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Termination

Notice

Are employers required to give notice of termination?

A written termination notice is always required.

For indefinite terms of employment less than 12 months, no prior notice applies and no redundancy compensation is due.

For employment over 12 months, an employer must give written notice, which takes effect the next day (no prior notice). An employer also has the option to give the prior notice stated by the law, varying from one months’ notice for employment up to two years and up to four months’ notice for an employment of 10 or more years, in which case he or she must pay half of the severance compensation due.

Redundancies

What are the rules that govern redundancy procedures?

Termination must strictly adhere to all formalities stated by the law. It must be made by the employer personally (or by an authorised representative) and at the same time, notice thereof must be given in writing and payment of severance compensation must be offered. The termination must be notified to the competent authorities within eight days.

The severance compensation varies from two months’ salary for employment up to two years, up to 12 months’ salary for employment of 16 years. If the employer gives prior notice (as per above) the above amounts of compensation are limited to one half.

Fixed-term employment can be terminated by the employer only on grounds of grave cause relating to the employee’s competence.

Are there particular rules for collective redundancies/mass layoffs?

Before the recent reform introduced by Law 4472/2017, the key characteristic of the rules for collective redundancies was the decisive intervention by the administration. Under the new provisions, the competent authority is no longer entitled to oppose and disapprove an employer's layoff plan, in case employer-employee consultations have not reached an agreement. However, its role is limited to determining whether an employer has complied with the obligation to inform, consult and notify the authority of all necessary documents and to extend the consultation period. During consultations, an employer may (but is not obliged) to propose a social plan with financial measures to address the impact of the layoffs.  

Protections

What protections do employees have on dismissal?

While the termination of an indefinite term employment can be made without grave cause, an employee can file an action in the competent court to request the annulment of the termination for abuse of employer rights, within three months as of the termination. Ιf the termination is declared null and void, the employer must pay default salaries. Αt the employee’s request, the court can order the employer to rehire the employee.

In addition to the above, under the laws against discrimination set out in Law 4443/2016, employees are protected against dismissal as a reaction to a complaint or to any legal proceedings aimed at enforcing compliance with the principle of equal treatment.

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