Being informed about your rights and obligations as a worker is very important. Read this article to avoid making mistakes, and you can protect yourself if needed.

The Employment Contract

An employment contract is a contract used in labor law to ensure rights and responsibilities between parties. The contract is between an "employee" and an "employer". The contract is the only way to claim your employment rights (including your salary, working hours and other benefits).

There are 2 types of contracts depending on the duration: The fixed term contract (duration is specified and agreed in advance) and the open-ended contract (with no time limit). There is also full-time employment (8 or 6 hours per day /40 hours per week) and part-time employment (less than 8 hours per day /less than 40 hours per week).

Working contracts might be written or oral, but in any case your employer must declare it to Ministry of Labour via Ergani. However, it is better to have a written contract, as an oral one might be difficult to enforce.

A valid written contract must be signed by both the employer and the employees (1 copy should be available for the employee). Before you sign a contract, it is very important to read it first and be sure that all information is included.

What does a contract usually include?

  • The full identity of the employer and the employee
  • The place of work
  • The duration of the employment contract
  • The duration of the regular daily and weekly employment
  • The kind of work that the employee will provide
  • The salary that will be paid for their services
  • All the kinds of remuneration the employee is entitled to
  • Any amendment to the terms of the employment contract

Undocumented work

Without an official contract with your employer, you cannot have access to: a) basic health and social insurance, b) the public employment organization (ΟΑΕΔ), c) other social welfare benefits (such as family benefits etc.) and d) you are not covered for any accident and illness expenses or maternity leave.

Conversion from fixed term to open-ended contract

The unrestricted renewal of successive fixed-term employment contracts is allowed only if justified by an objective reason. Successive are those fixed-term employment contracts or relationships drawn up between the employer and the worker on the same or similar employment terms and no period longer than forty-five (45) days intervening between them, including non-working days. An objective reason includes, in particular, if it is justified by the form or the type or the activity of the employer or the company or by special reasons or needs, provided that such elements result directly or indirectly from the relevant contract, such as the temporary replacement of an employee, the performance of tasks of a temporary nature, a temporarily increased workload, or the fixed term must be linked to education or training, or must have the purpose of facilitating a worker’s transition to comparable work or is taking place for the implementation of a specific project or programme, or is linked to a particular event or refers to the field of air transport companies and companies performing activities relating to the provision of airport ground and flight services.

In any event, the reasons justifying the renewal of the fixed-term employment contract or relationship must be indicated in the relevant agreement of the parties, which must be concluded in writing or be derived directly from it. In the absence of any objective reason and if the duration of successive fixed-term employment contracts or relationships exceeds three (3) years in total or if the number of renewals exceeds three (3) in number, regardless of the years of employment, it will be presumed that the employer intended to cover fixed and permanent needs of the company or enterprise with the consequence that they are converted into contracts or employment relationships of indefinite duration. The burden of proving otherwise in any case falls upon the employer.

Working Hours

A typical full-time job includes:

  • 40 hours for 5-day work (8 hours/day) or 40 hours for 6-day work (6 ½ hours/day). 40-48 hours is called overwork, and an extra 20% is added to the normal hourly wage for every additional hour.
  • 48+ and up to 120 hours (per year) is called overtime and is allowed only for specific activities that are considered to be urgent. An extra 40% is added to the normal hourly wage for every additional hour.
  • 120+ hours of overtime work per year are paid with the hourly wages, plus 60%.
  • Work on Sundays and official Holidays are entitled to an extra charge of 75% of the hourly wage, and work at night, to an extra 25%.

However, recent regulations have allowed employers in some companies to opt for longer daily shifts or extended work hours up to 48 per week. Particularly, Greece's new law allows employers in certain companies that offer 24/7 services and to companies which are not by their nature of continuous operation, but which may operate on Monday to Saturday for 24 hours, on a shift system (3shifts per day of 8 hours each), to require employees to work a sixth day. In return, employees receive an extra 40% of their daily wage on that day. For example, if a worker earns €100 daily, they could now earn an additional €40, increasing their weekly earnings from €500 to €640.

This law isn't mandatory, but if a company chooses to adopt it, it must apply consistently to all employees. Employers must inform employees at least 24 hours before any new shift starts, and no additional overtime beyond the allowed eight hours is permitted on the extra working day.

Employees are also allowed to work for two or more employers for up to 13 hours in total per day. In any case, according to the law, the weekly working time, including overtime, may not exceed an average of 48 hours per week over a period of four months. Notably, Greece's food and tourism sectors are excluded from this law, as they have traditionally operated under different regulations, as stated by the Athens Labour Unions Organization (EKA).


Payment is generally made after the work is performed. The usual is once a month, on the first days of each month. Common calculation of a salary (for a full-time job): 12 monthly instalments plus 1 salary as a Christmas bonus, ½ salary as an Easter Bonus, and ½ salary as a holiday bonus.

Minimum wage

If you are hired as an employee in Greece and work full time (40 h/5 days), the minimum wage starts from 706 euros per month. If you are a worker and you agree to get paid by the day, the minimum daily payment you can get starts from 29.62 euros.

In both cases, depending on your previous working experience in the same employer, the minimum monthly wage and minimum daily payment rise. After 2017 all employers have an obligation to deposit their wage and the daily payment in a bank account.

The above-mentioned amounts are before tax and social security deductions. This is called gross salary and is the one that is mentioned inside your contract. The salary you receive in your bank account is called net salary. To calculate your net salary, you can use this online tool.

Getting paid

Before you can get paid for work in Greece, you must get a bank account. Find out how to get a bank account.

Tax rate

The amount of tax you pay depends on:

  • Your monthly pay at your job
  • If you are married and if your spouse is employed
  • Other sources of income, including second jobs
  • Your assets
  • Other factors

The government automatically deducts your tax and social security contributions from your pay. Your full salary is shown in your contract and E3 (declaration of employment), but what comes to you is the net salary, which is the amount that remains after the government automatically deducts your tax and social security contributions from your pay. You can calculate your net salary here

Payroll Certificate / Pay slip

The Payroll Certificate is a document that is provided by the employer to the employee (usually at the end of every month or the beginning of the next) and indicates the gross amount of the salary, the taxes withheld, and the net amount of the salary. This must be signed by the employee and be kept as a copy.

Annual leave

The right to annual vacation and holidays is protected by Greek labor law. The days of leave you are entitled still depend on the duration (months) you have worked at the same employer. The following example is based on a full-time job:

  • 12 months of employment -> 20 days of vacation leave
  • Second year of employment -> 21 days of vacation leave
  • Third year or more -> 22 days of vacation leave
  • More than 10 years -> 25 days of vacation leave
  • The employer is obliged to grant the annual legal vacation to the employee before the termination of the year, even if the employee has not asked for it.

Sick leave

When you take leave because you are sick (sick leave), your employer must give you sick pay.

  • For the first three days, you are out sick, your employer must pay you at least half your regular daily pay.
  • If you are sick for more than three days, you must go through the Greek National Health System to get paid. Ask your human resources department for more information or you need to fill out a form (available also online) and complete the process to receive your salary for the days you have been absent.

Maternity Provision

Maternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to 17 weeks of maternity leave which is broken down to 8 weeks before the expected date of childbirth and 9 weeks thereafter. The leave is paid usually by the minimum wage. A working mother is entitled for a period of 30 months as of the end of maternity leave, either to come to work 1 hour later or depart 1 hour earlier each day.

Alternatively, you can agree with your employer to work for 2 hours less per day for the first 12 months and 1 hour less for the next 6 months or you can receive an approximately 3 months’ continuous paid leave.

Maternity allowance

For 119 days after birth. To get this, you need to have formally worked for 200 days in the last two years before childbirth and not be working when the allowance is paid.

Birth allowance

This allowance is provided only once. You must have worked for at least 50 days from March 1st of every year and for 12 months to receive this.

Find more about your rights as a mother here.

Ergosimo (Εργόσημο)

A type of payment and insurance for employees who are not employed in stable employer like housekeeping services, gardening, babysitting and transporting children, providing support to people with disabilities or the elderly or people with mobility difficulties, repairing that is not related to constructions, private lessons, beauty services, cleaning and gardening services of communal areas, distribution of commercial flyers and brochures promotion of facial and body products, promotion of consumer products.

Ergosimo is issued as a check and corresponds to a specific monetary value, not less than 5 euros, which includes the amount of the employee's remuneration and the amount of the EFKA contribution. The issue and redemption are done by the certified bodies (ELTA (post office), banks, KEP and EFKA departments). The Employer or his authorized representative is exclusively obliged to issue it. The trademark must be redeemed by the employee within four (4) months from the date of its issue.

Compensation in case of dismissal/when fired

  • No compensation is paid to the employee for less than 12 months of work.
  • Compensation is limited to the half sum if there is a release notice before
  • Within the compensation dismissal, the vacations payment is included
  • Compensation is always calculated and paid with the employee’s gross earnings

Dismissal is not allowed:

  • When the employee is on a regular leave
  • When the employee is on maternity leave
  • When the employee is pregnant
  • For 18 months after having given birth
  • For legitimate trade union action
  • Due to non-acceptance of an employer proposal to modify full-time employment to part or to occasional employment.
  • The dismissal is invalid if it is announced verbally to the employee or if the employer does not pay the compensation or does not reimburse it entirely.
  • In case of a fixed-term contract, this is automatically terminated on the last date of employment. The employer is not obliged to compensate the employee when leaving. However, a certificate of contract termination is given.

Health insurance

Once you have a job, you must get an National Insurance Number (AMA Number) by EFKA.

Learn more: Getting a National Insurance Registration Number (AMA)


Pensions in Greece are funded by workers’ and employers’ social security contributions.

Pensions depend on the number of working days (ensima/stamps). When you work full-time in Greece, you earn 25 ensima/stamps a month. These ensima/stamps are added up throughout your working life. When you reach the minimum retirement age and the minimum number of ensima/stamps, you can get your pension.

Your employer should keep track of your stamps for you.


Your employer must provide you with a signed “declaration of employment” form on your first day. If you don’t get one, ask. Your employer keeps a copy, and you keep a copy.

Your employer must stamp all your official documents with the company stamp.

If you have any more questions or are unsure about the information provided by your employer, please contact a lawyer or the Labour Inspection Corps.

How can I check if my employer has officially declared my contract?

Ergani is the digital platform of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs for employees. This platform registers all basic actions concerning employee-employer relations, including recruitment, departures, and employment contracts.

Through Ergani, you can check if your employer has registered your contract, verify whether the terms of the working contract have been declared as agreed, see the details of each employment relationship, view the employers you have worked for, and access all the declarations (forms) submitted by employers. To access Ergani, you will need your Taxisnet username and password.

The information on the platform can be searched through the below options:

  • My Employers: This option allows you to access all the employment relationships with the employers you have worked for, provided they have been registered in ERGANI. You can also view the latest recorded data of each employment relationship as recorded in ERGANI.
  • Declarations: This option lets you search all the declarations (forms) submitted to ERGANI by employers, classified into the following categories:
    - Start-End of Employment- Employment Changes
    - Employment
    - Change of Employment
    - Change of Employment Status
    - Special Employment Schemes
    - COVID-19 Measures
    - Other

How can I check if my employer pays my social insurance?

You can check how much social insurance your employer pays through Ergani, the digital platform of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs for employees, by using your Taxisnet username and password.

If you find out that your employer is paying for fewer days than they should, you can file a complaint with your local EFKA office. The website provides information only in Greek. To help you navigate, check this guide that outlines all the necessary steps.

Find more info: About National Insurance Stamps (Ensima) in Greece

What are my rights in case of a work accident?

A work accident is defined as an accident that occurs during your work or outside the place and time of work but is related to your job. Examples include accidents while commuting to or from work, performing a task in the interest of the employer, or suffering from a disease caused by working conditions.

In case of a work accident, your employer is obliged to declare it within 24 hours to the relevant Labour Inspectorate, the nearest police station, and the victim's insurance institution.

If you experience a work accident, you have the right to:

  • Medical and hospital care
  • Sickness allowance
  • Depending on the severity of the accident, you might also be entitled to a disability pension and compensation

What can I do if my working rights are violated?

The Hellenic Labour Inspectorate (SEPE) is an independent administrative authority responsible for ensuring the application of labor legislation. It inspects labor rights and the safety and health of workers.

You can contact the Hellenic Labour Inspectorate to report any violations of labor law provisions (e.g., working conditions, working time limits, payments or other benefits, equal treatment in employment, etc.) or to request information regarding labor provisions. For more information on the responsibilities of the Labour Inspectorate, please check here.

Please note that you can file a complaint anonymously. You can call 1555, register your complaint online, or visit the competent office of Labour Inspection. Here you can find all the ways of submitting a complaint. If you are not insured at all or if you are not fully insured, you can submit a report via e-EFKA online.

It is advised to photograph and record what happened, keep the names of any witnesses, and consult with a labor rights lawyer as soon as possible.


What can I do If I have a contract but am not paid?

File a complaint at the Hellenic Labor Inspectorate. Please check the procedure right above.

  • Claim your salaries through the court (be careful! There is a 6-month deadline)
  • If you have not been paid for at least 2 months – inform your employer formally that you will stop working until you receive payment ("epishesi ergasias" in Greek). In order to exercise your right to withhold your labour until you are paid, you must officially inform your employer by handing over to them an Extrajudicial Statement drafted by a lawyer and served by a court bailiff.  
  • Notify your employer that you consider yourself fired due to a unilateral detrimental change of working conditions and require compensation from the employer and an unemployment allowance from OAED. This also must be done officially by handing over an Extrajudicial Statement. 

What can I do if I am discriminated against at my workplace

You can file a complaint at:

  • The Hellenic Labor Inspectorate
  • The Greek Ombudsman (the national equality body with a mandate to combat discrimination and promote the principle of equal treatment irrespective of gender, racial or ethnic origin, family or social status, religion or belief, disability or chronic disease, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender characteristics)

In case there is evidence proving either a breach of equal treatment or anti-discrimination provisions, legal consequences are imposed.