Labour law plays a very important role in the economy which is why it is awarded an important role in the legal system of Greece. Labour law was always subject to various statutory changes in Greece thereby taking the developments in the labour market into account. In particular, labour law has often been changed since 2010 because many measures were taken within the context of combating the economic crisis. These strongly influenced Greek labour law.
Greek labour law is divided into general labour law and collective labour law. General labour law is again regulated in various laws which regulate different areas of the employment relationship. The Greek Civil Code also provides general principles of an employment relationship and is viewed as the basis of the mutual obligations of the parties in an employment relationship. Questions such as the termination of the employment relationship, compensation for the loss of the job, Easter and Christmas money, holiday entitlement of the employee, or holiday pay, working time regulations and related issues such as extra work, or overtime, etc. are regulated in specific laws. Collective labour law is additionally regulated in two main laws; however there are many scattered regulations which are provided in other laws. An important change which was made in the last few years was the termination of almost all collective agreements in Greek law.
Social insurance is compulsory in Greece for all Greek citizens, or residents of Greece. Therefore there is a social insurance obligation for all who are employed in Greece. The most important social insurance funds are IKA, which is responsible for employees of the private sector, the OAEE – responsible for employers, or freelances which are not covered by ETAA, ETAA – responsible for engineers, solicitors, physicians, etc. OGA – responsible for farmers, NAT – responsible for mariners etc.
The social insurance law has also been radically changed since 2010 due to the ongoing crisis, for example, with an increase in the minimum retirement age, increase in the social security contributions for certain groups. People who are already covered by social insurance in another European country can be released from the social insurance obligation in Greece.