At Work in Athens

Work Usage in Athens

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In Greece there is a distinction between statutory working hours and contractual working hours. Statutory working hours are fixed according to public policy; contractual working hours are set by collective agreement, individual contract of employment, works rules or company practice.

For more information about Greek labour laws consult:

As a condition to employment you have to be in possession of an AFM (tax number). Once you’ve been offered work and a proper contract, you must then take this contract and a number of other documents to the local municipality and apply for a work permit.

As a non-EU citizen it is necessary to obtain a work contract and then apply for a work visa before entering Greece, or alternatively ask your employer to sponsor your resident/work permit. This is difficult since employers must be able to prove that there are no Greek or EU citizens qualified to fill the position in question.

The Ministry of Employment and Social Protection is responsible for employment and labour issues (in Greek only):

Once you’ve been hired for a job in Greece it’s important to get a signed personal job contract from your employer. If you’re in serious doubt about some terms and passages consider getting advice from a lawyer. In any case pay attention to the following:

  • The employer's identity - the person who signs the contract should be the same person you are working for.
  • Clear definition of what your job will involve.
  • Working hours: overtime is regulated by EU labour laws but it’s best if this is clarified in the contract.
  • Transportation/cellular phone: what will you have to cover yourself, what will your employer offer?
  • Salary - When is it paid? If your salary is to be a combination of base pay and commission the figures should be clearly indicated.
  • Annual leave and sick leave provisions
  • Duration of the contract: how much notice must you give if you want to resign? How much advance notice must they give you? Try to make an arrangement that benefits you.
  • Unemployment compensation: should you be dismissed, what compensation will you be entitled to?
  • Secrecy: in certain fields you may be asked to sign a form promising that you will adhere to secrecy. Make sure this does not apply to any information you had attained previously, or information that has become accessible to the general public, information that you have received from a third party, or information that you have received as required by the authorities (for instance a court of law). In addition, the duration of time within which you will be required to adhere to this secrecy should be specified.

Try to make sure that general statements such as "as is typical in this line of work" or "as is commonly accepted" or "subject to the employer's judgment" are avoided since they are unclear and reduce the employer's obligations to a minimum.

Update 31/12/2008


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