Employing in Greece
In Greece there are month 13 and month 14 payments which refer to:
- The Easter bonus payment.
- The leave allowance.
- The Christmas bonus payment.
Easter bonus must be paid by Holy Wednesday of each year. The period for which Easter bonus is calculated begins from the 1st of January 1st to the 30th of April each year. Employees whose employment relationship has lasted, without interruption, throughout this period are entitled to the Easter bonus that is equal to half of their monthly salary.
The employee is also entitled to receive leave allowance which cannot exceed the half-monthly salary. The leave allowance is calculated in accordance with sick leave days. If there are no sick leaves and the employee has an uninterrupted employment relationship starting from the 1st of January, then the leave allowance is equal to half-monthly salary and it is paid before the summer vacation, by the 25th of July at the latest.
The Christmas bonus must be paid by the 21st of December each year. The period for which Christmas bonus is calculated begins from the 1st of May to the 31st of December each year. Employees whose employment relationship has lasted without interruption throughout this period are entitled the whole Christmas bonus that is equal to one monthly salary.
The public healthcare system in Greece is relatively good, with public hospitals belonging to the social security system. The private hospitals for examinations or medical care are expensive if an individual does not have a private health insurance scheme, which can be taken out by private health companies existing in Greece.
Treatment is free under the public social security system or it has a small contribution for the employee. The Greek social security system’s pharmaceutical benefits provide medicines to users at a reduced cost. The user’s contribution ranges from 10% to 50% and the other amount is covered by the social security system.
Hospital treatment is free under the public social security system and patients also have a right to receive certain services, such as prostheses, orthopaedic appliances, transfusions and so on when required.
The state pension scheme is part of the social security system in Greece.
The pensions system is financed by a payroll tax on salaries. The employee pays 6.67% of their salary while employers must pay the equivalent of 13.33% of an employee’s salary into the pension scheme.
Employer costs (social costs)
The following costs are applied for the employees and the employers respectively in Greece for 2020:
The maximum length of the normal working week is 40 hours per week of average, effective work. This is calculated annually.
Compensation for off-site travel is equal to one daily wage or equal to 1/25 of the monthly salary.
In Greek law, two types of overtime work are recognised: overwork and overtime. Work between 41 and 45 hours a week is called overwork. Work exceeding 9 hours a day and/or 45 hours a week is called overtime.
Legal overtime can reach two hours a day and up to 120 hours a year. Both types of overtime work must be entered in the overtime register of the Greek labour authority’s system [ERGANI] before it starts. Overtime exceeding the lawful limit or for which the aforementioned procedures are not complied with is “unlawful overtime”.
In the event of short-term sickness in Greece, employees are entitled to continuation of salary payments as follows:
- First three days of sickness — 50% of salary met by the employer.
- Fourth day until the 13th day for the first year in employment — partly reimbursed by the social security system and partly by the employer.
- Fourth day until the 25th day for any year thereafter — partly reimbursed by the social security system and partly by the employer.
Paid time off
Over 400 km — 2 days
For islands — up to 3 days
One of the two parents is entitled to reduced working hours for 30 months from the end of maternity leave either to come to work one hour later or leave work one hour earlier each day. However, they can arrange with the employer to work for 2 hours less per day for the first 12 months and 1 hour less for the next six months.
Employment contracts of an indefinite time can be terminated without restraints and at any time by the employer, provided that legal formalities are adhered to — that is, notification to the employee of the written termination of the employment contract and payment of the lawful compensation.
In the event of the duration of the employment contract being less than 12 months, the employer may terminate the contract without any formalities, having no obligation to give compensation to the employee. When the duration of the employment contract is more than 12 months, then the severance amounts below are applicable:
Fixed-term employment contracts expire automatically, with no warning or other statement and without the obligation for compensation, when their fixed duration expires. Nevertheless, in the event of a serious reason that could justify the termination of the employment contract before its expiry date, the employer (and the employee) may terminate the employment contract before that date, without recovery.
As the Employer of Record, the responsibility for assessing the legal basis and issuing appropriate legal documentation for a potential termination is owned by TopSource Worldwide. It is imperative that the workside employer (client) consults TopSource Worldwide prior to any individual discussions taking place around possible termination of contracts.
Employees are entitled to a minimum of 20 working days of leave (in the case of a five-day working week) or a part thereof for pro-rata employment.
For each additional year of work, employees are entitled to an additional day of leave up to a total of 22 days.
Where the employee works for 10 years with the same employer or 12 years with any employer, they are entitled to 25 days’ leave.
After completing 25 years of work, employees are entitled to 26 days’ leave.
Public holidays in Greece comprise of a mixture of religious, national and regional or provincial observances. The following national holidays are celebrated:
In addition to these national holidays, there are also various provincial holidays which employees enjoy depending on where they reside.
Holiday (carry forward)
Holiday cannot be carried forward to the next year. The days should be taken by the employee or reimbursed at the end of the year.
If an employee requests unpaid leave, it. is possible. However, it is not possible to unilaterally put the employee on unpaid leave.
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