Greece

Greece PEO & Employer of Record

WeHG provides an International PEO and worldwide Employer of Record service in Greece to companies willing to enter the Greek market or hire local/expat employees in this area.

The common approach demands establishing a subsidiary in Greece.  However, our solution allows you to start the operations in Greece within days hence save time and money.  WeHG would hire candidates on your behalf while you keep full operational control of their work. So legally they would be our employees, on our local payroll, 100% compliant but will work on your behalf.

Greece fast facts

Population, million: 10
Land area: 131,957 km²
Capital: Athens
Local currency: EUR

GDP per capita:$ 18,168
GDP in currency:$ 194,376

Greece historically also known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern Europe, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2016. Athens is the nation’s capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.

Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Seaand the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km (8,498 mi) in length, featuring a large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres (9,573 ft). The country consists of nine geographic regionsMacedoniaCentral Greece, the PeloponneseThessalyEpirus, the Aegean Islands (including the Dodecaneseand Cyclades), ThraceCrete, and the Ionian Islands.

Hiring, Negotiating and Doing Business in Greece

Necessity of written employment contract

A written contract is necessary for part-time employment.

Different forms of engagement: employment, contracting, work with private entrepreneur

  • Part-Time Employment. A fixed-term part-time employment agreement must specify the daily and weekly work hours, the duration of labour (for example, 12 months) or indicate when the period of work will be considered finished (such as for contracts for seasonal work or for the carrying out of a specific project). An employer or employee may end a part-time fixed-term employment contract at any time, however there must be a justified reason.
  • Temporary Employment. The provisions of Presidential Decree 156/94 do not apply to employees whose length of employment does not exceed one month, or to employees in casual agricultural jobs.

  • Self-employment. EU legislation gives every EEA national the right to set up as a self-employed person anywhere in the EU. The process for establishing a business in Greece involves numerous steps, including registering with a pertinent professional chamber and obtaining certification. The government claims this can take just over a month, but in reality it usually takes up to and over a year.

Greece Employment Contract

Types of employment agreements

  • Temporary workers

Fixed-term contracts can be agreed or renewed if that is justified by an objective reason such as temporary replacement of a salaried employee or the performance of temporary duties. Fixed-term employees must be treated equally with permanent employees.

Unless there is an objective reason, the employee is considered to be covering fixed and constant needs of the employer and the contract becomes an open-ended contract, as long as the duration of consecutive contracts or fixed-term employment relationships exceeds three years in total, or there have been more than three renewals within three years.

Consecutive contracts are contracts that are concluded between the same employer and employee, under the same or similar working terms, and between which no longer than 45 days has elapsed, non-working days included. When applying this provision, the term “same employer” includes all group companies.

A fixed-term contract can only be terminated before its expiry date for a significant reason.

  • Agency workers

The maximum employment time for a temporary employee at an indirect employer is 36 months. If this time limit is exceeded, the employee’s contract is turned into an open-ended contract with the indirect employer.

This also applies when a salaried employee’s time of employment at an indirect employer continues after the expiry date of the initial assignment and any legal renewals, even with a new assignment, without an interval of 23 calendar days (Article 117, Law 4052/2012).

In addition, the basic working conditions for temporary employees when assigned to an indirect employer must be at minimum the ones that would apply if the employer had recruited the employees for the same position.

  • Part-time workers

It is possible to determine any type of part-time employment, subject to the parties’ agreement in writing. The part-time employee must enjoy equal treatment to comparable full-time employees.

The employer can, subject to strict conditions, unilaterally enforce short-time working (full-time employment with fewer working days) in cases of reduced business activity, for a period of up to nine months annually.

Greece working hours

Weekly working time is set at 40 hours. Assuming that these hours are divided equally, the daily working time is eight hours in a five-day working week or six hours and 40 minutes in case of a six-day working week. However, working time can be extended (unilaterally by the employer) to 45 hours per week for a five-day working week (nine hours per day) and 48 hours per week for a six-day working week (eight hours per day).

Overtime

The excess time is defined as overtime and there is a statutory increase of 20% calculated on the hourly salary. Any working time exceeding nine hours and eight hours per day respectively is considered overtime.

Vacation leave in Greece

Under Emergency Law 539/1945, the days of holiday that a salaried employee is entitled to depends on the length of employment, as follows:

  • First calendar year of employment. 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 (24 for the entire year). In a five-day employment schedule, the holiday time is calculated at twenty days of holiday for the year of employment, rounding up the result for shorter periods.
  • Second calendar year. Once twelve months of employment are completed holiday time increases by one day. Therefore, by the end of the second calendar year, the employee is entitled to have received 21 days of holiday, in a five-day employment schedule, or 25 days of holiday, in a six-day employment schedule.
  • Third calendar year onwards. Once the third calendar year has commenced, the employee is entitled to receive the entire holiday time at any time of the year, even on 1 January. Once 24 months of employment are completed, the employee is entitled to receive 22 days of holiday, in a five-day employment schedule, or 26 days of holiday, in a six-day employment schedule.

For employees that have been working for more than 12 years, or for more than 10 years for the same employer, holiday time is calculated on a basis of 25 days for a five-day employment schedule and 30 days for a six-day employment schedule. Once 25 years of service are completed, an extra day of holiday is added, and the employee is entitled to receive 26 days for a five-day employment schedule and 31 days for a six-day employment schedule.

Greece Maternity Leave

A mother is protected from contract termination for the duration of her pregnancy, for a time period of 18 months following labour, and for absences due to sickness resulting from pregnancy or labour. During this time period, the employment contract can only be terminated for a significant reason and with increased formal requirements.

Maternity leave (pregnancy and post-partum) is 17 weeks (eight weeks before and nine weeks after birth). This does not apply to adoptions.

Mothers have the right to reduced working hours (by one hour per day for 2.5 years, or by two hours for one year and one hour for six months, or the equivalent). This right also applies to the father when the mother is self-employed or she does not exercise her right. However, the father is not entitled to exercise this right when the mother is not working.

Greek Severance Laws

For the first 12 months, an (open-ended) employment contract can be terminated without notice or severance pay. Thereafter, the minimum notice periods are:

  • One to two years of employment: one month.
  • Two to five years of employment: two months
  • Five to ten years of employment: three months
  • Over ten years of employment: four months

If the employer terminates the employment without notice, he must pay the full indemnity. If the termination takes place with prior notice, then the employer is obliged to pay half the amount of the severance pay.

Greece Tax

Employment income is taxed at progressive rates as follows:

  • 0 to EUR25,000: 22%.
  • EUR25,000 to EUR42,000: 32%.
  • Over EUR42,000: 42%.

Social security contributions paid by the employees vary depending on the social security fund, the benefit plans and supplementary insurance.

IKA is the largest social security organisation in Greece. For typical undertakings (MIKTA IKA + ETEAM), the contribution rate on the employees’ income is 40.06%, out of which 15.50% is the employee’s contribution and 24.56 % is the employer’s contribution. The employer withholds and pays the contributions.

Health Insurance Benefits in Greece

Health insurance is another guaranteed benefit in Greece. Employees who worked at least 50 days within the past 15 months for your company should be eligible for free healthcare and dental care through social security. The employer is entitled to deduct from the employee’s remuneration any amounts the employee received from the IKA.

Additional Benefits in Greece

Another aspect of your Greece benefit management plan is offering additional benefits to employees. While these benefits are not required by law, they can boost employee happiness and help increase your retention rates. Some of the most common supplemental benefits include:

  • Cars
  • Health insurance
  • Housing allowances

Although Greece offers free health insurance through social security, employers may choose to provide a private plan with better coverage. If you’re not sure what benefits to offer, you should check what other companies in your industry are offering and survey employees to see what benefits they would appreciate most.

General market practice benefits/additional allowances

Benefits of Starting a Business in Greece:

  • Greece offers high-quality logistics and communication infrastructure
  • It has a highly educated, skilled and talented workforce
  • Greece boasts of a strong entrepreneurial tradition
  • The cost of labor in the country is low
  • Greece offers an exemption of import duties on goods that are manufactured in the UK

Booming Sectors in Greece:

  • Food and Beverage
  • Renewable energy
  • Shipping equipment and services
  • Information and Communication technologies
  • Travel and Tourism
  • Cosmetics and Beauty products
  • Maritime and Border Security

Greece Holidays

Under Article 2, paragraph 2 of Legislative Decree 3755/57 (and its amendments, as currently in force), the defined public holidays are:

  • 25 March.
  • Easter Monday.
  • 1 May.
  • 15 August.
  • 28 October (optional holiday).
  • Christmas (25 December).

Why Choose WeHireGlobally

WeHG takes care of all the onboarding hurdles, payroll, compensation and benefits, tax filing, and termination of employment. Our Employer of Record solution allows you to manage your overseas teams efficiently while minimizing cost and risk.

 

FAQ Greece

  • Working hours in Greece

    Weekly working time is set at 40 hours. Assuming that these hours are divided equally, the daily working time is eight hours in a five-day working week or six hours and 40 minutes in case of a six-day working week. However, working time can be extended (unilaterally by the employer) to 45 hours per week for a five-day working week (nine hours per day) and 48 hours per week for a six-day working week (eight hours per day).

  • What are the main holidays in Greece?

    • 25 March.
    • Easter Monday.
    • 1 May.
    • 15 August.
    • 28 October (optional holiday).
    • Christmas (25 December).
  • What are payroll taxes in Greece?

    • 0 to EUR25,000: 22%.
    • EUR25,000 to EUR42,000: 32%.
    • Over EUR42,000: 42%.
  • Hannah Kohl
    Author:
    Hannah Kohl. Head of Customer Success. Has extensive experience in the HR and IT industries. Helped 100+ international clients to achieve their global goals.

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