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Greece - Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints

Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints - Greece - 2019    

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Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: No

Compensation for unfair dismissal - Legal limits (ceiling in months or calculation method):
- If the dismissal constitutes an abuse of right: it will be declared null and void and the worker will be reinstated and receive back pay for the period between the dismissal and the court's decision. The worker can apply for the payment of severance pay in lieu of reinstatement.
- If the procedural requirements applicable to the dismissal of a worker under an contract of an indefinite duration are not observed (= severance pay, written notification), the dismissal is also considered null and void and the worker will be entitled to reinstatement + back pay. The employee can also claim the payment of severance pay in lieu of reinstatement.
- If the employee dismisses an employee in violation of the provision on special protection (i.e pregnant women, workers on annual leave, trade union officials), the dismissal will also be nullified by the Court.
- In the event of termination of a fixed-term contract without a serious reason, the employee will be entitled to compensation for the remaining period of the contract.

  • - Abusive dismissals: see art. 281 CC, which is the general provision prohibiting the abusive exercise of a legal right. This area has been developed by case law.
    - On non-compliance with the procedural requirements, see art. 5(3) of Act 3198/1955.
    - Termination of a fixed-term contract without a good reasons is regulated by art. 673 CC.
    - See also the remark below "workers enjoying special protection" under "Substantive requirements for dismissals".

Reinstatement available: Yes

  • As indicated above, reinstatement is the primary remedy for unfair dismissal.

Preliminary mandatory conciliation: No

  • No preliminary mandatory conciliation.

    "Articles 208 to 214 in Chapter One of the Code of Civil Procedure deal with the attempt at conciliation which may precede the filing of a lawsuit, although the mechanism is rarely used.
    According to the Code of Civil Procedure, in the case of individual labour disputes arbitration is forbidden. However, before the parties concerned bring the case before the courts, there is an opportunity for the Labour Inspectorate to intervene in an attempt to reconcile the worker and employer. The Labour Inspectorate may intervene in individual labour disputes following a written application/complaint made by the applicant to the Labour Inspectorate, which then convokes a tripartite meeting (Labour Inspectorate, employee and employer), during which the subject of the dispute is discussed, along with means of resolving it."
    See: Sofia Lampousaki, "Greece: Individual disputes at the workplace - alternative disputes resolution", Feb. 2010, available at the following:

Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): ordinary courts

  • Complaints regarding the nullity of the dismissal shall be brought to the ordinary court within 3 months form the date to the dismissal (art. 6(1) of Act No. 3198/1955).Claimants must be heard within at most 60 days and cases must be settled by the courts after a maximum of 90 days after their submission to court, art. 621(3) Civil Procedure Code.
    Alternatively, if the employee decides to lodge a complaint to obtain severance pay, he/she shall do so within 6 months of the dismissal (art. 6(1) of Act No. 3198/1955).

Existing arbitration: No