Act No. 2112/1920 of March 1920 "On the mandatory notification of termination of private sector employment contracts", as amended by Act No. 4487 of 2017 [in Greek only] Date: 29 Aug 2017; view website »
Royal Decree 16-18 July 1920 "On the extension of the application of Act 2112 to workers, technicians and servants, as amended in 1994 [in Greek only] Date: 1994; view website »
Act No. 3198/1955 of February 1995 amending and supplementing the termination of employment provisions, as last amended by Act 4254 of 2014 [in Greek only] Date: 2014; view website »
Presidential Decree 81/2003 - Provisions on employees working on the basis of a fixed-term contract as last amended by Presidential Decree 180/2004 [in Greek only] Date: 02 Apr 2003; view website »
Act No. 1387/1983 on collective dismissals, as last amended by Act 4472/2017 Date: 19 May 2017; view website »
Law No. 3986/2011 on Urgent Measures for the Implementation of the Medium Term Financial Framework 2012-2015 - [Special Solidarity Contribution to Natural Persons - Trade Fee] Date: 2011; view website »
Presidential Decree (PD) No. 180/2004 relating to 'regulations for fixed-term contract workers in the private sector' (amending PD No. 81/2003) Date: 2004; view website »
Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: No
The law does not require the employer to provide reasons to the employees when dismissing them. However, in the event of collective dismissal, the reasons for it shall be given to the workers' representatives (art. 3, Act 1387/1983).
Employers can draft a social plan, but they are not obliged to do so (Law No. 1387/1983, art. 3(4)). However, during consultation, the parties should cover ways to avoid or reduce the need for dismissals and to mitigate their adverse effects (Law No. 1337/1983, art. 3(1); Law No. 1387/1983, art. 3(4)).
Valid grounds (justified dismissal): none
- Contracts of an indefinite duration: No grounds are required. They can be terminated by either party, at any time, with notice or without notice (Act 2112/1920 and 3198/1955). In addition, severance pay has to be paid by the employer, the amount of which varies depending on whether notice was given or not, is compulsory. Although no grounds are required, this does not result in a total freedom of the employer to dismiss an employee for any reason since the employer shall act within the limits set by the general prohibition of any abuse of rights (art. 281 CC). If a Court holds that a dismissal constitutes an abuse of right, it will nullify it. According to case law, a dismissal "which is not justified by the well-meant interests of the employer is void" (i.e reasons not attributable to the dismissed employee such as incompetence, or economic reasons) (See: Yannakourou S., 2005, "The evolution of Labour Law in Greece" in European Commission, 2005, The Evolution of Labour Law 1992-2003, Volume 2, Luxembourg, p. 24). In addition, the employer's freedom to dismiss employees is also limited by the existence of prohibited grounds and by the existence of a special protection against dismissal for certain categories of workers (see below).
-Fixed-term contracts: FTC can be terminated by either party at any time, if there is a serious reason justifying such termination (art. 672 CC). In such cases, no compensation is payable.
Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; filing a complaint against the employer; race; colour; sex; sexual orientation; religion; social origin; age; trade union membership and activities; disabilities; performing military or civil service; gender identity; ethnic origin
* Specific prohibitions of dismissal: - The dismissal of a woman during her pregnancy and up to one year after giving birth is prohibited (Act No. 1302/1982). However, the dismissal can be valid if there is an important reason for it (i.e misconduct, severe negligence, poor performance...) (Art. 15 Act No 1483/1984). - Members of the trade union Board and the founding members of a trade union cannot be dismissed during the period of their office and one year thereafter (Act No. 1264/1982). However, dismissal is permitted if it is justified by a specific reason indicated in the Law and if it is approved by the Committee for the Protection of Trade Union officials. Under Law No. 1264/1982, certain union committee members are protected against dismissal, and the number of protected members depends on the size of the workplace. Protected individuals can only be dismissed for a narrow range of circumstances including disclosing confidential information or threatening / violent / abusive behaviour. As a general rule, dismissal based on trade union activities and membership is prohibited. - Any dismissal which takes place while the employee is performing military duties is null and void (Act No. 3514/1928) - The dismissal of a worker who is on annual leave is prohibited and will be considered null and void (Art. 5 and 6, Act 539/45) * Anti-discrimination provisions: -The Act No. 4443/2016 implementing the EU Directives 2000/43/EC and 2000/78/EC prohibits in its Art. 1 any discrimination on the the grounds of racial or ethnic origin, color, religious or other beliefs, disability, age or sexual orientation, gender identity, sex and family or social status in the field of employment. This includes a prohibition on discriminatory dismissals based on any of these grounds, see Art. 3(1)(c) of the act.
Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave; workers performing military/alternative service; war veterans
The following categories of workers enjoy special protection against dismissal:
* The dismissal of a woman during her pregnancy and up to one year after giving birth is prohibited (Act No. 1302/1982). However, the dismissal can be valid if there is an important reason for it (i.e misconduct, severe negligence, poor performance...) (Art. 15 Act No 1483/1984). * Members of the trade union Board and the founding members of a trade union cannot be dismissed during the period of their office and one year thereafter (Act No. 1264/1982). However, dismissal is permitted if it is justified by a specific reason indicated in the Law and if it is approved by the Committee for the Protection of Trade Union officials. Concerning workers' representatives, Law 4472/2017 introduces 2 additional reasons that allow the dismissal of this special category: (a )theft or embezzlement against the employer or its representative; and (b) unjustified absence of the employee which exceeds 3 days.
- Any dismissal which takes place while the employee is performing military duties is null and void (Act No. 3514/1928). In addition, dismissal is prohibited within one year after the employee returns to work. Such dismissal can however be valid if it is justified by a serious reason and approved by a special committee (art. 7 Emergency Law 244/1936). - War veterans and members of their family can only be dismissed in accordance with a judicial decision recognizing their incapacity to work. - Dismissal of a worker who is on annual leave is prohibited and will be considered null and void (Art. 5 and 6, Act 539/45)