Grow your team in Greece
Benefits of hiring in Greece
Greece has remained the global leader in maritime transport and shipping, according to the 2021 annual report by the Union of Greek Shipowners. With a fleet of nearly 5,000 vessels, Greece remains the backbone of shipping for the European Union (EU). Behind Greece are Japan, China, Singapore, and Hong Kong, which altogether represent more than half of the world’s overseas shipping capacity.
Greece receives significant financial support from the EU. In the most recent EU economic adjustment program, Greece received €61.9 billion of financial assistance from the European Stability Mechanism, out of a total program amount of up to €86 billion.
Greece’s international reputation took a hit after the European debt crisis, which plagued the first half of the last decade. The COVID-19 pandemic has cast Greece in a new light. As reported by the European Commission’s 2022 Greece Enhanced Surveillance Report, it battled the pandemic far more effectively than the rest of the EU with fewer cases, fewer deaths, and a lower negative impact on its economy.
As reported by BNP PARIBAS, Greece has a rapidly improving business climate. Foreign direct investment in the country has firmly risen since 2016 and strongly rebounded after the 2020 pandemic. Although fragile, the banking sector is improving with the government’s asset protection plan, which was due to expire in early 2021 but was extended to the end of 2022 on account of its success.
Foreign direct investment in the country has firmly risen since 2016 and strongly rebounded after the 2020 pandemic.
Challenges of hiring in Greece
BNP PARIBAS shares that Greece still feels the consequences of the 2008 and 2011 crises. Its economic size continues to be significantly smaller than it was 15 years ago, youth unemployment remains excessively high, and investment, as a share of GDP, is the lowest in Europe.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development details that Greece’s economy would benefit from diversification as it is overwhelmingly dependent on tourism, with high public debt and low labor participation.
A cumbersome, paper-based bureaucracy and judicial system have been cited as a major and longstanding constraint to the conduct of profitable business in Greece by the European Parliament. An EOR in Greece helps you navigate strict rules and regulations so your business can thrive.
Greece’s economic size continues to be smaller than it was 15 years ago, youth unemployment remains excessively high, and investment, as a share of GDP, is the lowest in Europe.
Cultural nuances of doing business in Greece
First impressions are highly important, and they influence business relationships with Greek colleagues, as personal relationships are highly valued.
Building strong, long-lasting relationships is vital for business. Personal contacts and networks represented by trust, loyalty, and strong personal bonds expedite business operations. Personal networks open doors and solve issues that would otherwise be difficult to settle when doing business in Greece.
Being a deeply family-oriented culture, the Greek business community is distinguished by family-owned companies.
Business arrangements in Greece are mainly hierarchical with a top-down structure.
Greeks prefer face-to-face communication over telephone or written communication.
In general, maintaining eye contact is central to Greek communication, and it has been measured as the strongest in Europe.
Greeks often interrupt while others speak as a way to show excitement and appreciation for the conversation. It’s a common aspect of Greek communication, and there are no ill-mannered or ungracious tones attached.
It is recommended to avoid geopolitical issues for discussion concerning the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia or Cyprus when doing business in Greece.
Being a deeply family-oriented culture, the Greek business community is distinguished by family-owned companies.
Hiring in Greece
Employment agreements in Greece
In accordance with Greek Decree No. 156/1994, transposing Council Directive 91/533/EEC, employees are required to be informed in writing of the key terms and conditions of employment, specifically:
- Employer and employee identification information
- The place of work and the employer’s registered address
- The job position, grade, and work objective
- Start date and the duration of the employment contract, if fixed-term
- Annual leave duration and the manner in which it will be granted
- Applicable notice period and severance pay in the event of termination
- Salary and payment date
- Daily and weekly working time
- If applicable, reference to the collective labor agreement, which determines employment terms
Probationary periods in Greece
Greece has a statutory probationary period of 12 months, where employers may terminate the employment contract without notice and severance pay.
Easily navigate payroll laws, contributions, and requirements in Greece
Greek tax residents pay taxes on their worldwide income. Non-tax residents only pay taxes for income earned in Greece.
The payroll cycle is generally monthly. Salary payments are made toward the end of the month.
The average weekly working hours are 40 hours, eight hours per day for a five-day week, and six hours and 40 minutes per day for a six-day week.
Taxes and social security in Greece
An individual that is present in Greece for a period exceeding 183 days is considered a Greek tax resident.
Greek tax residents are required to pay taxes to the Greek authorities based on their worldwide income. Non-tax residents only pay taxes for income earned in Greece.
Tax thresholds in Greece
As of 2022, the Greek income tax code provides for the following categories:
- €0 – €20,000: 22%
- €20,001 – €30,000: 29%
- €30,001 – €40,000: 37%
- €40,001 and above: 45%
The corporate income tax rate in Greece is 22%.
The contribution rate on an employee’s income is a total of 40.06%. The employee’s contribution is 15.5% and the employer’s contribution is 24.56%, where the employer withholds and pays the contributions to the Greek Social Security system.
Health insurance in Greece
In order to have access to health insurance benefits in Greece, individuals are required to have paid insurance contributions corresponding to at least 50 days of employment during the year preceding the illness.
Periods of health insurance contributed in any other EU country, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland can be counted as insurance periods covered in Greece. This also applies to individuals covered under the Withdrawal Agreement between the United Kingdom and the EU.
The healthcare benefits include medical care, hospital care, preventative dental care and dental treatment, physiotherapy and rehabilitation, medicine, transport to public hospitals, and treatment aids.
Pension in Greece
To be entitled to receive a full retirement pension in Greece, individuals are required to be at least 62 years old and accumulate 40 years’ worth of insurance contributions into the Greek Social Security system. The pension is granted on a monthly basis.
Leave entitlements in Greece
Annual leave in Greece
For each calendar year, employees on a five-day working week receive a statutory allowance of 20 to 26 days of leave, whereas employees on a six-day working week are entitled to 24 to 31 days, depending on their years of service. Increased annual leave may be authorized by legislation, such as due to employees with disabilities or collective labor agreements.
Parental and maternity leave in Greece
Maternity leave in Greece is 17 weeks: eight weeks before childbirth and nine weeks afterward. Maternity benefit includes a minimum of two-thirds of the mother’s earnings during maternity leave.
Paternity leave is two days in Greece, and fathers are entitled to their full wage by their employer during their leave.
Sick leave in Greece
Pursuant to Article 5, paragraph 3 of Law No. 2112/1920, short-term sick leave in Greece is considered an absence that lasts up to:
- One month for employees with up to four years of service
- Three months for employees with four to 10 years of service
- Four months for employees with 10 to 15 years of service
- Six months for employees with more than 15 years of service
Sick pay lasts up to:
- 15 days’ pay with half salary if the employee has worked for the employer between 10 days and one year
- One month’s salary if the employee has worked for the employer for one year
Regional and national holidays in Greece
Greece has 14 public holidays in a calendar year, which are not included in the minimum paid leave entitlement but are taken in addition to annual leave. The following are national holidays in Greece:
- New Year’s Day (January 1)
- Epiphany (January 6)
- Orthodox Ash Monday (March, the specific day fluctuates each year)
- Independence Day (March 25)
- Orthodox Good Friday (April or May, the specific day fluctuates each year)
- Labor Day (May 1)
- Orthodox Easter Sunday (April or May, the specific day fluctuates each year)
- Orthodox Easter Monday (April or May, the specific day fluctuates each year)
- Orthodox Whit Sunday (June, the specific day fluctuates each year)
- Orthodox Whit Monday (June, the specific day fluctuates each year)
- Assumption Day (August 15)
- Ochi Day (October 28)
- Christmas Day (December 25)
- 2nd Day of Christmas (December 26)
Employment benefits in Greece
The Greek government has a comprehensive welfare system that provides various social insurance and assistance programs to its permanent residents. The Greek Social Security system provides the following programs from employee contributions: universal healthcare, parental leave and birth benefits, family allowance, sickness and accident benefits, disability benefits, retirement pensions, survivor’s benefits and funeral allowance, unemployment benefits, and guaranteed minimum income and housing benefits.
Termination and notice period in Greece
Notice periods in Greece depend on an employee’s duration of employment. The notice periods are as follows:
- Up to 12 months of employment: no notice is necessary
- Between one year to two years of employment: one month’s notice
- Between two years to five years of employment: two month’s notice
- Between five years to 10 years of employment: three month’s notice
- More than 10 years of employment: four month’s notice
Employers must have a valid reason to terminate an employment contract.
Statutory severance pay varies depending on an employee’s duration of employment.
What is an employer of record in Greece?
An employer of record (EOR) in Greece is a third-party organization that becomes the full legal employer of your in-country workforce. The EOR compliantly handles employer-related responsibilities like onboarding, pay, and benefits while enabling you to continue managing the day-to-day operations of your team.
How does an employer of record in Greece help hire talent?
An EOR enables you to hire in Greece without going through the complexities and restrictions of setting up a legal entity. As an EOR, Velocity Global acts as the legal employer, hiring your new team members through local, compliant employment contracts—you get back the time and flexibility to focus on your growing business.
Can an employer of record run payroll in Greece?
When you work with Velocity Global’s EOR solution in Greece, our experts compliantly handle all payroll and benefits for each of your team members in the country.
Get a global perspective with our resources
What Is an Employer of Record? A Complete Guide for Global Employers
The Complete Guide to Employee Cost: How to Calculate the Cost of an Employee
Rise Above Economic Uncertainty
Click on the countries below to learn more about a new market.