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Employment Contracts

Employment contracts are regulated by articles 648 to 680 of the Civil Code and other special labor laws. Pursuant to article 648 of the Civil Code, an employment contract is the written or oral contract based on which  the employee is obliged to provide, for definite or indefinite time, his  work to the employer, who is obliged  to pay the agreed salary.

A definite term employment contract exists when definite work time has been agreed expressly or impliedly or when obviously results from the kind or the nature of work for which the employee has been employed. In cases where the employee remains  at  work with the employer’s consent and after the end of the employment contract, then it is considered to be implicitly renewed. A prerequisite for the implied renewal of an employment contract is that the  work continues  to be provided under the same conditions; otherwise it is considered to be a new employment contract. The contract for the execution of a fixed project, as well as the contract   by which the employer hires an employee either for emergency needs, or for the replacement of an employee, who is absent  due to illness, shall both be treated as a definite term contract. The definite term contract expires after the lapse of the time for which it is concluded or when the work for which it was concluded is performed.  Therefore, no termination or compensation is so required.

An indefinite term  employment contract exists when time is not determined and is deducted by the kind and purpose of  the contract. An indefinite term  employment contract  only ends when terminated by  the employer or employee. Pursuant to article 672 of the Civil Code “both contracting parties have the right to terminate the contract on an serious ground, before the end of its term. This right cannot be excluded by agreement”.

Trial Employment

Dependent work relationship exists in cases where the employer wishes to hire an employee at  business to test his skills. The trial employment appears in the following forms:

a) as a definite term employment contract, by which the termination of the contract  is concluded ipso jure upon termination of the trial period

b) as an  indefinite term employment contract.  This contract during the trial period is under the subsequent condition that it will be in force until termination by the employer due to unfitness of the employee for the job

Special Collective Employment Agreement

Article 13 of Law 3899/2010 taking into consideration the necessity of adjustment of business to the market conditions, aiming at the creation or the maintenance  of job positions, as well as at the improvement of businesses’ productivity and competitiveness, provides for the Special Collective Employment Agreement. The salary and working conditions in this contract may deviate from the respective conditions provided by the  sector collective employment contract, but not in a lower lever than the ones provided by the National Collective Employment Contract.

Various issues,  concerning the business, may be regulated through the Special Collective Employment Agreement, such as salaries, number of job positions, terms and conditions of part-time employment , rotation work etc. It can be drawn up by an employer, who employs even less than fifty employees and the respective business union, or the respective sectional union or federation, in case of absence of a business union.


The procedure for the conclusion of the Special Collective Employment Agreement is strict and it may not be put into force unless it abides by all legal provisions. The role and the mediation of Labor Commissioner’s office is decisive for the protection of the employees.

Firstly, one of the two parties has to communicate the need for drafting a contract to the other party with an invitation for discussion. At the same time, the invitation shall be communicated to Labor Commissioner’s officer. Then, a series of discussions and negotiations follows in order for the contract to be concluded in every detail, by showing the necessity of concluding the contract and all its details. The terms of the contract are defined by the employer and the employees within the framework of the business and are valid for the period of time provided by the  contract itself.

The parties after having reached to an agreement upon both the necessity of the contract and the issues to be regulated, submit jointly, in written and electronic form, an explanatory report, supported by reasons which justify their intention to establish the special collective work agreement to the Council of Social Work Inspection, which shall in turn draft an opinion on whereas the contract should be drafted within a deadline of 20 days; upon lapse of the 20-day period it is presumed that the contract has been granted. Any extension thereof shall be agreed following the same procedure here above.

The contract is in writing in three originals, signed by the parties’ representatives.  One of the originals shall be filed by the authorized representative to the competent Labor Commissioner’s office of the Prefecture where the contract was drawn up. In the letter of agreement the contracting parties must be stated, the representatives thereof, the date of training, as well as the scope and its duration.

The Special Collective Employment Agreement is put into force upon signature. Any publicity formalities are respected and a respective file is kept at the Labor Commissioner’s Office at the district where the contract was drawn up.  The agency will give copies of the contracts to any interested party, upon request.

In the event of breach of any term provided by the law on the conclusion of the Special Operations collective agreements, the contract is declared void and in the event of termination of the contract, any severance pay is then calculated based upon the  earnings of the relevant sectional collective agreement.

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