Types of Job Contracts in Greece

Understand the various types of job contract that apply in Greece...

Employees on a fixed-term or open-ended contract must be notified of the employment terms within two months of the start of work. Notification must be in writing, and can take the form of an employment contract or just a written document outlining the basics. If notification is not provided in writing, the employer is subject to fines.

Certain elements must be included in this written notification:

  • employer and employee must be clearly identified
  • the home address of the employer, the location at which the work will take place and the address of the registered company office
  • the work purpose, job title and category of employment
  • the date of the start of employment
  • the end date of employment if it is a fixed-term contract
  • the required working hours (per day and week)
  • details of paid time off available, including how and when it is earned and how it may be taken
  • the amount of all possible remuneration
  • how and when notice of termination must be given by employer and employee
  • any applicable collective agreements

Working hours and time off

The work week in Greece is 40 hours (maximum 10 hours per day), although some employees may choose to work an additional five hours per week. These five additional hours are paid at a rate 25 percent higher than the employee's normal wage. If the employee works more than 45 hours, they must be paid 50 percent above their regular rate. Employees can only work up to 120 hours of overtime annually at this rate and any additional hours must be paid at 75 percent of the employee's regular wage.

Employees are permitted to work two additional hours per day when necessary, and to work two fewer hours per day at other times. The employee may instead choose to take the time off in a block as a rest day.

Employees are entitled to a minimum of 12 hours of rest time per 24-hour period and are also entitled to a minimum rest period of 24 hours per work week. Those with a work day of more than six hours are entitled to a minimum 15-minute break per shift, during which time they can leave their work station.

Annual leave entitlement is a minimum of 25 days (or 20 days for people working a 5-day work week) after one year of service. A worker may take a pro-rated number of days off prior to the completion of their first year of employment. Every year thereafter the employee will accrue an increasing amount of time off. There are 11 public holidays in Greece.

Annual leave is granted at a pre-determined date, specified in the employer's work contract. Employers cannot ask their employees to accept compensation instead of taking their leave (unless the employee has been made redundant or resigned).

Part-Time Employment (symvasis merikis apascholisis)

A written contract is necessary for part-time employment

  • The contract may be drawn up at the start of employment or during its course
  • The contract may be made for a fixed or indefinite period
  • The contract must be reported by the employer to the local Labour Inspectorate within fifteen days of its being drawn up

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.

The Greek Office of Manpower (OAED) has a New Free Lance Professionals (NEE) subsidy programme that was established to assist unemployed EEA nationals resident in Greece (or employed Greek nationals) with starting their own business. It provides subsidies for participants for up to 22 months to help them get their business operating.

An exemption from paying social security contributions for up to 12 months may be granted, providing payment of national insurance elsewhere in the EU has been made and the candidate holds the exemption certificate E101.

  • For information from the EU on being self-employed in Greece: Click here