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What are the requirements relating to advertising positions?

There are no specific requirements. Employers cannot advertise unlawful types of work or discriminatory grounds for non-recruitment.

Background checks

What can employers do with regard to background checks and inquiries in relation to the following:

(a) Criminal records?

Information relating to criminal prosecutions or convictions constitutes sensitive personal data. The processing of sensitive personal data is permitted in exceptional circumstances, where one or more of a series of conditions are satisfied. The most common legal way of processing criminal history data is when a candidate has provided their explicit consent. However, the general principles of personal data processing must be followed, which include:

  • lawfulness, fairness and transparency;
  • specified, explicit and legitimate purposes;
  • adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for processing;
  • accuracy;
  • storage limitation; and
  • integrity and confidentiality.

As the Directive of the Commissioner for the Protection of Personal Data for the Processing of Personal Data in the Field of Employment Relationships provides, an employer may collect and retain data concerning previous prosecutions or convictions of an employee (including candidates) only where this is absolutely necessary for purposes which are linked to the needs of an employment relationship (ie, when the duties of a particular position justify an employer choosing candidates who have not been previously prosecuted or convicted for particular offences which are relevant to the duties of the position in question) or to cases where this is required by national law. In such cases, the employer must inform the relevant data subjects before the collection of the relevant data about the purpose of such collection.

(b) Medical history?

Collection and processing of health data falls within the general framework of Article 9 of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (2016/679), which repealed the Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC) and is further clarified by the Directive of the Commissioner for the Protection of Personal Data for the Processing of Personal Data in the Field of Employment Relationships. Article 9 prohibits the processing of such data. Nevertheless, in certain circumstances processing is permitted on the grounds of certain lawful bases. The most common basis for such processing is if it is necessary for the assessment of the working capacity of the employee (Article 9(2)(h) of the GDPR and Paragraph 11.5(a) of the Directive of the Commissioner for the Protection of Personal Data).

A privacy notice must be provided to the employee stipulating that, within the context of the employment relationship, the employee is obliged to provide the employer with a medical report every ‘X’ months or years, which shall include ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ data, which the employer collects and processes in order to assess the working capacity of the employee (ie, stating the purpose and lawful basis for the processing of the data).

(c) Drug screening?

Drug screening is not directly covered in the GDPR. However, it falls into the category of medical information, which requires a lawful basis for collection and processing, as explained directly above. The employer must assess the necessity of collecting the data for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued against the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject. Some factors that employers should consider regarding the collection and processing of such data include:

  • the confidentiality and security of the information;
  • minimising the amount of health information stored;
  • the length of time for which the information is stored;
  • communication with employees regarding the information collected and the reasons for the collection; and
  • providing employees with access to their personal information.

(d) Credit checks?

Employers may collect and process credit data, provided that it is relevant, necessary and in compliance with the general principles of personal data processing within the context of employment relationships, which include:

  • lawfulness, fairness and transparency;
  • specified, explicit and legitimate purposes;
  • adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed;
  • accuracy;
  • storage limitation; and
  • integrity and confidentiality.

A credit history check, even with the candidate’s consent, is permitted in limited cases only (eg, for roles which involve the regular and direct handling of money or control over finances). The question of how far back an employer may look in relation to an individual’s credit history must be determined on a case-by-case basis, with reference to the general principles of data processing.

(e) Immigration status?

The employer may request the required right to work documents.

(f) Social media?

Generally, employers are not permitted to check a candidate’s social media account. However, if such screening is conducted by looking at a publicly available profile, this is not prohibited per se, unless a decision on non-recruitment is based on unlawful grounds of discrimination, by virtue of information extracted from such a profile (eg, not employing someone because the employer disagrees with a political opinion that the candidate has expressed on their social media account).

(g) Other?


Wages and working time


Is there a national minimum wage and, if so, what is it?

In general, wages are not regulated by law and can be negotiated by the employer and the employees (or their representatives) through individual or collective agreements.

However, for certain occupations, a minimum wage is set annually by order of the Ministerial Council and comes into force on 1 April of each year. The occupations covered by the minimum wage provisions are:

  • clerks;
  • shop assistants;
  • school assistants;
  • childcare workers; and
  • nursing assistants.

These employees are entitled to €870 per month, which increases to €924 after six months of continuous employment.

Security guards and cleaners of business or corporate premises are also covered by minimum wage provisions. The minimum wage for security guards has been revised to an hourly rate of €4.90, which is increased to $5.20 after six months of employment at the same employer, is increased to €5.20. The hourly rate of pay for newly recruited cleaners is €4.55, which is increased to $4.84 after six months of employment at the same employer.

Are there restrictions on working hours?

Section 7(1) of the Organisation of Working Time Law (L.63(I)/2002) provides that the number of working hours must not exceed 48 per week, including overtime, over a reference period of four months. However, in certain sectors (eg, the hotel industry) different limitations may apply.

Night workers should not, on average, exceed eight working hours per day within a period of one month or any other period specified in a contract. Night workers whose work is hazardous or physically or mentally demanding should not exceed eight hours of night work.

Hours and overtime

What are the requirements for meal and rest breaks?

Employees are entitled to a minimum of:

  • 11 continuous hours of rest per day;
  • 24 continuous hours of rest per week; and
  • either two rest periods of 24 continuous hours each or a minimum of 48 continuous hours within every 14-day period.

How should overtime be calculated?

Overtime pay is not regulated by law in Cyprus (except in the retail sector) and is usually a matter of negotiation between the employer and employees. However, in certain industries working time is regulated by specific legislation and regulations or by collective agreements.

What exemptions are there from overtime?

According to Section 7(4) of the Organisation of Working Time Law (L.63(I)/2002), the 48 hours’ maximum working week does not apply if:

  • the worker consents to perform the work concerned;
  • the worker is not subjected to any adverse consequences by their employer if they do not agree to perform such work;
  • the employer keeps up-to-date records of all workers engaged in such work;
  • the records are placed at the disposal of the competent authority, which may prohibit or restrict the possibility of exceeding the maximum weekly working hours for reasons of the health or safety of the workers; and
  • the employer provides the competent authority at its request with information regarding the consent of the workers.

Managing executives or other persons with autonomous decision-making powers, employed family members and employees in religious institutions are also exempt from any limitation on working hours.

Is there a minimum paid holiday entitlement?

The Annual Holidays With Pay Law (L.8/1967) provides that the minimum holiday entitlement per year is 20 working days for employees working five days per week and 24 working days for employees working six days per week, provided that the employee has already worked for at least 48 weeks within the year, which will be paid through the Central Holiday Fund to which each employer contributes 8%.

When employers opt to pay annual leave directly to employees and provide more beneficial terms, they are exempt from contributing to the Central Holiday Fund.

An employee is not entitled to paid annual leave if they have worked for less than 13 weeks in the year. If the employee has worked for more than 13 weeks, they are entitled to the pro-rata amount of holiday.

What are the rules applicable to final pay and deductions from wages?

All employees must be given all renumeration and benefits that they are entitled to, up to the effective date of termination. Pursuant to Section 10 of the Protection of Wages Law (Law 35(I)/2007), any deductions from employee wages are strictly prohibited, except for:

  • deductions provided for by law or regulation;
  • deductions in accordance with the rules of a pension scheme, provident fund or medical care fund;
  • deductions by order of a court;
  • deductions for damages in respect of a loss suffered by a business as a result of an intentional act or gross negligence of the employee concerned; and
  • other deductions, subject to the employee’s consent, and provided that the following conditions are satisfied:
    • Before any deduction from the wages for damages to the employer, consultations must take place with the employees’ representatives with a view, among others, to determining the amount of damages and the manner of payment of damages; in case there is no recognised machinery of representation of the employees at the level of the establishment, consultations must take place with the employee themselves.
    • Where the above-mentioned consultations do not result in a settlement, the dispute is referred to the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance for Mediation and, if no agreement is reached at the mediation stage, the ministry refers the dispute to the Labour Disputes Court.
    • Deductions from wages are limited to the extent that allows the employee to maintain themself and their family.

Employers in violation of Section 10 of the Protection of Wages Law can be prosecuted and issued with a fine of up to €15,000 and/or up to six months imprisonment.

Record keeping

What payroll and payment records must be maintained?

Ordinarily the payroll administrator must hold the following information relating to an employee:

  • full name;
  • social insurance number;
  • complete address;
  • date of birth;
  • sex;
  • occupation;
  • offer letter, contract of employment or appointment letter;
  • working hours and attendance records;
  • paid leave days;
  • regular pay rate;
  • overtime earnings;
  • other additions to wages (eg, bonus pay);
  • expense reimbursement forms and receipts;
  • payment records;
  • all documentation indicating and proving contributions and deductions; and

a certificate indicating the past year’s full earnings and contributions.

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