Greece is a European country bordered by Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey. The country has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin with thousands of islands in addition to the mainland. Greece is considered to be the cradle of Western civilization, as the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, political science, scientific and mathematical principles, theatre, and the Olympic Games. Greece’s population is highly educated with a large proportion of skilled professionals, making it a great country for international expansion.
The minimum wage in Greece is EUR 713 per month, and the standard workweek is 8 hours a day for 40 hours a week. Any work done past that is considered overtime and paid between 120%-125% of the regular salary rate.
Pregnant employees in Greece are entitled to 17 weeks of maternity leave, starting 8 weeks before the due date. While on leave, employees can draw a maternity benefit equal to 1 month’s wages, or 15 days if the employee has worked at their company for less than 1 year. Fathers are entitled to 2 days of paid leave once the child is born, and mothers can also transfer some of their maternity leave to their partners.
Employees are entitled to sick leave of which the first 3 days are paid at 50% of their wages (paid by the employer). After that, they can draw benefits from social security (the length of time they can draw benefits depends on how long they worked in the previous year).
There are 7 national holidays in Greece, and employees are entitled to paid time off accrued at 1.6 days per month in their first year, and 22 days per year after completing 3 years at the employer. Employees can also request leave for adoption, education, bereavement, civic duty, and family care.
Employment contracts in Greece can be terminated with just cause such as dishonesty, negligence, fraud, or any other work-related offenses. To terminate an indefinite contract, the employer must provide written notice, and the employee has to be registered with the Unified Social Security Fund (EFKA).
Notice periods depend on the employee’s length of time at the company:
Severance payments also depend on the employee’s length of time at the company. The minimum severance for terminations without warning is 2 months and up to 12 months after 16 years at the company. For terminations with warning the minimum is 1 month and up to 6 months after 16 years at the company.
In Greece, it is mandatory for employers in the private sector to give 3 bonuses equal to 2 extra months of wages. The bonuses are as follows:
★ 13.33% - Pension Fund
★ 4.3% - Healthcare
★ 0.25% - Health Benefit
★ 3.25% - Supplementary Insurance
★ 1.41% - Unemployment
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Unlike full-time employees, contractors work on projects with multiple companies at a given time and are technically self-employed. Full-time employees are solely focused on their employer and usually receive benefits (such as health insurance, equity or stock options, and time off) as an additional form of compensation. While it can be cheaper to work with international contractors instead of paying benefits to a full-time employee, you run the risk of misclassification. It's recommended to work with an EOR for contractor onboarding and payments, so you can know that your international contractors are paid compliantly and on time.