Expand your organization into Greece, with or without a Greek entity
Greece is a stunning Mediterranean country with a huge mix of cultures, a fascinating ancient history, and a prominent place in the European Union. While Greece’s economic woes may have been widely reported in the early 21st Century, the country has managed to make great progress and its economy is in a much better state now than just a few years ago.
If your organization is contemplating a move to expand in Greece, then it is important to understand that doing business can be slow. The country has a very relaxed culture, and this can spill over into business, so administrative procedures can take significantly longer than expected and delays to your expansion of weeks or even months are possible.
A popular way of bypassing the complex administrative procedures is to outsource to a global professional employer organization (PEO). At New Horizons, our tailored Greece PEO, employer of record, and payroll services are designed specifically to help organizations of all kinds expand abroad faster and more efficiently, including into Greece.
Our in-house recruitment team can also find, recruit, and onboard your local employees, and take care of any ongoing HR administration. Our team will provide everything you need to expand into Greece more efficiently, potentially saving you thousands of Euros in expansion costs.
Why choose New Horizons for your Greece expansion
New Horizons enables your business to expand its operations into Greece, without having to set up a legal subsidiary.
Employment & Labor Laws in Greece
Employment contracts in Greece
While written contracts of employment are not technically required, we strongly recommend that you do always provide them to your employees in Greece. These contracts should cover any and all important details of the employee/employer relationship, such as salary/wage, vacation leave, sick leave, termination terms, and so on. It should be written in the Greek language and use the Greek currency of the Euro.
By partnering with our Greece PEO, New Horizons’ team of local experts can provide assistance for drafting strong employment contracts that are compliant with local regulations.
Working hours in Greece
The standard working week in Greece is 40 hours, with eight hour days and generally from Monday to Friday.
Public holidays in Greece
Greece has 12 nationally recognized public holidays, which workers usually receive off work. The following days are commonly offered by employers:
New Year’s Day
The Three Holy Hierarchs
25th of March (national holiday), Annunciation of the Lord
Orthodox Good Friday
Orthodox Easter Sunday
Orthodox Easter Monday
Labor Day / May Day
Orthodox Holy Spirit Sunday
Orthodox Holy Spirit Monday
The Restoration of Democracy
Dormition of the Holy Virgin
The Ochi day
Armed Forces Day
Synaxis of the Mother of God
Vacation leave in Greece
Employees in Greece build up their vacation leave throughout the first year with an employer. Those working a five-day week receive 20 days of vacation (or 24 days for those working six-day weeks). For employees who have been with an employer for over one year, the minimum allowance is the full 20 (or 24) days. Employers then receive an extra day of vacation leave for year two, and another for year three. After ten years with an employer, workers are entitled to 25 days (or 30 days for those working six-day weeks).
Sick leave in Greece
Employees who are on leave through sickness are entitled to three days at 50% of normal wages. From the fourth day onwards, absent employees are compensated by the state.
Parental leave in Greece
Mothers in Greece are usually able to take 17 weeks of paid maternal leave. Eight weeks can be taken prior to childbirth and nine weeks after. Male employees can take two days of paternal leave. After childbirth, parents can usually shorten their workday by one hour for 30 months.
Terminations and severance in Greece
Employers in Greece must provide notice for terminations of indefinite-term employment contracts. The length of notice depends on the length of employment. In general:
- Between two month and one year with an employer = One month of notice
- Between one and four years = Two months
- Between four and six years = Three months
- Between six and eight years = Four months
- Between eight and ten years = Five months
- Over ten years = six months (and one extra month for every year up to a maximum of 24 months)
Severance pay equaling around 50% of the notice period is normal.
Navigating employee terminations and handling severance packages can be complicated for companies expanding overseas for the first time. New Horizons’ Greece PEO can mitigate risk for foreign companies and provide guidance through this process.
Taxation in Greece
Employers and employees must both pay a percentage of salaries to social security, at a rate of 28.56% and 16.5% respectively.
Health coverage in Greece
Employees are entitled to free state healthcare after working 50 days in a 15-month period.
Greece compensations & benefits
Compensation laws in Greece
The minimum wage in Greece is €758.3 per month.
Benefits management in Greece
Setting up a benefits system for your employees in Greece can be difficult to navigate, especially if you are unfamiliar with the country and its laws. If you want to tackle the setup independently, you can expect it to take several weeks and potentially cause delays to your expansion process.
Alternatively, you could use a payroll outsourcing firm to handle your Greek PEO & payroll. At New Horizons, our Greece payroll experts can set up and manage your benefits system for you, freeing you to focus on your successful expansion.