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

The normal workweek is 40 hours and five days, although a six-day workweek of up to 48 hours can be negotiated in an agreement. Sunday is considered an obligatory public holiday. 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 forty-eight (48) hours.

 

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 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.

 

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.

Overtime

Overwork

Small excesses of the eight-hour limit are now called ‘overwork’. With regard to work hours, overwork and overtime hours in general, the relative provisions apply to all salaried persons, regardless of whether they are employees or workers, except managers or directors (that is, senior employees of the enterprise – these are the persons who have administrative tasks and managerial responsibilities, and at the same time their remuneration is much higher than their colleagues).

 

By virtue of Law No. 3385/2005 as completed by Law No. 3863/2010, an employee may be occupied for a further five hours per week at the employer’s discretion (overwork). Those overwork hours (from the 41st to the 45th hour) are remunerated with the regular wage per hour increased by 20 percent. Employees for whom the six working-day systems apply may be occupied for eight more hours per week 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.

 

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.

 

Overtime work, that is, work exceeding the maximum limit of legal work of employees and providing services to employers beyond 45 or 48 hours per week – in other words, exceeding the overwork hours as well – is allowed only for specific activities that are considered to be urgent and exceptional or extraordinary. The employment of more than 45 or 48 hours per week respectively is considered overtime and the employee is paid for these hours as follows: from 1 to 120 hours per year the wage is increased by 40 percent, for more than 120 hours per year the wage is increased by 60 percent.

 

Overtime Pay

Lawful overtime (45-48 hours) will be paid as follows: 

      • If the overtime is up to 120 hours per year, the hourly wage is 140% of the normal wage rate.
      • If the overtime is above 120 hours per year, the hourly wage is 160% of the normal wage rate. 

Daily Overtime Limit is 12 hours a day which includes overtime. Law No. 3863/2010; Presidential Decree No. 515 of 1970 on Working Limits, arts. 1-3 (Greek).

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

A 15-minute break is mandatory for a workday that exceeds six hours, during which the employee must be allowed to leave his or her work post. Art 4 of Law 4093/2012.

 

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%
  • Employee Working at Night on Sunday – Regular Wage + 75%
  • Employees Working Night OT on Sunday – Regular Wage + 75% +25%

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%
      • Employee Working at Night on Sunday – Regular Wage + 75%
      • Employees Working Night OT on Sunday – Regular Wage + 75% +25%

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

Compulsory Holiday

      • March 25th.
      • Easter Monday.
      • The Feast of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary (August 15th).
      • The Feast of the Nativity of Christ (December 25th).   

Optional holidays are: 

        • 28 October
        • May 1st, which according to AN 380/1968 may by the decision of the Minister 

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.
          • St. Spirit. Second Christmas Day.
          • 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 will take off from the surcharge of 75% on statutory salary and 1/25 of salary usually offered. This applies when the holidays fall in 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.

 

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.

 

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.

Paternity Leave

Fathers are entitled to two days’ paid leave upon the birth of a child and may work reduced hours without a reduction in pay to care for the child. Working fathers are also entitled to a period of leave if the mother works and does not make use of her leave. Law Promoting Employment, No. 2874 of 2000.

Parental Leave

According to Law 4075/2012, working parents are entitled to receive a parental leave of at least four months, which is available until the completion of the sixth year of the child’s age.

 

Workers who have children under the age of 16 are entitled to periodic absences during the workday up to the equivalent of four days a year to speak with their children’s teachers. The employer must agree and pays for the leave.

 

Full-time employees can take six days of unpaid parental leave a year to care for a sick child under the age of 16. If an employee has two children, the leave allotment is increased to eight days, if three or more children, to 14 days. Employees who have completed a year of service with their employer are also entitled to unpaid parental leave of at least four months until the child turns six. An additional six days’ paid leave per year for single (including widowed) parents.

 

If an employee’s child is seriously hurt or ill and hospitalized, the employee is entitled to a maximum of 30 unpaid days off to be with the child. Working parents with children younger than 18 who suffer from a disease that requires a blood transfusion, dialysis, or a transplant are entitled to paid parental leave of 10 days per year. Law Promoting Employment, No. 2874 of 2000.

 

Marriage Leave

Although there is no legal requirement, employees are typically granted between three to five days’ paid leave to get married.

Trade Union Officer’s Leave

Trade union officers are entitled to specific leave according to their capacity in the trade union and the number of the union’s members.

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 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 as 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

The grant of unpaid leave is always based on mutual agreement between the parties to the employment contract and serves either special needs on the part of the employee or an unforeseen temporary reduction in the employer’s business activities. During the leave period, the obligations of the parties, such as the respective obligations to pay remuneration and to perform work, are suspended.

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 Leave

After one year of employment, each working parent has an individual right to up to four months’ unpaid parental leave to care for their child after birth or adoption, until the child reaches six years old.

 

Special parental leave is available to care for sick children up to 18 years old, including:

      • 10 days’ leave for a child suffering from a disease requiring blood transfusions, or a child with Down’s syndrome or autism; and
      • 30 days’ unpaid leave for hospitalization following the standard four-month parental leave.

Additional types of parental leave include:

        • 6 days’ unpaid leave per year due to sickness of a child or dependent family member;
        • 4 days’ paid leave per year to follow up school progress for each child;
        • An additional 6 days’ paid leave per year for single (including widowed) parents;

After four years of employment, special medical leave is provided to workers suffering from diseases requiring blood transfusions or dialysis (22 additional days paid leave) or suffering from AIDS (one-month additional paid leave). Law Promoting Employment, No. 2874 of 2000.

Last updated on: July 6th, 2020