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The peculiarities of the Greek labour market

Each labour market has some peculiarities. It may be tricky for foreigners to fully understand the payment methods, the taxes and other benefits related to them. In TalentUp, we are starting a series of different blog articles, one for each country. This article analyses the Greek labour market.

General data about the Greek labour market

Greece’s minimum wage and maximum working hours disclosure. Data for January 2024. Source: https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/greece/

In accordance with Greek legislation, employees working in the private sector have the right to receive two extra monthly wages distributed across three instalments: a full monthly salary for Christmas, half a monthly salary for Easter, and another half monthly salary for the Vacation Bonus. It is mandatory that these bonus payments be provided exclusively in cash and not in kind.

The Christmas Bonus payment must be disbursed no later than December 21st.

Payroll taxes in Greece

Social security contributions are made by the employer and the employee and are used for funding unemployment, pension, maternity/paternity leave, and sickness or injury.

Share of contingencies applied to the gross salary. Data source: https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/greece/

All contingencies except pension fund have a maximum limit on employee salary of 7,126.94€.

Once contributions are paid, employees need to pay an income tax that varies depending on their gross salaries. 

Example of net salary in Greece

As a reference, we use the average salary of a software engineer. In Greece, on average, software engineers earn €43,400 annually.

From gross to net salary of a software engineer in Greece.

The employer contributes 10,757.16€ to social security, and the employee contributes 6,887.58 euros.

After paying the income tax, the employee has a net salary of 30,026.30€, coming from a gross salary of 43,400€.

Unemployment regulation in Greece

If the employer terminates the contract, the notice period is as follows:

Notice periods in Greek contracts.  Data source: https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/greece/

The amount of severance is based on the length of the employee’s service:

Severance pay in Greek contracts. Data source: https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/greece/

No severance is required when the worker resigns. The probationary period lasts 1 year.

Different kinds of leaves in Greece

They have twenty working days of paid holiday on the first year worked, 21 on the second, and 22 from the third on. After 10 years of working for the same employer, they receive 25 working days. And after 25 years working for that same employer, they receive 26 days.

They have 11 public holidays. However, if they fall on the weekend, they are lost.

Sick leave depends on the time being employed:

Sick leave in Greek contracts. Data source: https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/greece/

Other leaves in Greece:

  • Marriage Leave: 5 days.
  • Bereavement Leave: 2 days.
  • Caretaker Leave: 5 days.
  • School Leave: For every child up to 18 years of age who attends school, both parents may be absent from work 4 working days per year.

Paid parental leave

Maternity leave lasts for 119 calendar days: 56 before the birth and 63 after it.

The employer offers 100% of the employee’s regular salary rate for the first month of maternity benefits. Subsequently, starting from the second month, both the employer and e-EFKA contribute to the benefit, providing 50.00% of the regular salary rate (based on the insured person’s insurance contribution class). In addition, child benefits are included for each child.

Furthermore, a supplementary maternity allowance is granted in the second month, which equals the difference, if any, between the salary rate paid by the employer and the maternity benefit.

For employees who lack insurance coverage, a fixed standard maternity benefit of 220.10 EUR is provided.

Every working father is entitled to 14 working days of paid paternity leave. Only two days can be taken before the birth.

Parental leave is available to any parent having completed one year of service, equal to four months (continuously or intermittently, as agreed with the employer), until the child reaches eight years old.

Other common Greek benefits

Top 5 benefits offered by Greek companies. Datasource: TalentUp’s database.

How to employ a Greek worker

The most well-known method of paying Greek remote workers is also the most labor-intensive. If you want to pay your workers yourself, you must create a legal entity in Greece. This entity will act as a branch of your company in Greece, and you’ll manage all financial and tax concerns for your Greek employees through this entity.