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Overview of Greece

Greece is located in the south-east of Europe. It is one of the sunniest places in all of Europe and is known for being the first democracy in the world. Surprisingly, Greece is made up of a lot of mountains as well as islands and a coastline of 16.000kms. The population is 10.72 million and 40% of the Greek population lives in the capital city of Athens. During the summer, there are more tourists in Greece than inhabitants. The official language is Greek and has been in use for over 5000 years. Greece is a member of the European Union and its currency is the Euro.

In Greek business culture, respect, honour and flexibility are important values. Hierarchies are vertical and status is normally based on age and position. Personal relationships play a large role and are preferred when conducting business. The first meeting is usually just to get to know one another and involves the introductions. Greeks invest a lot of time and effort into establishing their business relationships and maintaining them. Punctuality is approached with some flexibility and it is not uncommon for Greeks to have a 15-45 min delay.

Currency of Greece

  • Euro

Health Insurance and the Social Security system of Greece

The Greek Health Care System is a mixed system, with various social insurance funds coexisting with the National Health System. Health care in Greece is provided through national health insurance, although private health care is also an option.

As an employee, one contributes to the Social Insurance Institute (IKA) which oversees Greece’s social security. They enable free or low-cost healthcare. Emergency care is provided free of charge in public hospitals, no matter the nationality. Medical care by IKA-approved practitioners is usually free. Patients are required to pay about 25% of the cost of the prescription charged. Other benefits of Greek healthcare include free laboratory services, maternity care, medical-related appliances or devices and emergency transportation.

Employer cost of Greece

The cost for an employer to hire someone in Greece is 24.81% on top of the gross salary.

Salary and bonuses of Greece

n Greece, employees are usually paid monthly.

A 13th and 14th month bonus is paid out to all Greek workers. Half a months wage gets paid at Easter and the other half gets paid in Summer. A full months wage gets paid out at Christmas.

Public Holidays in Greece

In Greece, there are 12 public holidays.

  • January 1st – New Years Day
  • January 6th – Epiphany
  • 48 days to Easter – the first day of Lent
  • March 25th – Independence Day
  • 2 days before Easter – Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • May 1st – Labour Day
  • 50 days after Easter – Whit Monday
  • August 15th – Assumption Day
  • October 28th – Ochi Day
  • December 25th – Christmas
  • December 26th – 2nd Day of Christmas

Working Hours in Greece

Regular working hours in Greece are from 9am till 5:00pm. A work week is 40 hours long.

The maximum extra time one is allowed to work per day is 1 hour and is compensated with a rate of 120%. Overtime is allowed with a maximum of 2 hours per day and 120 hours per year. These are paid with a rate of 150% of the regular salary.

Vacation in Greece

In Greece, one receives 20 days of vacation if one has been employed for less than 10 years. If one has been employed for more than 10 years, one receives 25 days of vacation.

Sick Leave in Greece

When one is sick in Greece, one is entitled to about 50% of ones wages. The amount of the allowance is dependent on the wage one received in the last 30 days of the last year. After the 4th day of illness, employees are eligible for sick pay from the social insurances.

Termination/Severance in Greece

When terminating an employee in Greece, one has to have a valid reason. One also has to put the termination in writing and a compensation has to be paid for the termination to be valid.

A notice period must be adhered to when terminating an employee.

  • In the first 12 months, there is no notice period.
  • From 1 to 2 years, the notice period is 1 month.
  • From 2 to 5 years of employment, the notice period is 2 months.
  • From 6 to 10 years service, the notice period is 3 months and after 10 years of service it is 4 months.