Greece Country Guide 2023
Greece is a county in Southeast Europe with amazing weather, a moderate pace of life and an abundance of ancient historic monuments. People in Greece are very family oriented and easy-going, and tend to live healthy lifestyles.
The quality of medical care is excellent (if generally steeped in bureaucracy), and Greece is one of the safest countries in Europe; accommodation is plentiful, and there is a large amount of public transport. Employment opportunities are not as widespread as in some other countries, and knowledge of the Greek language is often a requirement, but salaries are not too low and cost of living is affordable if not living in the tourist areas.
- Capital: Athens
- Spoken Languages: Greek
- Currency: Euro (EUR)
- Minimum monthly wage: EUR 773.50 (Gross)
Citizens of EU/EFTA Member States and Switzerland can enter Greece with an identity card or a valid passport; other foreign citizens may enter with a valid Schengen visa.
Work Permit / Residence Permit
Citizens of EU/EFTA Member States and Switzerland can live and work without a work or residence permit in Greece.
Other foreign nationals must acquire a Long-Stay Visa that is valid for at least a year, and then apply for a Residence/Work Permit. The visa application is done by the employee at a local Greek Embassy or consulate, and the requirements include health insurance, flights and accommodation. Once the visa is received, the individual can enter Greece and begin the application for the work permit.
Before applying for a residence/work permit, individuals must obtain a tax identification number (AFM) from the local tax office, as well as a Social Security Number from the Social Security Institute (AMKA). The application for the permit can be done online either by the employer or the employee themselves, within a few days of their arrival. After the application, the individual must pass an interview at the local police station in their district and submit any required documents. Once the Work/Residence permit is approved, the individual may start working in Greece.
Social Security Registration
Registration to Social Security is done before applying for a work visa (see Work Permit/Residence Permit above).
A standard working week in Greece is 8 hours/day, or 40 hours/week. The average weekly working hours, including overtime, may not exceed 48 hours, and the maximum allowed daily working time is 12 hours. Employees are entitled to a 40% premium over the regular rate of pay for overtime work for each hour of overtime, up to 3 hours daily and up to 150 hours per year.
- 01 January (New Year’s Day)
- 06 January (Epiphany)
- Clean Monday (Not a standard date, 48 days before Easter)
- 25 March (Greek Independence Day)
- Good Friday (Not a standard date, usually March/April)
- Easter Monday (Not a standard date, usually March/April)
- 01 May (Protomagia – Labour Day)
- Whit Monday (Not a standard date, 50 days after Easter)
- 15 August (Assumption Day)
- 28 October (Ochi Day – National Anniversary)
- 25 December (Christmas Day)
- 26 December (Synaxis of the Mother of God)
Full-time employees working in Greece are entitled to 20 days of annual leave a year. This extends to 21 days after 1 year of employment, and 22 days after 2 years of employment.
The amount of paid sick leave provided to individuals working in Greece is dependent on their years of service, as long as they can provide an official medial certificate.
|Length of Employment||Sick Leave|
|< 1 Year||1 Month, paid 50% of regular monthly salary.|
|1 – 4 Years||1 Month|
|4 – 10 Years||3 Months|
|10 – 15 Years||4 Months|
|15 Years +||6 Months|
Maternity / Paternity leave
- Maternity: 119 calendar days; 56 days before estimated date of birth, 63 days after birth. This leave is fully paid provided the mother has accumulated at least 200 days of insurance in the last two years preceding the expected or actual date of birth.
- Paternity: 2 days of paid leave after the date of birth.
Termination & Severance
After termination of employment, if the contract was open-ended, the employee is entitles to severance pay based on the length of the employment.
The severance pay is doubled if the termination was on the side of the employer, and they did not comply with the statutory period of notice.
|Length of Employment||Severance Pay|
|Up to 1 year||0|
|Above 1 and until 4 years||1 months’ salary|
|Above 4 and until 6 years||1.5 months’ salary|
|Above 6 and until 8 years||2 months’ salary|
|Above 8 and until 10 years||2.5 months’ salary|
|Above 10 and until 11 years||3 months’ salary|
|Above 11 and until 12 years||3.5 months’ salary|
|Above 12 and until 13 years||4 months’ salary|
|Above 13 and until 14 years||4.5 months’ salary|
|Above 14 and until 15 years||5 months’ salary|
|Above 15 and until 16 years||5.5 months’ salary|
|Over 16 years||6 month’s salary|
The notice period in Greece is dependent on the length of service.
|Length of Employment||Notice Period|
|Up to 12 months||No notice|
|Above 1 and until 2 years||1 month|
|Above 2 and until 5 years||2 months|
|Above 5 and until 10 years||3 months|
|Above 10 years||4 months|
Employee social insurance contributions are deducted automatically from the wage, while employer contributions are paid by the employers themselves.
|Category||Employer (%)||Employee (%)|
|Primary social security fund (EFKA)||22.54%||14.12%|
The maximum monthly insurable earnings on which social contributions are due is EUR 6,630.
Pensions in Greece are covered by Social Security, and everyone is eligible provided they have made at least 15 year’s worth of contributions.
Taxation in Greece
The Greek fiscal year runs from January 1 to December 31.
The following progressive rates apply for 2022
|Taxable Income (EUR)||Total Rate (%)|
|0 – 10,000||9%|
|10,001 – 20,000||22%|
|20,001 – 30,000||28%|
|30,001 – 40,000||36%|
The annual income tax return must be filed electronically by 30 June for the previous tax year.
Greece has tax treaties with multiple other countries, which can reduce payable tax on certain incomes.
If an individual is a Greek tax resident and also pays income tax abroad, a part of the tax from abroad is deductible from Greek tax provided the individual submits the foreign income tax return document; the amount that is deductible cannot exceed the amount that the income would have been taxed for in Greece.
Greece’s National Health System (ESY) provides mostly free healthcare to all residents in Greece, even foreigners, if they pay social security contributions. Private health insurance cover is also available.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Greece is relatively cheap compared to the rest of Europe. The estimated monthly cost for a single person is around EUR 1,000 – 1,300, with 400-700 going to rent, depending on the location.
How We Can Help
We provide a full set of services in Greece allowing corporate clients, recruitment agencies and professional contractors to operate in an optimal manner while ensuring that all local employment obligations are taken care of.
Access Financial offers the following solution in Greece:
- Self-Employed Solution
If you would like to discuss how Access Financial can help in Greece, please contact us.
WE HAVE PREPARED THIS AS A GUIDE ONLY; IT DOES NOT FORM PART OF AN OFFER. PLEASE REQUEST ILLUSTRATIONS BASED ON YOUR SPECIFIC CASE FROM ONE OF OUR SOLUTION MANAGERS.