Spotlight on Greece

Morning view of Oia Village in Santorini, Greece

A decade of structural reforms left Greece well-prepared to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, with the country’s economy recovering faster than many other European Union countries. Greece also recently implemented the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (dubbed Greece 2.0), an ambitious package of investments and reforms across key economic sectors. With prosperity and innovation on the horizon, multinational companies (MNCs) are increasingly turning to Greece for hiring and investment opportunities. 

Why Greece?

  • The Greece 2.0 initiative is projected to add 7 percentage points to the country’s economic growth over the next six years and create 200,000 new jobs. Greece is also targeting a 20% increase in foreign investment levels.
  • Greece has the second highest share of Masters and Ph.D. students in Europe with science, technology and engineering being particularly prevalent. 
  • The education system, thanks to the country’s large tourism footprint, prioritizes foreign languages. As a result, Greece has a large number of bilingual and multilingual speakers, with more than half of the population able to speak English. 
  • Since ancient times, Greece has served as a cross-road to Europe, Asia and Africa. This legacy lives on today, with many MNCs relying on Greece as an international hub for major global market access. 

What should MNCs keep in mind when first looking at Greece for hiring?

Before building a team in Greece, there are a few important principles a cross-border HR team will need to know because the regulations may be different than other jurisdictions they have worked in. 

For example, employees must be notified of employment terms within two months of the start of work. The notification must be provided in writing, taking the form of an employment contract or as just a written document detailing the basic terms. If notification is not properly provided in writing, the employer is subject to fines.

What are some of the payroll requirements employers in Greece should be aware of?

Employees in Greece are taxed anywhere from 9% to 44%, depending on their income bracket. The employer should expect to pay a 24.8% tax in addition to the employee’s salary. Greece also has three mandatory bonuses for employees, which altogether total two months’ salary.

Should MNCs know anything about employee leave in Greece? 

An employee’s time off in Greece is unique from most other countries. Statutory holiday time is determined by how long an employee has been in the workforce, rather than just the time with the current employee. 

What is the process for employee termination in Greece?

In order for a termination to be valid in Greece, the employer must provide written notice and make a severance payment. The severance amount will depend on the term of employment. Even when statutory severance is paid, the employer must have a valid reason to terminate the employment contract. If a valid reason is not presented, the employee may file a claim and the burden of proof will fall onto the employer. 

Is it likely that more MNCs will turn to Greece for global expansion?

Greece is rapidly attracting the interest of MNCs, with the country welcoming an impressive 72% increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2021 and recent data from EY suggesting the country’s attractiveness for cross-border investment will continue to rise in upcoming years. It is highly likely that more MNCs will look at Greece for global expansion, particularly for hiring needs. 

What are some of the challenges MNCs find when expanding into Greece? 

While Greece’s investment climate is promising, MNCs still face challenges in navigating the business landscape. Apart from having to establish a legal entity, the company’s HR and accounting teams must learn a new tax framework, labor laws, contract regulations, the role of labor unions and other operational provisions. 

How does the Employer of Record hiring model help MNCs?

Rather than setting up a local entity, MNCs often find the Employer of Record (EOR) hiring model to be a more agile solution for entering Greece. By partnering with an EOR like GoGlobal, the MNC dodges the arduous process of setting up a company and managing cross-border payroll. Simultaneously, they mitigate most of the risks, requirements and restrictions that typically come along with hiring in Greece – while still tapping into the country’s highly-developed, bilingual talent pool. 

What makes GoGlobal the ideal Employer of Record partner for MNCs in Greece?

If your company prides itself on offering a great employee experience in your home country, GoGlobal can help you bring it to Greece. We can onboard a new hire in as little as 24 hours!

Our EOR solution offers a proven track record of success in building fully compliant workforces in EU markets, with expertise on important regulatory compliance frameworks like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We embrace a global mindset but also have dedicated teams of local experts on the ground in each of the markets we serve. Not only does our dedicated team understand the “ins and outs” of Greece’s unique regulatory environment, they also know local business customs and culture. These factors help to promote a positive working arrangement for clients and client-employees alike.

What makes the GoGlobal experience unique?

Prior to onboarding the employee, GoGlobal’s team on the ground in Greece will work directly with the hired employee to outline the specifics of how the EOR arrangement will work. Even after we’ve onboarded the employee, that same dedicated team serves as the point of contact for both the client and client-employee. 

Our team is always ready to answer questions that come up regarding payroll, taxation or benefits. In serving our clients and client-employees, we aim to infuse the end-to-end global hiring process with agility, efficiency and peace of mind.

Find additional details on benefits and hiring in Greece, or contact us to talk with an international HR expert.