• Insights

3 year-end tips for employers in Greece

Written by
KREMALIS LAW FIRM, offering full service for employment matters in Greece.
What’s on the ‘to do’ list for employers in Greece before the end of 2019? 

Annual leave and annual leave allowance

According to Greek legislation, employees should take all their annual leave by the end of year. Transferring annual leave days to the next year is not permissible and any agreement between employee and employer for deferring leave is invalid. This means the employer might face fines if it does not give employees the opportunity to take annual leave on time. By 31 December, all employees should have taken their annual leave days and their annual leave allowance. If the employer denies an employee the opportunity to take his or her annual leave days, then the employer will be obliged to pay the employee compensation for not having been able to take his or her annual leave days: the compensation is double the remuneration to which the employee would have been entitled if he or she had taken the annual leave days. During leave, an employee is entitled to the remuneration he or she would have received if he or she had worked full time. These earnings include all monthly allowances and surcharges paid. He or she is also entitled to a leave allowance equal to the pay for the days of leave, up to a maximum of half of salary or 13 daily wages.

Christmas bonus

Employers should pay all employees their Christmas Bonus (fourteenth salary). The Christmas Bonus is equal to one month’s salary with an increase corresponding to a percentage of the annual leave allowance. The Christmas Bonus is always proportionate to the days that the employee has actually worked during the period 1 May to 31 December. An employee is only entitled to a whole Christmas bonus and not to a proportion of it if his or her employment contract has lasted from 1 May until 31 December . Christmas bonus is payable on 21 December of each year.

Store opening hours in the festive period

Storeowners should arrange their employees’ shifts during the festive period of this year lasting from 12 December 2019 until 31 December 2019. During this period, stores and other commercial undertakings will be open, including on Saturdays and Sundays for specific hours. Employers should arrange for the required shifts, notifying the Ministry of Labour’s electronic platform, ERGANI, on time, otherwise fines may be imposed in the event of inspections. 25 and 26 December are public holidays (although not for all commercial undertakings and specialties).

Korina Paschaliori
Senior Associate - Greece