is 40 hours, i.e. a five-day week with eight daily hours. In some industries, a six-day work week may be possible as long as the employee’s weekly working time does not exceed the legal maximum of 48 hours.
Rest periods are regulated as follows:
at least twelve hours of consecutive rest for each 24-hour period
after six hours of consecutive work, the employee is entitled to a rest break of at least 15 minutes
employees must have a consecutive rest period of at least 24 hours per week which is usually on Sunday
According to the new labor law which was passed in June 2021, legal overtime work must be compensated at a rate of 140% of normal wages. Legal overtime is defined as additional work not exceeding 3 hours per day or 150 hours per year. Overtime limits may be extended with official permission. In this case, additional hours are subject to a 160% pay rate.
It is common practice to pay employees in Greece at least once a month. Payments are usually issued by the end of the month.
As of 2022, the minimum wage in Greece amounts to EUR 663 per month when counting 14 payments within one year. When calculated with 12 payments per year, the Greek minimum wage currently stands at EUR 773.50 per month. The annual minimum wage for full-time employees is thus equal to EUR 9,282.
Sick leave entitlements and sick pay in Greece depend on the employee’s length of service: While employees in their first year only receive sick pay equal to a maximum of half a month’s wages, employees who have been working for the company for more than one year are entitled to up to a full month’s salary in case of sickness.
During the first three days of sickness-related absence from work, employees receive 50% of their usual wages which will be paid by the employer. From the fourth day onwards, they are compensated by the Greek Social Insurance Institute (IKA).
As for sick leave entitlements, the following rules apply:
Length of service
Length of sick leave
It is worth noting that employees are not protected from dismissal in case of long-term sickness, i.e. sickness periods exceeding the above stated maximum sick leave days.
Bonus payments in Greece inlcude a 13th and 14th salary. Greek employees are officially entitled to an extra month of pay at Easter, half a month’s pay at Christmas and another half a month’s salary paid on the occasion of their annual vacation.
Learn about tax reporting, compensation laws, registration requirements and more in our free Payroll Guide for Greece.
Employees and employers in Greece are subject to the following tax and social security contribution rates (as of 2022):
22% corporate tax rate
24% VAT (standard rate)
individual income tax rates range from 9% to 44% *
solidarity surcharge between 2.2% and 10% on income exceeding EUR 12,000*
The contribution covers
pension (main share)
and several other social insurances
The contribution covers
pension (main share)
and several other social insurances
* Read more
Individual income tax rates:
– up to EUR 10,000: 9%
– EUR 10,001 – EUR 20,000: 22%
– EUR 20,001 – EUR 30,000: 28%
– EUR 30,001 – EUR 40,000: 36%
– above EUR 40,001: 44%
Solidarity surcharge (temporarily suspended for tax years 2021 and 2022):
– up to EUR 12,000: 0%
– EUR 12,001 – EUR 20,000: 2.2%
– EUR 20,001 – EUR 30,000: 5%
– EUR 30,001 – EUR 40,000: 6.5%
– EUR 40,001 – EUR 65,000: 7.5%
– EUR 65,001 – EUR 220,000: 9%
– above EUR 220,001: 10%
Please note that the social security contributions indicated above do not necessarily reflect the actual employment costs. These may differ depending on the employment contract and due to other factors (e.g. 13th and 14th salary, health insurance allowances, accrual for severance pay, etc.).
Employees in Greece who work a normal five-day week are entitled to 20 days of paid annual leave – 24 days for those with a six-day week. With an increasing length of service, employees also receive more vacation days:
second year of service: +1 day
third year of service: +1 day
after ten years of service: 25 days of annual leave – i.e. 30 for those working a six-day week
In addition, the country observes a total of fourteen public holidays – including Easter Sunday and Whit Sunday. Employees who have to work on a public holiday are to be paid at a rate of 175%.
Female employees who are expecting a baby are allowed to take 17 weeks of paid maternity leave – eight weeks before and nine weeks after birth. While the employer is obligated to pay the employee during the first month, the rest of maternity leave is covered by EFKA, the Unified Social Security Fund, at a rate of 50% of the employee’s usual salary.
Thereafter, mothers can claim six additional months of maternity leave during which they receive the statutory minimum wage paid by Greece’s Labour Employment Office. Alternatively, the employee can demand to reduce daily working time by one hour for 30 months after her child’s birth in order to nurse her baby.
Fathers may take 14 days of paid leave on their child’s birth.
Mothers and fathers are entitled to 4 months of parental leave each. During the first two months, the social security pays a monthly allowance. Furthermore, parents have the right to claim four days of paid leave per child each year to check on their offsprings’ school performance.
Further employee benefits in Greece include five days of paid marriage leave and two days of leave in case of the death of a close friend or family member.
During elections, employers have to grant one to three days of leave to employees who have to undertake a longer journey in order to reach the closest polling station. Those employees who have completed at least one year of service are further entitled to education and study leave when they have to prepare for an exam.
Employers who are planning on dismissing an employee only have to respect a notice period if the employment is based on an indefinite contract. Fixed-term employment may be terminated at any moment without prior notice on presentation of a justified reason including a proven violation of the labour agreement, the employee’s constant underperformance and others. In this case, the employee has no right to any severance pay.
When terminating an employee hired under a permanent contract, employers need to observe the following minimum notice periods:
Length of Service
Minimum Notice Period
For dismissed employees who are subject to an indefinite employment agreement and who are not dismissed because of misconduct or for similar personal reasons, the amount of severance pay depends on their years of service: While employees who are dismissed during their first year at the company do not receive any severance pay, long-term employees can claim up to twelve months of their normal salary as severance.
This country guide is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The content of this guide contains general information, and although we update this guide regularly, it may not reflect current legal developments. Lano Software GmbH disclaims any liability for any actions you take or refrain from taking based on the content contained in this country guide.
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