BASIC PROVISIONS OF GREEK LABOUR LAW

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1 BASIC PROVISIONS OF GREEK LABOUR LAW The purpose of this text is to provide the reader with direct and brief awareness on the basic provisions of the Law. As a result it is mentioned that this text can not be used for the solution of specific issues. Minimum Age / Women The legal minimum age for employment is 15 years. Women and young people should not be engaged in dangerous employment. Working Hours and Public Holidays The working week is generally 40 hours over five days. The following are legal holidays: New Year's Day (1 January) Epiphany (6 January) First Day of Lent Independence Day (25 March) Good Friday Easter Monday Labour Day (1 May) Whit Monday The Assumption of the Virgin Mary (15 August) National Holiday (28 October) Christmas Day (25 December) Boxing Day (26 December) Vacations For those employees who work 5-days week, the annual vacation after having completed one year of continued employment is 20 working days. A day is added for each of the next two years up to 22 days. After the completion of 10 years of employment with the same employer or 12 years of employment in total, the employee is entitled to 25 working days of vacation. For those employees who work a 6-days week, the annual vacation for the first year of employment is 24 working days. A day is added for each of the next two years up to 26 days. After the completion of 10 years of employment with the

2 same employer or 12 years of employment in total, they are entitled to a 30 day vacation. After the completion of 25 years employment, the employees who work 5-days week are entitled to receive 26 working days vacation and the employees who work 6-days, are entitled to receive 31 working days vacation leave. Pay Periods Bonuses equivalent to a half month pay at Easter (Easter bonus) and at the time of annual summer vacation (Vacation bonus) and a month's pay at Christmas (Christmas bonus) must be paid to employees additionally to the monthly salary (i.e. the annual salaries are 14). Accountants are entitled to receive the Balance Sheet allowance (77% of the monthly salary). Overtime "Overwork" is the working time over the working hours agreed in labour contracts or collective agreements and up to the maximum working hours established by law. "Overtime" is the working time over the maximum daily or weekly working hours established by law. The distinction between overwork and overtime is of practical importance. The Ministry of Labour sets maximum overtime limits for each calendar semester. Where permission by the Ministry of Labour is obtained, overwork is paid at the premium of 20%, overtime is considered the extra work up to 120 hours per year and the hourly rate premium is 40%. For overtime over 120 hours annually, the hourly rate premium is 60%. For overtime worked without permission from the Ministry of Labour, the premium is 80%. Saturday Work In case of work during the 6 th day of a 5-days week, the Law provides a daily wage premium equal to 30% (L. 3846/2010 art.8). Social Security System There are many different social security funds covering various sectors of the population. 1

3 In addition to the basic Social Security Funds, employed persons must also be covered by a supplementary retirement fund. The main funds available to employed persons are the Social Security Fund (IKA) and the Employees Supplementary Retirement Fund (TEAM). All employers are required to register with IKA. Their registration with and any contributions payable to TEAM are handled by the IKA offices. Registration with the Social Security Authorities applies to both Greek nationals and foreign nationals employed in Greece. Foreign Employees Foreign employees of EU or non-eu countries may, in certain circumstances, be exempt from registering with the Greek social security system. In particular only foreign nationals who are residents of the EU or non-eu countries having bilateral Social Security Agreements with Greece may be temporarily exempt from being insured by a Greek social security fund under the condition that they have either been seconded to Greece by their employers and they continue to be insured in the country of their origin by their employer, or they are and continue to be self-insured in the country of their origin. Social Security Contributions The appropriate amount of Social Security contributions must be withheld from the salary of an employee by the employer. The total amount of the Social Security contribution is payable monthly by the employer. Penalties for late payments to the Social Security Funds are imposed subject to a maximum of 120%. The contributions are based on the employee's monthly salary which, including the statutory bonuses is payable 14 times per annum. The contributions are calculated at the following rates: Fund Employer Employee Total IKA 28.56% 16.50% 45.06% The contributions are increased where employment is of a hazardous or heavy nature or where the employer's enterprise is situated in certain rural areas. For the employers who are insured before JAN 1, 1993, the Social Security contributions are calculated based on the revised maximum wage levels, in accordance with the automatic inflation adjustment applicable. 2

4 Benefits Provided The social security system provides benefits on retirement and in the event of death, sickness and unemployment. A system of paying family allowances also exists. Unemployment Employees are entitled to unemployment compensation for a period of 12 months depending on the period for which they were previously employed and during which they contributed to the Social Security Funds. Sickness Persons insured by IKA for at least 140 working days are entitled to medical treatment by IKA doctors free of charge and dental treatment at a reduced cost. Medicines prescribed by doctors may generally be obtained free of charge. In addition to the above, an insured employee is entitled to sickness leave and to collect a sickness benefit. In case of sickness, up to 3 days, the employer is obliged to pay up to 50% of the month s salary to the employee. However, in case of sickness leave more than 3 days, the employee is entitled to receive from the Social Security Organisation (IKA), the sickness allowance and also from the employer the difference between his/her actual monthly salary and the respective amount provided by IKA for a period up to one month. An employer is obligated to maintain an employee's position for the duration of lawful periods of sick leave. Maternity A lump sum benefit is payable upon the birth of a child. The benefit is payable to the husband when the mother is not insured. In addition, the insured mother is entitled to maternity leave of 17 weeks; 56 days preceding the expected date of delivery and 63 days following, in respect of which she will receive a benefit determined in the same manner as for sickness benefit. After the period of 17 weeks she is eligible of the Special Benefit of Protection of Maternity which is 6 months and she will be paid from OAED. The insured mothers are also entitled to receive a child care leave. The Law provision refers to the mothers right to arrive later or to leave earlier from their work as follows: 3

5 a) For a period of 30 months, 1 hour per working day b) For a period of 12 months, 2 hours per day and for additional 6 months, 1 hour per working day. During the maternity leave period, the insured mothers are entitled to be paid by their employer as follows: a) Half month salary, in case they have not completed on year of service. b) One month salary, in case they have completed more than one year of service. An employer is obligated to maintain an employee's position for the duration of lawful periods of maternity. Employers may not terminate the employment of a pregnant woman nor subsequent to birth until her child reaches one year of age. Industrial Injury Any employee injured or disabled as a result of and in the course of his employment is entitled to compensation and/or a disability pension for the period of his absence from work. Pensions Pensions payable are dependent on the period over which contributions were paid, the age of the individual and the salary of total period preceding retirement. An employee is entitled to a full pension when he has made contributions corresponding to working days, completed 40 years of employment and is at least 60 years (completed). The Book Of New Hired Employees The employer is obliged to keep update the book of new hired employees. In this book, must be recorded at the hiring date, all the details of the employee and must be signed by him/her. The penalty for non recording, is for each employee and could be double in case of repeat of violation. Overtime Book The overtime book is applicable for all the business units. It has to be kept for 5 years. 4

6 LIST OF INDEMNITIES IN CASE OF DISMISSAL FOR EMPLOYEES Period of service to the same employer Dismissal after warning Indemnity Warning period Salary Dismissal without warning Indemnity Salary From 1 year (completed) up to 2 years 1 month 1 month 2 months From 2 years (completed) up to 4 years 2 months 1 month 2 months From 4 years (completed) up to 5 years 2 months 1,5 month 3 months From 5 years (completed) up to 6 years 3 months 1,5 month 3 months From 6 years (completed) up to 8 years 3 months 2 month 4 months From 8 years (completed) up to 10 years 3 months 2,5 month 5 months 10 years completed 4 months 3 months 6 months 11 years completed 4 months 3,5 months 7 months 12 years completed 4 months 4 months 8 months 13 years completed 4 months 4,5 months 9 months 14 years completed 4 months 5 months 10 months 15 years completed 5 months 5,5 months 11 months 16 years completed 5 months 6 months 12 months 17 years completed 5 months 6,5 months 13 months 18 years completed 5 months 7 months 14 months 19 years completed 5 months 7,5 months 15 months 20 years completed 6 months 8 months 16 months 21 years completed 6 months 8,5 months 17 months 22 years completed 6 months 9 months 18 months 23 years completed 6 months 9,5 months 19 months 24 years completed 6 months 10 months 20 months 25 years completed 6 months 10,5 months 21 months 26 years completed 6 months 11 months 22 months 27 years completed 6 months 11,5 months 23 months 28 years completed and more 6 months 12 months 24 months 5

7 1. LIST OF INDEMNITIES IN CASE OF DISMISSAL FOR WORKERS Period of service From 2 months up to 1 year From 1 year up to 2 years From 2 years up to 5 years From 5 years up to 10 years From 10 years up to 15 years From 15 years up to 20 years From 20 years up to 25 years From 25 years up to 30 years From 30 years and more Indemnity 5 wages 7 wages 15 wages 30 wages 60 wages 100 wages 120 wages 145 wages 165 wages The monthly salary for indemnity s calculation purposes (for both employees and workers), has to be increased by 1/6, which is a proportion of the extra salaries (Christmas + Easter Bonuses and Vacation bonus). For example, an employee with monthly salary of 1.000, in case of dismissal after 1,5 year of services, is entitled to receive indemnity equal to: [ (1/6 x 1000)] x 2 = 2,

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