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Discover everything you need to know about Greece

Hire in Greece at a glance

Here ares some key facts regarding hiring in Greece

GDP growth
GDP world share
Payroll frequency
Working hours
40 hours/week

Overview in Greece

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Greece, located at the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, is known for its extensive coastline and mountainous terrain, with Mount Olympus as its highest peak. It has a Mediterranean climate and a rich history as the birthplace of democracy, philosophy, and Western literature. After periods of Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman rule, Greece gained independence in 1821. The 20th century saw wars and political upheavals, including a military dictatorship.

With a population of about 10.7 million, Greece faces demographic challenges such as an aging population and a low birthrate. It is a developed country with a high-income economy, heavily reliant on tourism, shipping, and agriculture. Greece joined the EU in 1981 and adopted the euro in 2001 but faced a severe debt crisis recently.

Greek culture includes ancient mythology, traditional music and dances, and Greek Orthodox Christianity as the dominant religion. The cuisine features Mediterranean staples like seafood, feta cheese, and olive oil. The workforce is well-educated but faces issues like skill mismatch and high unemployment, particularly among the youth.

The economy is supported by the services sector, with tourism and shipping being significant. Agriculture remains vital in rural areas. Greece values work-life balance, with a strong emphasis on family and social life. Communication is direct, and business relationships are highly valued. The workplace culture respects seniority but is also adapting to global corporate practices.

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Employer of Record in Greece

Rivermate is a global Employer of Record company that helps you hire employees in Greece without the need to set up a legal entity. We act as the Employer of Record for your employees in Greece, taking care of all the legal and compliance aspects of employment, so you can focus on growing your business.

How does it work?

When you hire employees in Greece through Rivermate, we become the legal employer of your staff. This means that we take on all the responsibilities of an employer, while you retain the day-to-day management of your employees.

You as the company maintain the direct relationshiop with the employee, you allocate them the work and manage their performance.
Rivermate takes care of the local payrolling of the employee, the contracts, HR, benefits and compliance.

Responsibilities of an Employer of Record

As an Employer of Record in Greece, Rivermate is responsible for:

  • Creating and managing the employment contracts
  • Running the monthly payroll
  • Providing local and global benefits
  • Ensuring 100% local compliance
  • Providing local HR support

Responsibilities of the company that hires the employee

As the company that hires the employee through the Employer of Record, you are responsible for:

  • Day-to-day management of the employee
  • Work assignments
  • Performance management
  • Training and development

Taxes in Greece

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In Greece, employers are required to contribute to social security for their employees, covering pension, health, and unemployment insurance, with specific contribution rates and ceilings. Employers must also withhold and remit these contributions along with employee shares to the e-National Social Security Fund (e-EFKA) monthly. Additionally, employers handle income tax withholding and must maintain accurate payroll records.

Employees contribute to the same social security areas, with slightly different rates. There are also additional taxes like the Solidarity Contribution for higher earners, and limited itemized deductions are available for tax returns.

VAT in Greece is generally 24%, with reduced rates for specific services and exemptions for others. Businesses exceeding a €10,000 annual turnover must register for VAT, charge it appropriately, and comply with invoicing and record-keeping requirements.

Greece also offers various tax incentives under its Investment Law, which includes benefits for digital transformation, environmental initiatives, and more, with significant support for investments in less developed areas. Other incentives include tax exemptions for reinvested profits and deductions for angel investors. Businesses are advised to consult with tax professionals to navigate these regulations and maximize potential benefits.

Leave in Greece

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In Greece, vacation leave entitlement varies based on the duration of employment with the current employer. Employees with less than one year of service accrue two days of paid vacation per month. After one year, the entitlement increases to 20 working days, or 24 days for those working a 6-day week. Employees with over 10 years at the same company receive 25 working days, or 30 days for a 6-day week. Unused vacation must be compensated by the employer upon termination of employment. These regulations are the minimum set by Greek labor laws and the National General Collective Labour Agreement, though some contracts may offer more generous terms. Additionally, Greece observes several public holidays, including New Year's Day, Epiphany, Clean Monday, Independence Day, Easter Monday, Labor Day, the Assumption of Mary, Ochi Day, Christmas Day, and the Second Day of Christmas, with some dates varying each year.

Benefits in Greece

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Labor Law Benefits in Greece

Greece's labor laws provide a robust framework of benefits for employees, ensuring their security and well-being. Here are the key components:

  • Paid Leave: Employees are entitled to 20 days of annual leave, paid public holidays, sick leave, 17 weeks of maternity leave, 14 days of paternity leave, and additional unpaid parental leave.
  • Social Security Contributions: Employers and employees contribute to social security, covering pensions, healthcare, unemployment, and disability benefits.
  • Additional Mandatory Benefits: These include notice periods, 13th and 14th-month salary bonuses, and severance pay in case of unjust termination.
  • Health and Wellness: Options like private health insurance and wellness programs are increasingly common.
  • Financial Security: Some employers offer pension plans and life insurance.
  • Work-Life Balance: Flexible work arrangements and childcare assistance are provided to help employees manage their responsibilities.
  • Additional Perks: Benefits such as meal vouchers, transportation allowances, and educational assistance enhance compensation packages.

EFKA: Mandatory Health Insurance

All employees contribute to EFKA, which provides comprehensive healthcare services. Contribution rates vary by sector, with employees and employers both contributing significant percentages of gross salaries.

Retirement Systems in Greece

  • Mandatory State Pension (EFKA): Both parties contribute, with full pension eligibility at 67 years old and 40 years of contributions.
  • The New Individual Defined Contribution (DC) System (TEKA): For new labor market entrants under 35, this system involves contributions to a personal account, with retirement benefits depending on the account balance and total contributions.
  • Supplemental Pension Plans: Employers may offer these plans voluntarily to help employees enhance their retirement savings.

These systems collectively ensure that employees in Greece have access to essential benefits and a degree of financial security in retirement.

Workers Rights in Greece

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Employment Termination in Greece: Legal Framework and Employee Protections

  • Legal Basis: Employment termination in Greece is primarily governed by Law 3198/1955, which balances employer flexibility and employee protection.
  • Lawful Grounds for Dismissal: Employers can dismiss employees for misconduct, incapacity to perform duties, or operational needs like economic cuts.
  • Notice Requirements: Written notice is mandatory, with the duration varying by the employee's tenure and position, ranging from a few days to one year.
  • Severance Pay: Employees terminated for operational reasons are entitled to severance, calculated based on service length and salary.
  • Anti-Discrimination Laws: Law 4443/2016 protects against workplace discrimination on various grounds, including race, age, and sexual orientation.
  • Redress Mechanisms: Victims of discrimination can seek mediation through the Ombudsman, action from the Labor Inspectorate, or pursue civil lawsuits.
  • Employer Responsibilities: Employers must enforce anti-discrimination policies, educate staff, and ensure a culture of inclusion and respect.
  • Work Conditions: Regulations cover standard work hours, rest periods, and ergonomic practices to ensure employee well-being and productivity.
  • Health and Safety Regulations: Law 3818/2010 mandates employers to provide a safe working environment, conduct risk assessments, and offer necessary training and equipment.
  • Enforcement: The Labor Inspectorate oversees compliance with work condition standards and health and safety regulations.

This framework ensures both the protection of employees from unfair dismissal and discrimination, and the support for their health and safety in the workplace.

Agreements in Greece

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In Greece, employment law recognizes various types of employment agreements, each governed by specific regulations:

  • Fixed-Term Contracts: These contracts have a predetermined end date and require written documentation. Renewals are limited and must be justified if they exceed a certain number.

  • Indefinite Contracts: Also known as permanent contracts, these do not have a set end date and offer greater job security.

  • Part-Time Agreements: These involve fewer working hours than full-time positions and can be either fixed-term or indefinite, but must be documented in writing.

  • Collective Bargaining Agreements: Negotiated between trade unions and employer associations, these set terms for employees within a specific industry or company.

Greek employment agreements typically include clauses on basic information, compensation and benefits, terms of employment, and termination details. They also cover confidentiality and intellectual property, emphasizing adherence to Greek labor laws.

  • Probationary Periods: Indefinite-term contracts include a default 12-month probationary period during which either party can terminate the contract without notice. This period can be adjusted by agreement.

  • Confidentiality and Non-Compete Clauses: These clauses protect an employer's sensitive information and competitive interests. Non-compete clauses, which restrict an employee's future employment opportunities, must be reasonable in scope and often require compensation.

Overall, Greek employment contracts are designed to balance the needs and protections of both employer and employee while ensuring compliance with national labor laws.

Remote Work in Greece

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Overview of Remote Work Legislation in Greece

Greece has developed a legal framework for remote work, primarily through Law 4808/2021 (New Labour Law), which details telework arrangements, employer obligations, and employee rights. As an EU member, Greece also adheres to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which impacts how employee data is managed in remote settings.

Key Legal Provisions and Employer Responsibilities

  • Law 4808/2021: Specifies the structure of telework including the necessity for a written agreement, outlines employer responsibilities for data security, and recognizes the employee's right to disconnect.
  • GDPR: Enforces data protection standards, requiring employers to handle employee data securely, especially in remote work contexts.
  • Ministerial Resolution 98490/03-12-2021: Addresses compensation for teleworkers' expenses like internet and equipment maintenance.

Technological and Infrastructure Requirements

  • Employers must ensure secure remote access, reliable internet connectivity, and provide necessary communication tools.
  • Although not mandated by law, some employers may provide or reimburse for necessary equipment.

Flexible Work Arrangements

  • Part-Time Work: Defined hours and compensation in employment contracts, with rights protected under the Greek Labour Code.
  • Flexitime: Offers flexibility within set core hours, governed by the Working Time Act.
  • Job Sharing: Allows multiple employees to share one full-time position, with contract law principles applicable.

Data Protection and Security

  • Employers must ensure lawful data processing and implement strong security measures like encryption and multi-factor authentication.
  • Employees have rights to access and request corrections or deletions of their personal data under GDPR.

Best Practices for Data Security

  • Employers and employees should limit data sharing, use encrypted communication tools, and be educated on phishing and data handling best practices.
  • Regular data backups and clear reporting channels for data breaches are recommended.

This framework and these practices aim to facilitate a secure and efficient remote work environment in Greece.

Working Hours in Greece

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Greek labor laws define a standard workweek as 40 hours across five days, with a maximum of 8 hours per day. Exceptions and variations are possible through industry-specific collective bargaining agreements or part-time contracts. Overtime is regulated, allowing up to 3 extra hours per day and a cap of 150 hours annually. Overtime pay must be at least 120% of the regular rate, or 125% for nighttime hours, with possible adjustments in urgent cases or through collective agreements.

Employees are entitled to breaks, including a 15-minute break after four hours and a 30-minute break for workdays longer than six hours. These breaks are unpaid and must not be scheduled at the beginning or end of the workday. Night work commands a 25% wage premium, and while weekend work doesn't automatically include extra pay, specific agreements may require it. Night and weekend work conditions are monitored by labor authorities.

Salary in Greece

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Determining a competitive salary in Greece involves considering various factors such as industry, experience, location, and company size. The average annual salary is approximately €15,335, with significant variations across different sectors and regions. Higher wages are generally found in finance, engineering, and technology, and in major cities like Athens and Thessaloniki. Multinational and larger companies typically offer better compensation packages than smaller businesses.

To research market rates, one can utilize salary surveys, job postings, industry associations, and recruitment agencies. It's important to also consider the total compensation package, which includes benefits like health insurance, paid time off, and training opportunities.

The national minimum wage is set at €780 per month before tax as of April 1, 2024, with specific provisions for different types of workers and exemptions for certain categories such as seasonal workers or trainees. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, along with the Greek labor inspectorate, oversees the enforcement of these wage regulations.

Additionally, Greek employment law mandates bonuses equivalent to two extra monthly salaries per year, divided into payments for Christmas, Easter, and vacation. Other potential allowances include leave, meal, travel, and family allowances, though these depend on the employer's policies.

Salaries are paid monthly, with strict regulations on payment timing and tax withholding. Employers must issue payslips detailing salary breakdowns after each payroll run, with both paper and electronic formats being valid.

Termination in Greece

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In Greece, the termination of indefinite-term employment contracts is governed by specific laws that outline notice periods, employer and employee obligations, and severance pay entitlements.

Notice Periods

Notice periods vary based on the employee's length of service:

  • 1-2 Years: One month
  • 2-5 Years: Two months
  • 5-10 Years: Three months
  • 10+ Years: Four months

Exceptions include serious misconduct (no notice required), mutual agreement, and fixed-term contracts which end on the agreed date unless terminated early.

Employer and Employee Obligations During Notice

Employers must continue paying regular salaries and may place employees on garden leave. Employees should remain available for work and maintain loyalty to their employer.

Severance Pay

Severance pay, calculated based on the most recent salary and length of service, is generally due unless the employee resigns or is dismissed for serious misconduct. Additional severance may be awarded if the termination is deemed unfair.

Termination Procedures

Terminations must be communicated through written notice, with reasons and effective date clearly stated. Employers should also inform relevant employment authorities. Fair hearing rights must be respected, especially for dismissals related to employee conduct or performance.

Contesting Unfair Termination

Employees can challenge unfair dismissals through the Labor Inspectorate or by filing a lawsuit. Remedies may include reinstatement or compensation.

Overall, both employers and employees must adhere to the stipulated legal frameworks to ensure lawful and fair employment termination practices.

Freelancing in Greece

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In Greece, distinguishing between employees and independent contractors is crucial due to its implications on rights, benefits, and obligations. Greek courts often use the control test to determine this, assessing how much control an employer has over a worker's method and manner of work. Employees are tightly integrated into the business and provided with necessary equipment, while independent contractors enjoy more autonomy, focusing on delivering results rather than adhering to specific processes.

Additional factors like economic dependence, investment in tools, and the potential for profit or loss also play a role in classification. Misclassification can lead to significant liabilities for employers and restrict contractors from benefits like tax advantages and operational control.

For independent contractors, understanding and negotiating contract structures is vital. Common types include fixed-price, time-based, and performance-based contracts, each with its own benefits and risks. Effective negotiation practices are essential, focusing on clear deliverables, fair fees, and secure payment terms.

Independent contracting is prevalent in various sectors such as IT, creative industries, consulting, and tourism. The gig economy's rise offers numerous opportunities, but it's important for freelancers to protect their intellectual property rights. Greek copyright law generally favors the creator, but contractual agreements can alter default ownership, making legal advice crucial.

Freelancers must manage their own tax and insurance obligations. They handle income tax, can voluntarily contribute to social security for benefits, and choose between public and private insurance options for health and pension plans. Proper registration with tax authorities is required for earning above certain thresholds.

Health & Safety in Greece

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Health and safety laws in Greece, governed by various legislations such as the Civil Code - Article 662 and Law 3850/2010, mandate employers to ensure workplace safety through systematic risk assessments, appointment of safety personnel, and adherence to specific safety protocols. Employers are responsible for the safe design and maintenance of workstations, providing personal protective equipment (PPE), and implementing emergency procedures. Employees have rights to a safe workplace and training on safety practices, and they must cooperate with safety measures.

The enforcement of these laws is managed by the Labour Inspectorate (S.EP.E.), which conducts inspections, issues notices, and can impose fines or initiate criminal proceedings for non-compliance. Greek law covers specific topics such as chemical safety, ergonomics, and construction safety, and emphasizes continuous improvement in workplace safety standards.

Inspections by S.EP.E. are thorough, covering risk assessments, workplace conditions, and emergency preparedness, among other criteria. The frequency of inspections depends on the risk level and specific complaints. Following inspections, actions such as improvement notices and fines can be enforced, and employers have the right to appeal against these actions.

In the event of workplace accidents, employers must report to relevant authorities promptly and conduct internal investigations. Workers are entitled to compensation for injuries, and employers must maintain an accident register and ensure first aid readiness. The overarching goal of Greek health and safety laws is accident prevention and the promotion of a safe working environment.

Dispute Resolution in Greece

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Labor courts in Greece, structured into three levels (Courts of First Instance, Labor Courts of Appeal, and the Supreme Court), handle a broad range of employment disputes including wrongful dismissal and discrimination claims. The legal framework for these proceedings is supported by the Code of Civil Procedure and specific employment laws.

Arbitration serves as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism, facilitated by institutions like OMED, and offers benefits such as speed and confidentiality. Arbitrators deliver binding decisions, enforceable in Greek courts.

Regulatory compliance is enforced through frequent inspections by various governmental agencies like SEPE and IAPR, focusing on industries like construction and manufacturing. The inspection process involves several steps from notification to corrective actions, aiming to ensure adherence to laws and regulations.

Non-compliance can lead to severe penalties including fines, suspension of operations, or criminal charges. Greece also provides mechanisms for reporting misconduct through internal and external channels, although whistleblower protections are currently limited and primarily focused on public sector corruption.

Greece aligns its labor laws with international standards, reflecting its commitment to ILO conventions and EU directives, covering fundamental labor rights and ensuring enforcement through agencies like the Labor Inspectorate and the Ombudsman.

Cultural Considerations in Greece

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Understanding communication and negotiation styles in Greek business culture is essential for effective interaction and success. Greek communication is characterized by directness and expressiveness, where passionate discussions and animated gestures are common. Respect and formality vary with context but maintaining a respectful tone is crucial. Non-verbal cues such as strong eye contact and physical proximity are significant in conveying sincerity and building relationships.

Negotiations in Greece are relationship-driven, often beginning with social interactions to build trust. Patience is vital as negotiations can be slow and involve multiple discussions. Greek negotiators may use high initial offers and strategic non-verbal cues like silence to influence proceedings.

Greek business structures are typically hierarchical, influencing decision-making and team dynamics. Respect for authority is significant, and decision-making usually flows from the top down. Leadership styles may be paternalistic, though there is a shift towards more collaborative approaches among younger leaders.

Additionally, understanding the impact of national and regional holidays on business operations is crucial for planning. Major holidays often result in complete business closures, affecting scheduling and communication.

Overall, success in Greek business settings requires an understanding of these cultural nuances, from communication styles to hierarchical structures and holiday observances.

Frequently Asked Questions for Employer of Record services in Greece

Who handles the filing and payment of employees' taxes and social insurance contributions when using an Employer of Record in Greece?

When using an Employer of Record (EOR) in Greece, the EOR handles the filing and payment of employees' taxes and social insurance contributions. This includes the calculation, withholding, and remittance of income tax, as well as contributions to social security schemes such as the National Organization for Healthcare Services Provision (EOPYY) and the Unified Social Security Fund (EFKA). The EOR ensures compliance with Greek tax laws and social insurance regulations, thereby relieving the client company of these administrative burdens and reducing the risk of non-compliance penalties.

What is the timeline for setting up a company in Greece?

Setting up a company in Greece involves several steps and can be a time-consuming process. Here is a detailed timeline for establishing a business in Greece:

  1. Choosing the Legal Form and Name of the Company (1-2 weeks):

    • Decide on the type of legal entity (e.g., Limited Liability Company, Corporation, etc.).
    • Check the availability of the company name and reserve it with the General Commercial Registry (GEMI).
  2. Drafting the Articles of Association (1-2 weeks):

    • Prepare the Articles of Association, which outline the company's structure, purpose, and operational guidelines.
    • This document must be drafted in Greek and notarized.
  3. Opening a Bank Account (1-2 weeks):

    • Open a corporate bank account in Greece.
    • Deposit the initial share capital required for the type of company being established.
  4. Registering with the General Commercial Registry (GEMI) (1-2 weeks):

    • Submit the Articles of Association and other required documents to GEMI.
    • GEMI will issue a registration number and publish the company’s details in the Government Gazette.
  5. Obtaining a Tax Identification Number (TIN) (1-2 weeks):

    • Register the company with the local tax office to obtain a TIN.
    • This step involves submitting various documents, including the Articles of Association and proof of the company’s registration with GEMI.
  6. Registering for Social Security (1-2 weeks):

    • Register the company with the Social Insurance Institute (IKA) to cover employee social security contributions.
    • This step is necessary for hiring employees and ensuring compliance with Greek labor laws.
  7. Obtaining Necessary Licenses and Permits (Variable, 2-8 weeks):

    • Depending on the nature of the business, additional licenses or permits may be required.
    • The timeline for obtaining these can vary significantly based on the industry and specific requirements.
  8. Registering with the Chamber of Commerce (1-2 weeks):

    • Register the company with the local Chamber of Commerce.
    • This step is often required for certain types of businesses and provides additional networking and support opportunities.
  9. Hiring Employees and Setting Up Payroll (1-2 weeks):

    • Once the company is registered and compliant with tax and social security regulations, you can begin hiring employees.
    • Set up payroll systems to ensure timely and accurate payment of wages and benefits.

Total Estimated Timeline: 8-16 weeks

The entire process can take approximately 2 to 4 months, depending on the complexity of the business and the efficiency of the involved authorities. Using an Employer of Record (EOR) service like Rivermate can significantly streamline this process by handling many of these administrative tasks, ensuring compliance with local laws, and allowing you to focus on your core business activities.

Is it possible to hire independent contractors in Greece?

Yes, it is possible to hire independent contractors in Greece. However, there are several important considerations and legal requirements to keep in mind:

  1. Legal Classification: Independent contractors in Greece must be correctly classified to avoid misclassification issues. Misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor can lead to significant legal and financial penalties. Contractors should operate as self-employed individuals or through their own legal entities.

  2. Contractual Agreement: A clear and comprehensive contractual agreement is essential. This contract should outline the scope of work, payment terms, duration, and other relevant conditions. It should also specify that the contractor is not an employee and is responsible for their own taxes and social security contributions.

  3. Taxation: Independent contractors in Greece are responsible for managing their own tax obligations. They must register with the tax authorities and submit regular tax returns. Employers should ensure that contractors provide valid invoices for their services.

  4. Social Security Contributions: Contractors must also handle their own social security contributions. They need to register with the relevant social security fund and make the necessary payments.

  5. Intellectual Property: Contracts should address the ownership of intellectual property created during the engagement. Typically, the agreement should specify whether the contractor retains ownership or transfers it to the hiring company.

  6. Compliance with Local Laws: Employers must ensure that their engagement with independent contractors complies with Greek labor laws and regulations. This includes adhering to any sector-specific requirements and ensuring that the contractor's work does not resemble that of a regular employee.

  7. Dispute Resolution: The contract should include provisions for dispute resolution, specifying the legal jurisdiction and methods for resolving any conflicts that may arise.

Using an Employer of Record (EOR) service like Rivermate can simplify the process of hiring independent contractors in Greece. An EOR can help ensure compliance with local laws, manage payroll and tax obligations, and provide legal and administrative support. This allows companies to focus on their core business activities while mitigating the risks associated with hiring independent contractors.

What is HR compliance in Greece, and why is it important?

HR compliance in Greece refers to the adherence to the country's labor laws, regulations, and standards that govern employment practices. This includes a wide range of legal requirements such as employment contracts, working hours, wages, social security contributions, health and safety regulations, anti-discrimination laws, and termination procedures. Ensuring HR compliance is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Legal Protection: Compliance with Greek labor laws protects companies from legal disputes and potential lawsuits. Non-compliance can result in significant fines, penalties, and legal costs, which can be detrimental to a business's financial health and reputation.

  2. Employee Rights: Greek labor laws are designed to protect the rights of employees, ensuring fair treatment, safe working conditions, and equitable compensation. Compliance helps in fostering a positive work environment and maintaining high employee morale and productivity.

  3. Reputation Management: Companies that adhere to HR compliance standards are viewed more favorably by employees, customers, and the public. This can enhance the company's reputation and make it a more attractive place to work, which is crucial for talent acquisition and retention.

  4. Operational Efficiency: By following established HR compliance guidelines, companies can streamline their HR processes, reduce administrative burdens, and avoid the complexities associated with non-compliance. This allows businesses to focus more on their core operations and strategic goals.

  5. Risk Mitigation: Compliance helps in identifying and mitigating risks related to employment practices. This includes avoiding issues such as wrongful termination, discrimination claims, and workplace safety violations, which can have severe legal and financial repercussions.

  6. Cultural Adaptation: Understanding and complying with local labor laws is essential for multinational companies operating in Greece. It ensures that the company respects local customs and practices, which is vital for successful integration into the Greek market.

Using an Employer of Record (EOR) service like Rivermate can significantly simplify HR compliance in Greece. An EOR takes on the responsibility of ensuring that all employment practices adhere to local laws and regulations. This includes managing payroll, benefits, taxes, and other HR functions, allowing companies to focus on their core business activities without worrying about compliance issues. Rivermate's expertise in Greek labor laws ensures that businesses can operate smoothly and efficiently while minimizing the risk of non-compliance.

What are the costs associated with employing someone in Greece?

Employing someone in Greece involves several costs that employers need to consider. These costs can be broadly categorized into direct compensation, social security contributions, and other statutory obligations. Here is a detailed breakdown:

  1. Gross Salary: This is the primary cost and includes the agreed-upon salary before any deductions. The gross salary varies depending on the role, industry, and experience of the employee.

  2. Social Security Contributions: Both employers and employees are required to make contributions to Greece's social security system. As of the latest regulations:

    • Employer Contributions: Approximately 24.81% of the employee's gross salary.
    • Employee Contributions: Approximately 15.33% of their gross salary, which is deducted from their pay.
  3. Health Insurance: Contributions to the national health insurance scheme are included in the social security contributions. Employers must ensure that their employees are covered under the national health system.

  4. Holiday Pay: Greek labor law mandates that employees are entitled to paid annual leave. The amount of leave depends on the length of service, but typically it ranges from 20 to 24 days per year. Employers must also pay a holiday bonus, which is essentially an additional half-month's salary paid in two installments (Christmas and Easter).

  5. Severance Pay: In the event of termination, employers may be required to provide severance pay. The amount depends on the length of service and the terms of the employment contract. For example, an employee with one year of service is entitled to one month's salary, while an employee with ten years of service is entitled to two months' salary.

  6. Training and Development: Employers may need to invest in training and development programs to ensure their employees are up-to-date with the latest skills and knowledge relevant to their roles.

  7. Workplace Safety and Health Compliance: Employers must comply with workplace safety and health regulations, which may involve costs related to ensuring a safe working environment, conducting regular safety training, and providing necessary safety equipment.

  8. Administrative Costs: Managing payroll, tax filings, and compliance with local labor laws can incur administrative costs. This includes the cost of HR personnel or outsourcing these functions to a third-party provider.

  9. Other Benefits: Depending on the company policy and industry standards, employers might offer additional benefits such as meal vouchers, transportation allowances, private health insurance, and pension plans.

Using an Employer of Record (EOR) like Rivermate can help manage these costs effectively. An EOR handles all aspects of employment, including payroll, tax compliance, and benefits administration, ensuring that the employer remains compliant with Greek labor laws while reducing the administrative burden and potential risks associated with direct employment.

What legal responsibilities does a company have when using an Employer of Record service like Rivermate in Greece?

When a company uses an Employer of Record (EOR) service like Rivermate in Greece, the EOR assumes many of the legal responsibilities associated with employment. Here are the key legal responsibilities that the EOR handles on behalf of the company:

  1. Employment Contracts: The EOR is responsible for drafting and maintaining compliant employment contracts that adhere to Greek labor laws. This includes ensuring that contracts are in Greek and meet all statutory requirements.

  2. Payroll and Tax Compliance: The EOR manages payroll processing, ensuring that employees are paid accurately and on time. They also handle the calculation and withholding of income taxes, social security contributions, and other mandatory deductions, ensuring compliance with Greek tax regulations.

  3. Social Security and Benefits: The EOR registers employees with the Greek social security system (EFKA) and ensures that all contributions are made correctly. They also manage statutory benefits such as health insurance, pensions, and other social security benefits.

  4. Labor Law Compliance: The EOR ensures that all employment practices comply with Greek labor laws, including working hours, overtime, minimum wage, leave entitlements, and termination procedures. They stay updated on any changes in legislation to ensure ongoing compliance.

  5. Employee Onboarding and Offboarding: The EOR handles the entire process of onboarding new employees, including necessary documentation and registrations. They also manage the offboarding process, ensuring that terminations are conducted in accordance with Greek labor laws and that all final payments and entitlements are settled.

  6. Workplace Safety and Health Regulations: The EOR ensures that the workplace complies with Greek occupational health and safety regulations. This includes providing necessary training and maintaining records of compliance.

  7. Dispute Resolution and Legal Representation: In the event of employment disputes or legal issues, the EOR provides support and representation. They handle grievances, disciplinary actions, and any legal proceedings related to employment matters.

  8. Record Keeping and Reporting: The EOR maintains accurate records of employment, payroll, and compliance documentation. They also handle any required reporting to Greek authorities, such as tax filings and social security reports.

By using an EOR like Rivermate in Greece, companies can mitigate the risks associated with non-compliance and focus on their core business activities. The EOR takes on the complex and time-consuming tasks of managing local employment laws and regulations, providing peace of mind and operational efficiency.

What options are available for hiring a worker in Greece?

In Greece, employers have several options for hiring workers, each with its own set of legal, administrative, and financial considerations. Here are the primary options available:

  1. Direct Employment:

    • Permanent Contracts: These are open-ended contracts with no fixed termination date. They offer job security to employees and typically include benefits such as social security, health insurance, and paid leave.
    • Fixed-Term Contracts: These contracts are for a specific duration and are often used for temporary projects or seasonal work. They must comply with Greek labor laws regarding maximum duration and renewal limits.
    • Part-Time Contracts: These contracts are for employees who work fewer hours than full-time employees. They must include proportional benefits and comply with minimum wage regulations.
  2. Temporary Employment Agencies (TEAs):

    • Employers can hire workers through TEAs, which provide temporary staff for short-term needs. The agency handles the administrative and legal responsibilities, while the employer supervises the worker's day-to-day activities.
  3. Freelancers and Independent Contractors:

    • Hiring freelancers or independent contractors is an option for project-based work or specialized tasks. This arrangement requires careful consideration of the legal distinction between employees and contractors to avoid misclassification issues.
  4. Outsourcing:

    • Employers can outsource specific functions or projects to third-party companies. This can be a cost-effective solution for non-core activities, but it requires clear contracts and management oversight to ensure quality and compliance.
  5. Employer of Record (EOR) Services:

    • An EOR, like Rivermate, can be an excellent option for hiring in Greece, especially for foreign companies or those without a legal entity in the country. The EOR acts as the legal employer, handling all employment-related responsibilities, including payroll, tax compliance, benefits administration, and adherence to local labor laws. This allows the client company to focus on managing the employee's work and performance without the administrative burden.

Benefits of Using an Employer of Record in Greece:

  • Compliance: An EOR ensures full compliance with Greek labor laws, including employment contracts, tax regulations, social security contributions, and employee rights. This reduces the risk of legal issues and penalties.
  • Cost-Effective: Setting up a legal entity in Greece can be costly and time-consuming. An EOR eliminates the need for this, providing a more cost-effective solution for hiring local talent.
  • Speed and Efficiency: An EOR can expedite the hiring process, allowing companies to onboard employees quickly and efficiently. This is particularly beneficial for urgent projects or market entry.
  • Local Expertise: EORs have in-depth knowledge of the local labor market and employment practices, providing valuable insights and support to ensure smooth operations.
  • Focus on Core Business: By outsourcing employment administration to an EOR, companies can focus on their core business activities and strategic goals, rather than getting bogged down in HR and compliance tasks.

In summary, while there are multiple options for hiring workers in Greece, using an Employer of Record like Rivermate offers significant advantages in terms of compliance, cost savings, efficiency, and local expertise. This makes it an attractive option for companies looking to expand their workforce in Greece without the complexities of establishing a local entity.

How does Rivermate, as an Employer of Record in Greece, ensure HR compliance?

Rivermate, as an Employer of Record (EOR) in Greece, ensures HR compliance through a comprehensive understanding and application of local labor laws, regulations, and best practices. Here are several ways Rivermate achieves this:

  1. Local Expertise and Knowledge: Rivermate employs local HR professionals who are well-versed in Greek labor laws and regulations. This local expertise ensures that all employment practices are compliant with national standards, including hiring, contracts, payroll, benefits, and terminations.

  2. Employment Contracts: Rivermate ensures that all employment contracts are compliant with Greek labor laws. This includes adhering to regulations regarding contract types (e.g., fixed-term, indefinite), probation periods, notice periods, and termination conditions. They also ensure that contracts are written in Greek, as required by law, and include all mandatory clauses.

  3. Payroll Management: Rivermate handles payroll processing in strict accordance with Greek regulations. This includes accurate calculation of wages, taxes, social security contributions, and other statutory deductions. They ensure timely and correct payments to employees and relevant authorities, thus avoiding any legal penalties.

  4. Tax Compliance: Rivermate ensures compliance with Greek tax laws by managing employee income tax withholdings and ensuring that all necessary tax filings and payments are made on time. They stay updated on any changes in tax legislation to ensure ongoing compliance.

  5. Social Security and Benefits: Rivermate manages the registration of employees with the Greek social security system (EFKA) and ensures that all contributions are accurately calculated and paid. They also administer statutory benefits such as health insurance, pensions, and other social security benefits.

  6. Labor Law Adherence: Rivermate ensures compliance with Greek labor laws regarding working hours, overtime, rest periods, and leave entitlements (e.g., annual leave, sick leave, maternity/paternity leave). They monitor and implement any changes in labor legislation to maintain compliance.

  7. Health and Safety Regulations: Rivermate ensures that all workplace health and safety regulations are adhered to, providing a safe working environment for employees. This includes compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and other relevant regulations.

  8. Employee Rights and Protections: Rivermate ensures that employee rights are protected in accordance with Greek labor laws. This includes non-discrimination, fair treatment, and adherence to collective bargaining agreements where applicable.

  9. Legal Updates and Training: Rivermate continuously monitors changes in Greek employment laws and regulations. They provide regular training and updates to their HR team and clients to ensure ongoing compliance and awareness of new legal requirements.

  10. Dispute Resolution: Rivermate assists in resolving any employment disputes in compliance with Greek labor laws. They provide guidance on legal procedures and represent the employer in negotiations or legal proceedings if necessary.

By leveraging their local expertise and comprehensive HR services, Rivermate ensures that companies can operate in Greece with full compliance to local employment laws, thereby minimizing legal risks and administrative burdens.

Do employees receive all their rights and benefits when employed through an Employer of Record in Greece?

Yes, employees in Greece receive all their rights and benefits when employed through an Employer of Record (EOR) like Rivermate. An EOR ensures compliance with local labor laws and regulations, which is crucial in a country like Greece where labor laws are comprehensive and protective of employee rights. Here are some key aspects:

  1. Employment Contracts: The EOR provides legally compliant employment contracts that adhere to Greek labor laws, ensuring that all terms of employment, including job roles, responsibilities, and compensation, are clearly defined and lawful.

  2. Wages and Salaries: Employees receive their wages and salaries in accordance with Greek minimum wage laws and industry standards. The EOR ensures timely and accurate payroll processing, including the calculation of overtime, bonuses, and other compensation elements.

  3. Social Security and Taxes: The EOR handles all mandatory social security contributions and tax withholdings. This includes contributions to the Greek social insurance system (EFKA), which covers pensions, healthcare, and other social benefits.

  4. Benefits: Employees are entitled to statutory benefits such as paid annual leave, sick leave, maternity/paternity leave, and public holidays. The EOR ensures these benefits are provided in compliance with Greek labor laws.

  5. Health and Safety: The EOR ensures that workplace health and safety standards are met, providing a safe working environment as required by Greek regulations.

  6. Termination and Severance: In the event of termination, the EOR manages the process in accordance with Greek labor laws, which include specific procedures for notice periods and severance pay.

  7. Employee Rights: Greek labor laws protect employees' rights to fair treatment, non-discrimination, and the right to join trade unions. The EOR ensures these rights are upheld.

By using an EOR like Rivermate, companies can be confident that their employees in Greece are receiving all their legal rights and benefits, while also mitigating the risks associated with non-compliance with local labor laws. This allows businesses to focus on their core operations while ensuring their workforce is well-managed and protected.

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