Greece

Labor Compliance Guide

Labor Requirements

The working period is the time during which employees are at the disposal of the employer and are carrying out their required work duties and activities. The maximum daily or weekly limits on working hours are established by law. Additionally, specific working periods are set in collective agreements, referee decisions, and individual employment contracts.

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

An employee’s normal working week consists of 40 hours which may be broken down into five-day or six-day weekly work. When applying a five-day weekly work system, the daily working hours amount to 8 hours, while when a six-day system is applied full-time, the working hour’s amount to 6 hours and 40 minutes. The Maximum daily working time is 12 hours (inclusive OT).

 

The average hours of weekly work during the four-month period (reference period), including overtime, may not exceed 48 hours. Daily employment hours of employees must not exceed 10 hours. In such context, work for 4 days/week shall be considered full-time employment.

 

In case of work during the 6th day of a 5-days workweek, the Law provides a daily wage premium equal to 30%. The six-day employment is at the discretion of the employer – and 5 days is the usual workweek as per law. If an employee works on the 6th day for 8 hours at the employer’s discretion (overwork from the 41st to the 48th hour). The employees, in this case, are also remunerated with the regular wage per hour increased by 20 percent. There is no daily or weekly premium if the 6th-day work goes beyond 48 hours per week. Amended in accordance with Law 4808 of 2021, Art 55.

 

Rotation Work – Rotational work means that the employee is employed full-time working hours, but less than the business days applicable to week, fortnight, or month. Rotational work belongs to the wider part-time concept. The agreement between the employer and the employee for rotational work is provided in writing and announced to the Inspectorate. The duration of which may not exceed nine (9) months in the same calendar year. 

 

When settling the average hours weekly work during the four-month period (reference period),  including overtime and legal overtime for the period part-time, stays forty (40) hours, or, if applicable shorter conventional hours, remains at the number of hours shorter working hours, including the above working hours and legal overtime, may not exceed forty-eight (48) hours. Agreement on Working Hours, No. 3385 of 2005, arts. 1-2.

 

Recording Requirement – An employer shall maintain records of overtime work worked by an employee. All employers shall implement an electronic system of registration of working hours of their employees, which shall be real-time connected to the “ERGANI” platform. Specifically, by using the Digital Employment Card, the start and end of the daily work, the duration of the break, and any extra hours over the working schedule are, in real-time, registered in the ERGANI platform.

 

The Digital Employment Card is implemented for the purposes of monitoring compliance of the employers with the legal requirements regarding the working schedule of employees.

 

Part-time Employees
Subject to the daily rest period restrictions, extra work by part-time employees can be performed at any point during the day, i.e. it is not required to commence at the end of the employees’ regular daily working hours, while the hourly compensation for such extra work continues to be subject to a 12% surcharge.

Overtime

Overwork

Companies exceeding 8 hours a day on a 5-day basis and up to the 9th hour or 6.40 hours a day on a 6-day basis and up to the 8th hour, on condition that there is an excess of 40 hours a week and up to a maximum of 45 hours on a 5-day basis and 48 hours on a 6-day basis, constitutes, overwork, the implementation of which falls under the employer’s discretion.

 

The 5 hours of additional work on a 5-day basis (from 41 to 45 hours) or 8 hours of additional work on a 6-day basis (from 41 to 48 hours) must be paid at the hourly rate of pay plus 20% and must not be counted towards the permitted overtime limits provided.

 

Overtime Work

Employment over 45 hours per week for businesses applying five days or 48 hours a week for their businesses’ six-day work system is considered overtime. Employees are allowed to work up to 3 hours daily beyond the normal working hours. 

 

Overtime Pay

Employees shall be entitled to a 40% premium over the regular rate of pay for overtime work for each hour of overtime, up to 3 hours daily and up to 150 hours per year.

 

In cases of urgent nature of work, which is deemed absolutely necessary and cannot be postponed, employees are entitled to a premium of 60% on the regular rate of pay.

 

Part-time employees shall provide additional work by exception if they agree provided that their work schedule is not continuous to the work schedule of the same day and provided that the conditions of daily rest are respected. Such additional hours of work shall be compensated by the hourly rate of the part-time employees increased by 12%.

Night Work

The normal working time of night workers shall not exceed an average of eight hours per 24-hour period of one week. Workers at night (from 10:00 pm to 06:00 am the following day) or are likely to work for at least 726 hours during night time hrs of his annual working time.

 

Night-time employee means any employee who is employed for at least three (3) hours of his / her daily normal working time between 22:00 and 06:00 or any employee who may perform during the night.

 

Night employees are entitled to a 25% increase in their hourly wage.

 

OVERTIME PAY AT NIGHT

Regular Hours + 25% + Overtime (based on hours worked in night OT).  Art 8 of Law 4093/2012.

Breaks

When the daily working time exceeds 4 consecutive hours, a break is granted for a minimum of 15 minutes and a maximum of 30 minutes, during which the entrants are entitled to leave the post their work. This break is not time and may not be taken continuously at the beginning or end of the daily work.

Employees employed on a full-time basis but intermittent hours for all or some days of the week are entitled to rest, immediately between the parts of their schedule, which can not be less than 3 hours. Amended in accordance with Law 4808 of 2021, Art 56.

 

Daily Rest 

For each twenty-four (24) hour period, the minimum rest may not be less than eleven (11) consecutive hours. These breaks may not be taken continuously at the start or end of the daily work. The twenty-four (24) hour period starts at 00:01 and ends at 24:00. Art 3 of Law 4093/2012.

 

Weekly Rest

For each seven-day period, the minimum uninterrupted rest period is 24 hours, which as a rule includes Sunday, plus the aforementioned 11-hours’ consecutive rest. For employees working 24/7 using a sequential workgroup system, Sunday may start at 06:00 or 07:00 and end on Monday, and in such cases as the day of weekly rest shall be provided on a day other than Sunday. Art 3 of Law 4093/2012. 

 

Work On Rest Days

Compensation for Work Performed on Rest Day

  • Employees employed on Sunday will be paid 25% + Regular Wage
  • An employee working Overtime during the day on Sunday – Regular Wage + 75% + Overtime
  • Employee Working at Night on Sunday – Regular Wage + 75%
  • Employees Working Night OT on Sunday – Regular Wage + 75% +25% + Overtime

Sunday Work

Article 10 of Decree 748/1966 stipulated that employees who employed Sundays provided alternate days of weekly rest – lasting 24 consecutive hours on another business day of the week beginning on Sunday. 

      • Employees employed on Sunday will be paid 25% + Regular Wage
      • An employee working Overtime during the day on Sunday – Regular Wage + 75% + Overtime
      • Employee Working at Night on Sunday – Regular Wage + 75%
      • Employees Working Night OT on Sunday – Regular Wage + 75% +25% + Overtime

If the supplementary day of rest coincides with a holiday, the supplementary rest is shifted to another day week. Agreement on Working Hours, No. 3385 of 2005, arts. 1-2.

Public Holidays

Employee shall be entitled to the following 9 compulsory holidays –

      •  The 1st of January
      • The feast of the Epiphanies (January 6)
      • The 25th of March
      • Easter Monday
      • The 1st of May
      • The feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (15th of August

        taste)

      • The 28th of October
      • The Feast of the Nativity of Christ (December 25th).   
      • The 26th of December.

    Apart from the above holidays (mandatory holidays), either by custom either by Collective Agreement, arbitration award or decree or by business habit the following holiday can be given:

            • New Year’s Eve.
            • Epiphany.
            • Clean Monday.
            • M. Friday.
            • Long local holidays

    Employees who work on a public holiday are entitled to their statutory minimum or contractual day’s pay plus 75 percent of the statutory day’s pay.

     

    Public holidays that fall on a weekend remain on that date. If the businesses are slow on public holidays, they are paid a monthly salary that will take off from the surcharge of 75% on statutory salary and 1/25 of salary usually offered. This applies when the holidays fall on one of the working days.

    Annual Leave

    Employees are eligible for vacation leave when they have worked for the same employer for 12 months. Employees on a five-day weekly schedule are entitled to 20 days of leave, while employees who work six days a week receive 24 days. The leave entitlement is increased by one working day for each year of employment in addition to the first up to 22 days if the employee works a five-day week, 26 days for employees who work six days a week.

     

    Employees shall use at least half of the total leave from May 1st until September 30. The entitled, per year, leave must be exhausted by the first quarter of the following calendar year.

     

    First calendar year before 1-year completion – The employer must provide the employee with proportionate holiday time. In a six-day employment schedule, the employer must provide the employee with two days of holiday for each month of employment.

     

    In the case of 10 or more years of employment under the same employer or 12 years under multiple employers, annual leave increases to up to 25 and 30 days, respectively. 

     

    Pay – A vacation bonus is also obligatory by statute. This equals 50 percent of the monthly salary or (if the employee is paid per diem) 13 times per diem. Sundays, public holidays and sick leave are not included in vacation leave. With few exceptions, employees must use vacation days at the same time and cannot carry over unused leave. Employers cannot pay money in lieu of granting vacation. Art 7 of Law 4093/2012.

    Minimum Wage

    Effective January 1, 2020, the minimum wage rate in Greece is 758.3 €/month.

     

     

     

     

     

    The minimum wage stated may not be up to date & is subject to change. Kindly access the link to get the current rates.

    Special Leave

    Maternity Leave

    17 weeks or 119 calendar days in total. Eight of those weeks must be allocated before the scheduled or anticipated date of birth. Leave is paid for 15 days if the young mother has not completed one year with the employer, and for one month if she has completed one year. 

     

    If the woman is not insured but her husband is, the payment goes to the husband. Employees are entitled to return to the same or an equivalent position following maternity leave.

     

    The entitlement of maternity leave is available for adoptive parents up to the age of 8 years, and surrogate mothers also. Employees, who undergo medically assisted reproduction are entitled to paid leave of 7 working days with a salary, following a certificate from the medical practitioner.

     

    Following maternity leave, mothers are entitled to a one-hour reduction in daily working time for 30 months. Alternatively, a two-hour reduction in daily working time can be taken for the first 12 months and a one-hour reduction for another six months. Law Promoting Employment, No. 2874 of 2000, §  11.

     

    Prenatal examination leave – Pregnant workers are to take paid leave during working hours in order to undergo prenatal examination if the tests are required to be performed during working hours. Amended in accordance with Law 4808 of 2021, Art 40

    Paternity Leave

    Every working father shall be entitled to paternity leave.14 working days, which must be taken at the birth of the child. This leave may either be granted 2 days before the expected date of birth, in which case the remaining 12 are granted, in whole or in part, within 30 days from the date of birth, or be administered after the date of birth. 

     

    Paternity leave must be granted by the employer and is not dependent on occupation or previous service or by the spouse or family current situation of the employee. In case of adoption or adoption of a child, age up to 8 years, paternity leave is granted by the integration of the child in the family.  Law 4808 of 2021, Art 27.

    Parental Leave

    Any working parent or person exercising parental responsibility as an individual and non-transferable burning of parental leave for the upbringing of the child, for a period of 4 months, which may be used continuously or partially, until the child reaches the age of 8 years, in order to fulfillment of the minimum parenting obligations to this. 

     

    In case of adoption or adoption of a child aged up to 8 years, parental leave is granted by the integration of the child in the family. For the granting of parental leave, the employee and the parent must have completed 1 consecutive year or with successive employment contracts of a certain time to the same employer. 

     

    Pay – For the first 2 months of parental leave, the employer is obliged to pay parental allowance to each parent, monthly, an amount equal to statutory minimum wage, as determined from time to time as well as the proportion of holiday gifts and bonuses licensed on the basis of the above amount.

     

    Exceptionally, parents of twins, triplets, or more multiple children are entitled to obtain parental leave for each child separately, cut or even continuously and are entitled to receive the allowance hereof for an additional 2 months, regardless of the number of children born even together. Parents alone, due to the death of the other parent or due to total deprivation of parental responsibility or non-recognition of the child by the other parent, are entitled to parental leave and duplicate allowance.

     

    Parental leave is granted continuously, in parts or in another flexible way, upon request of the parent, which is submitted to the employer with any convenient means in writing or electronically and in which it determines its beginning and end. Law 4808 of 2021, Art 28.

    Childcare Leave

    Working parents, even if the other parent is not working, are entitled, as an alternative to each other, to child care leave. The leave is granted for a period of time 30 months from the expiration of maternity leave or parental leave. During the above period, the parent who makes use of this right, is entitled to either arrive 1 hour later or takes place 1 hour earlier each day from work or interrupt it for one hour a day, according to his request.

    Alternatively, by agreement of the parties, the part-time may be granted in other ways, such as:

        • Reduced working hours by 2 hours for the first 12 months and against 1 hour per day for the next 6 months.
        • Full leave days, which are divided into weekly basis, corresponding to the total number of hours, within the time period during which the employee is entitled to part-time work for child care.
        • Equivalent continuous leave, granted once or in part, within the time period during which the employee is entitled to part-time for the care of the child.
        • In any other way, the parties agree.

    Adoptive and foster parents are entitled to receive the child care leave from the integration of the child in the family and if the child has not completed at the age of 8 years. In the event of divorce, separation, or birth without the marriage of his parents, the leave of care child is received by the working parent, who has the custody of the child, unless the parents agree differently. Law 4808 of 2021, Art 37. 

     

    Marriage Leave

    In case of marriage or conclusion of an agreement cohabitation, a paid leave of 6 working days, if the employee is employed with a 6-day weekly work system and paid leave of 5 working days, provided that he is employed on 5 days of weekly work. Law 4808 of 2021, Art 39.

    School Activities Leave

    Working parents, full-time or part-time, of a child, up to 18 years of age attending elementary school or secondary education, as well as parents of a child with special needs, regardless of the age of the child attending in a special education structure are entitled to unpaid absence for certain hours or the whole day, from their work, up to the completion of 4 working days, each calendar year, on purpose to attend their children’s school. Law 4808 of 2021, Art 38

    Death of Close Relative Leave

    In case of death of a close relative i.e. husband/wife, child, parents, or brother/sister, the employee is entitled to a special paid leave of two days.

    Study Leave

    Employees who study at a public school or university are entitled to a special leave of up 30 days per year in order to study for their exams. The employee is paid by OAED (Labor Force Employment Organization) during his or her study leave. The employee is obliged to verify participation in the exams by a certificate from the school or university. Due to the fact that study leave is granted for the preparation of the employee for his or her exams, it should be taken during the exam period. For postgraduate students, study leave amounts to 10 days per year and is considered unpaid leave.

    Election Leave

    Employees who have to travel in order to exercise their electoral rights are entitled to leave days with pay, according to the distance of travel. The days are determined by Ministerial Decree. Upon returning to work, the employee must submit to proof of voting to his or her employer. Law Promoting Employment, No. 2874 of 2000.

    Unpaid Leave

    A full-time or part-time employee may, by personally written agreement with the employer, take unpaid leave for a period not exceeding one (1) year, which may be extended by a newer agreement of the parties. Law 4808 of 2021, Art 62.

    Sick Leave

    Employees who cannot work due to disability are still entitled to compensation; the length of the entitlement is based on the length of employment. The insured must have at least 120 days of insurance contributions (100 if working in construction) in the calendar year before the incapacity began or 100 days of contributions in the last 15 months excluding the last quarter. The benefit is paid for 182 to 720 days, according to the insured’s contribution period. The employee is entitled to payment of 50 percent of daily earnings after a three-day waiting period. If the insured has worked for the same employer for at least a year, the employer must pay the difference between the cash benefit and the employee’s earnings for a month; if the employment period is less than a year, the employer pays the difference for two weeks. Emergency Law, No. 190 of 1967, art. 5.

     

    Amount of allowance: the amount of the allowance you pay depends on your earnings during the last 30 days of the previous year.

    In particular, during the first 15 days of each year’s subsidy, you are only entitled to 50% of the daily sickness benefit of your insurance category/class, which is based on your earnings during the last days of the previous year, plus a 10% for each protected member.

     

    After the 15 days have elapsed you will receive the full amount. The exceptions are craftsmen-builders, who receive 50% of the proven wage of their insurance class. Emergency Law, No. 190 of 1967, art. 5.

    Family & Child Care Leave

    Reduced working hours for parents of children with a disability

    Working parents in a workplace with at least 50 employees who have children with a mental, emotional, or physical disability, which are certified with a medical opinion, have the independent right for every child to ask for a reduction of their working hours by 1 hour per day, with a corresponding reduction in their salaries. Law 4808 of 2021, Art 41.

     

    Leave due to a child’s illness or another dependent member

    Working parents have an individual and non-transferable right,  at their request, to leave without pay not exceeding 6 working days every calendar year, in case of illness-dependent children or other family members. This leave may be taken as a single or partial amount of 8 working days if the beneficiary protects 2 children and 14 working days if it protects more than two. Law 4808 of 2021, Art 42.

     

    Leave due to serious illnesses of children

    Working parents are entitled to a special parental leave, lasting 10 working days per year, with pay, for addressing the needs of children up to 18 years of age, with a disease requiring blood transfusions or its derivatives or dialysis, with neoplastic disease or requiring transplantation or children, regardless of their age, with a heavy mental deprivation or DOWN syndrome or autism. Law 4808 of 2021, Art 43.

     

    Leave due to hospitalization of children

    Working parents are entitled to a special parental leave without pay, in case of hospitalization of the child, regardless of his age, due to illness or accident which necessitates the immediate presence of an employee, for as long as the treatment lasts and in any case not more than 30 working days per year. Law 4808 of 2021, Art 44.

     

    Leave for single-parent families

    Working parents, who have been widowed and an unmarried parent who has the sole custody of a child, are entitled to paid leave of 6 working days per year. An employee with 3 children or more, is entitled to paid leave 8 working days per year. Law 4808 of 2021, Art 45. 

    Last updated on: August 27th, 2021