HR Solutions & Employee Relations in Greece with IRIS  

IRIS HR consulting has experience helping businesses grow in Greece. Without expert guidance, it can otherwise be risky and costly to leave local laws and legislation open to interpretation. For a scalable, compliant operation, IRIS can manage your HR in Greece to help businesses hire, recruit, and pay staff overseas in new, unfamiliar countries. As a popular destination for businesses, IRIS can navigate local barriers – from culture to compliance – to arrive at a rewarding opportunity for your business to thrive in this exciting marketplace.  

Take your business to Greece with IRIS HR Consultancy.

HR in Greece

Global expansion in Greece

The birthplace of democracy and many Western societies, Greece is an advanced, high income country with a high quality of life. Members of NATO, OECD and the WTO amongst many others, Greece is a well-connected country to grow into.  It’s a culturally rich country that provides an interesting market to businesses, and due to its geographical location, has fantastic connections to mainland Europe, Africa and the East.

With excellent telecommunications and mobile networks, Greece is prepared to grow and recover from the debt crisis and foreign investment and expansions at this time, proves interesting. Regional investment in the Balkans is important to Greece, and any businesses looking to expand should consider this as a potential to further any business and find favour in Greece.


An Export Focus  

Greece’ economy is largely built on trade opportunity from neighbouring countries and markets, which are aspiring and affluent. Approximately 74.4% of its GDP is represented as export-opportunity. Aside from petroleum products, Greece exports fish, medicines and olive oil, which reflects its most active industries and where its climate is advantageous to business. Despite its access to faraway markets, its major trading partners include familiar European countries like Germany and Italy.  

Establishing your business in Greece  

Strategically located in South Eastern Europe, with its advancing and often high-income economy, Greece has a stable global reputation that is attractive for businesses. With favourable sectors in services, tourism, textiles and agriculture, Greece is a both known as a workhorse, enjoying a great availability of local labour, and for its position as a desirable holidaying destination. For global businesses, Greece’ proximity to, and access within, prosperous and growing markets in the Eastern Mediterranean and Southern Europe have allowed to create unique trading opportunities. Greece is especially favourable to new business looking to reach its markets and beyond.  

Whilst business activity tends to concentrate in Athens, one of the more advantageous perks of doing business in Greece is its open trading borders, and access to foreign markets that lay beyond them.  


Employment laws in Greece  

When first expanding your business into Greece, navigating local laws, legislation and rules of employment laws is no easy feat. Throughout the world, these laws are almost never universal. Rather, employment is dynamic and reflects the country social, economic, cultural opportunities.  

For example, Greece includes 227 different inhabited islands, including a mainland area and then a terrain covered in mountains and seascapes. Yet, much of its population concentrates in Athens. Despite its sizeable and different geography, Greece labour laws are consistent across all of its islands.  

Did you know?

In Greece, employees are often entitled to regular bonuses throughout the year.  

HR in Athens

Employment rights & contracts in Greece 

A mixture of contract types – including fixed term – are permissible under local employment law.  

Whilst not a legal requirement, it is advisable to capture employment particulars and any agreements in a written contract. This contract should be written in the local language.  

Typically included within employment contracts, are key details relatable to the employee’s role and its benefits, such as: 

  • Any compensation  
  • Supplementary benefits  
  • Termination clauses  

It is important to ensure that the local language is used throughout a written contract and the salary expectations are captured in Euros (rather than other foreign currencies).  

Hiring & recruitment in Greece  

When getting your first hire overseas, you will need to negotiate terms of employment. But that requires local knowledge, strict compliance, and an understanding of what to include in an offer and thereafter – including before, during and after the commencement of an employment contract. 

What are the working hours in Greece?  

The conventional working week in Greece, as per local laws, is set at 40 hours. This equates to a five-day working week at eight-hours per day (and not exceeding a maximum of 10 hours daily).  

Overtime in Greece  

Any time spent working in excess of 45 weekly hours will be classified as overtime. This additional time will be paid to a premium of 50% and can scale up to 120 hours within a year. If this upper threshold is breached, then a premium rise of up to 75% is expected.  

Sick Leave in Greece  

Employees’ are entitled to 50% of waged during the first three days of sick leave. Thereafter, commencing from the fourth day of illness, employees can receive sick pay from social insurance.  

Maternity and paternity Leave in Greece    

Under the maternity benefit, female employees can expect to receive up to 17 weeks of paid absence. This should be structured so that the employee receives 8 weeks prior to the birth, and 9 weeks thereafter.  

Paternity leave, however, is limited to two-days for new fathers.  

After 30-months of leave, parents can expect to either leave work early by one-hour, or arrive one-hour later.  

Public Holidays in Greece  

In Greece, it is common to celebrate 12 national holidays, including: 

  • New Year’s Day 
  • Epiphany 
  • Clean Monday 
  • Annunciation 
  • Good Friday 
  • Independence Day 
  • Easter Monday 
  • Pentecost Monday 
  • Assumption of the Holy Virgin 
  • Ochi Day 
  • Christmas Day 
  • Day After Christmas (Glorifying Mother of God) 

Vacation or Annual Leave 

Vacation allowances are structured against length of service and accrues based on weekly working hours.  

During the first year of a hire contract, vacation scales at a rate of either: 

  • 24-days for those on a 6-day week  
  • 20-days for those on a 5-day work week  

Thereafter, employees are entitled to a further day of vacation per year. Yet, after 10 years or beyond, employees can expect to receive up to 30-days of leave if they complete a 6-day weekly contract.  

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Deliver your business to new, exciting markets with confidence and compliance.

End of Service 

HR in Greece requires compliance not only during an employee’s service, but also at the end of it. End of service might include severance, termination, redundancy, and leaving packages. Or, for globally mobile companies with teams in foreign markets, this could be repatriation services for those returning from an assignment overseas.  

For these more complicated matters, you will need expert HR guidance to navigate Greek labor laws and remain compliant.  

Employment in Greece

Termination in Greece  

In the scenario that a fixed-term contract is terminated earlier than the completion of the employment contract, then the employee is entitled to the remainder for their wage for the term.  

For those on an indefinite term, notice must be offered to an employee at a rate of one month for every three-months of service.  

Those serving between two months and a year of service require a month notice, thereafter the notice period extends to:  

  • 1-4 years of service equates to 2 month’s notice 
  • 4-6 years of service equates to 3 months’ notice 
  • 6-8 years of service equates to 4 months’ notice 
  • 8-10 years’ of service equates to 5 months’ notice 

After 10 years and beyond, 6-month notice is required.  

Retirement & pensions in Greece   

Pensions are delivered via a public scheme in Greece, which is non-earnings related (otherwise known as the national pension), and the contributory scheme.  

  • The National Pension is funded for by the State budget and is considered basic pension plan.  
  • Earnings-related pension works through contributions, and is calculate through years of insurance (equating to 40 years).  

Social Security

There are a number of supplementary benefits that, once eligible, those living in Greece can enjoy through the social security system. Depending on the employee’s insurance and particulars, they may be entitled for benefits from the IKA (Social Security Institute), including:  

  • Maternity  
  • Sickness pay  
  • Pension  
  • Disability  
  • Funeral allowance  

Employees are expected to contribute a part of payroll (28.56%) to fund social security, where employees contribute via their wages.  


Supplemental benefits

Basic Health Insurance

After meeting the basic eligibility, which requires workers to complete 50 days of service within the past 15 months, employees can receive basic health and dental under social security.  

Housing Allowance  

This is a rent benefit payable to those over the age of 65+, and who either live alone or with their spouses, including:  

  • Do not own a house or property 
  • Lack a stable source of income within Greece  
  • Are financially unstable  

Social Solidarity Income (SSI) 

This is a benefit payable to those living in regions or households identified as poverty-stricken. This describes  a combination of benefits, including cash (as income) and further social benefits.  

Hiring in Greece

Why Partner With IRIS?

When entering new, exciting countries like Greece you will need an employment specialist to navigate the parts of local laws that are mandatory and those that are not. Delivering a compliant solution, IRIS can help your business arrive into new marketplaces whilst protecting your workforce – our partners can discover power and protectioHR n through us.  

Overseas expansions can seem risky to those who dare it alone. Understanding the complexity of a fully compliant solution, IRIS can help businesses reach Greece.   

Our cost-effective, knowledgeable approach to HR in Greece makes us an ideal partner to commence your overseas plans.