Employ Candidates Compliantly in Greece

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  1. Overview: Greece
  2. Global HR Compliance
  3. Global PEO and payroll
  4. Work permit for hiring expats via PEO
  5. Expand without a company set up
  6. Contractor vs. employee: which is better?
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Global HR Compliance in Greece

If you hire international workforce, or plan to hire, then Hiring and Firing Workforce in Greece Guide below will help you understand the nuances of labor legislation in the country.

There are two main reasons for companies hiring foreign workforce:

  • Expanding into foreign markets to sell company product or products there. In this case, companies hire sales representatives who would exclusively represent their product in the target market and sell it to their local client base.
  • Hiring the right foreign talent with a unique expertise, often related to IT sphere that cannot be found in the home country or that costs less compared to local specialist with similar skills.

After you have found the right candidate, the question is how to hire and provide compensation to this person so you as a business remain 100% compliant when working with global workforce. Another thing to consider is whether you want to keep the talent long-term and how you can do that.

If you need to hire foreign workforce in Greece so you can expand there, then our Global Employer of Record solution may be of help. We help you legally hire and reward your foreign workforce by making them employees via a global employment outsourcing service. This is simple as employ your in-house workforce with the only difference that workers can live anywhere in the world and Acumen International would be their legal employer on your behalf. This means we would bear all employment risks, not you. Also, we manage bonuses, vacations, sick leave and can rent the office and a car for your foreign sales representatives if that is what you need.

With our solution, you can test new foreign markets before deciding whether you are going to get established there. You gain flexibility and expand with reduced costs, and easily withdraw from the unattractive countries.

We are experts in global workforce employment in Greece, and our goal is to become your single provider. Instead of working with numerous local staffing agencies and legal advisors, Acumen International can solve your global business challenges and save you time, costs, and resources.

Our team of English-speaking professionals frees you from working through language nuances. Acumen International works 24/7 and can assist you whenever you need, regardless of time zones. Our goal is to create tailored labor solutions for you that are managed legally and in full compliance with the local employment laws.

With our knowledge and deep understanding of local nuances, you easily satisfy your need for skilled professionals in your global industry. With our qualified local partners, you can trust that your global workforce satisfies all local tax, social security, and immigration requirements in Greece.

See the guide below for a general overview of labor rules and regulations in Greece. Or contact us if you need to employ workers in Greece or would like to get more details.

Hiring and Firing Workforce in Greece Guide

# Employment Contracts

Except for specific situations where employment relationships must be validated by a written contract, contracts of employment may be concluded in writing or verbally. In case a contract is not concluded in writing, the employer is obligated to provide in writing the information about the employment parties’ identity, type of contract, description of job, place of work, commencement date, normal working time per day/week, remuneration, paid leave entitlements, required compensation for contract termination, and minimum working condition defined by collective agreement. In the event of unilateral amendment of a contract, an employee has the right to accept the change, consider the change as a way to terminate the contract or unequivocally refuse the change by continuing to work based on the original contract. An employee who resigns or whose contract is terminated because of an outright rejection of an amendment is entitled to receive a compensation from the employer.

# Minimum statutory employment rights

# Hours of work
Depending on the terms of contract, an employee may work up to 48 hours workweek on a 6-day workweek basis or up to 40 hours per week on a 5-day workweek basis. Employees are entitled to 11 hours of uninterrupted rest between every work shift and at least one weekly rest day, which must be taken on Sundays and any other day agreed with the employers. Employers do not have the right to force their employees to work more than their normal working time. Employees may agree to work up to 2 extra hours per workday for a maximum period of 4 months on condition that they will be given an additional rest day or a reduced workday on a pro rata basis.

# Probation period
The first 12 months of employment are usually considered as probationary period for employees with indefinite contracts. The parties of employment may agree on a different duration if they deem it necessary. Employees’ contracts of employment may be terminated during the probation without the legal requirements of prior notice and severance pay.

# Annual leave
Employees who work a regular 5-day workweek are entitled to 20 days of paid annual leave, while those who work a regular 6-day workweek are entitled to 24 days of paid leave. Employees who are within their 10 years of employment must be given an extra day of paid leave for every 2 years of service they completed. Employees who have worked more than 10 years in a company are entitled to 25 days of paid leave if they work a regular 5-day workweek and 30 days of paid leave if they work a regular 6-day workweek.

# Parental leave
Having contributed to the social security system for 200 days, female employees are eligible to receive maternity benefits during childbearing. Employees are entitled to a maximum of 56 days of paid maternity leave before their child is born and 63 days leave after their child is born. Employees have a right to an additional 6 months of maternity leave which must be paid by the Social Insurance at a rate that is equivalent to the state minimum pay. Following the completion of a maternity leave, employees who are nursing their babies must be given an hour break for breast-feeding each day for a 30-month period.

Male employees have a right to 2 days of paid paternity leave for every childbirth. Parents are entitled to a minimum of 4 months of unpaid parental leave per parent until their child is six years old.

# Sick leave
Employers are obligated to give their sick employees a one-month of sick leave during their sick period. Employees on sick leave are entitled to receive sickness allowance from their employers and Social Security.
In order to receive the illness benefit, you must have been insured: for at least 120 days in the year preceding the illness (100 days for employees in the construction sector) or for the first 12 months of the 15 preceding the illness. In particular, every year during the first 15 days of the benefit, you are entitled to only 50% of the daily illness benefit corresponding to your insurance category/class, which is determined on the basis of your earnings during the last days of the previous year, increased by 10% for every protected member.
Following this 15-day period, you are entitled to the full amount. Skilled labourers and construction workers are an exception; they receive 50% of their verified daily wage in the corresponding insurance category.

# Overtime
Employers are legally bound to compensate their employees for every work they perform outside their normal working time. Usually, overtime is compensated for at a 20% premium. Extra works that are done within the legal limit of up to 120 hours per year must be compensated at a 40% premium. Employees who work more than 120 hours overtime a year is entitled to their normal wage plus 60% of the normal wage. Employers are required to remunerate their employees at a 70 percent premium whenever they work on a weekly rest day or on a public holiday.

# State minimum salary
The state minimum salary is 683.76 EUR per month. Employers are required to remunerate their employees at least once every month.

# Employment termination
Upon a contract termination, manual workers who have worked for less than one year in the company shall not be given any severance pay. Employees whose years of service are more than one year are entitled to the following pay:

  • 7 days of normal wage for between 1 and 2 years,
  • 15 days of normal wage for between 2 and 5 years,
  • 1 month of normal wage for between 5 and 10 years,
  • 2 months of normal wage for between 10 and 15 years,
  • 100 days of normal wage for between 15 and 20 years,
  • 120 days of normal wage for between 20 and 25 years,
  • 145 days of normal wage for between 25 and 30 years
  • 165 days of normal wage for 30 or more years of service.

The case is different for non-manual employees whose severance pay is as follows:

  • No pay for less than a year of service,
  • 2 months’ wage: if they have up to 4 years of service,
  • 3 months’ wage: if they have between 4 and 6 years of service,
  • 4 months’ wage: if they have between 6 and 8 years of service,
  • 5 months’ wage: if they have between 8 and 10 years of service,
  • 5 months wage and additional one-month wage for every year of service that follows the 10th year: if they have 10 years of service or more.

Acumen International can help you fast-track your possibilities of entering and expanding your business in Greece by providing you with our Employer of Record services. Our unique mix of PEO/EOR solutions will enable you to jumpstart your global operations almost immediately, cost-effectively and compliantly without any need to set up a legal entity first or afterwards.

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