To make your pregnancy and motherhood easier, Greece offers all of its female employee’s mandatory maternity leave so that you can get used to motherhood and have ample time to look after yourself and your child.
What Is Maternity Leave In Greece?
Anyone who is a part of the Greek workforce and becomes pregnant is legally entitled to seventeen weeks off as maternity leave- at least eight weeks before and nine weeks after childbirth. This is the basic maternity leave. If you want to extend your maternity leave, you can do so up to six months after the basic leave ends. This can be done in the case of premature birth, cesarean, multiple births, or disability.
In some cases, you are allowed to work until you give birth; you have to inform your employer the mandatory time off will not be waived. This means that you will still have to take fourteen to seventeen weeks off.
Who Is Eligible For Maternity Leave In Greece?
Every woman who is a part of the greek workforce who is breastfeeding or pregnant may start their maternity leave as long as they are working here or under a contract belonging to greece. Their marital status and nationality are disregarded in this situation.
The following women cannot apply for maternity leave:
- Stay-at-home wives
- 100% self-employed women
- Company board members
- Managing directors who are really ’employees.’
- Adoptive mothers
Job Protection During Your Time Away From Work In Greece
Job protection protects you from being fired from the moment your pregnancy starts until four months after childbirth.
If you apply for your leave correctly, then this can be extended.
The protection is only applicable if you have applied for the leave properly and have informed your employer about your pregnancy. If you have already given birth or had a miscarriage, then this also applies.
In some extreme cases, the employer has the right to still fire you in a situation that disregards job protection. These include:
- The company is insolvent
- Closure of department
- The company is small, and they cannot work without a replacement for you
- You have committed a big mistake
If any of these applies to your situation and your employer decides to fire you, they will have to submit a written application to the relevant government department. Only if the government agrees to their request will you be fired.
Protection At Work For Mom And Child In Greece
The maternity protection act protects the mother and child from performing any task that might threaten their health or prove harmful. If you are an expecting or nursing mother, then you will get many maternity benefits which include:
Regulated Work Hours
- If you want to work after hours, then you must specifically tell your employer that you intend to do so. They will have to get permission from the relevant authority.
- No work is allowed from 10 pm to 6 am.
- Only work on Sundays or any holidays if you agree to do so. If you agree, you must have 11 hours of rest between each shift, and an alternative rest day is given to you as compensation.
- No overtime allowed
- Those under 18 cant work more than 8 hours a day and no more than 80 hours in two weeks
- Those older than 18 cant work more than 8.5 hours a day and no more than 90 hours in two weeks.
Controlled Work Environment
- There need to be safe working conditions for you, and your employer needs to keep a check on them.
- There must be no heavy labor-intensive work for you. You cannot lift heavy weights that exceed 5kgs.
- Any materials, gasses, or chemicals that might prove to be harmful to you or the baby must not come in touch with you.
- Physically strenuous jobs must not be conducted too often
- You may not work with machinery that requires you to stand on your feet for too long.
- If your job requires you to keep standing, you must not work after the 6th month.
Your Benefits During The Nursing Period In Greece
If a mother is breastfeeding her child, then it is an obligation of the firm where she works to ensure that she gets ‘nursing breaks’ every few hours to take care of her child if she is coming to work.
It would help if you took one hour break during your 8-hour shift. You can divide this into two halves. You will get a more extended break if your shift exceeds the 8-hour limit. If you have to travel to feed your child, your break lasts up to 90 minutes.
These breaks do not affect your wage, and no extra hours must be put in.
Financial Benefits During Your Maternity Leave In Greece
The employee gets 100% of their salary for 17 weeks during maternity leave. To receive this, the mother should have worked for 200 days in the last two years. The conditions for this are that the earnings they receive must not exceed the value of those belonging to the highest insurance class of IKA. IKA and OAED, the social insurance fund for income protection against unemployment, fund this leave. The maternity leave is fully insured and gives rights to a full pension.
For the special leave after the maternity leave ends, the minimum daily wage, which is determined by law, will be paid along with social insurance coverage.
Whatever your salary is, you will still need to pay all sorts of taxes and social contributions that are a must.
When To Inform Your Employer Of Pregnancy In Greece?
It is up to you when you want to inform HR; keep in mind that it will need some time to process your leave and the payment accordingly. You will inform your manager and the HR person so that they can delegate your tasks to others available.
You are required to inform about your child’s expected due date and the confirmed date when you want to start the maternity leave.
Can You Go On Maternity Leave During Your Probation Period?
If your contract is permanent, you can go for maternity leave even during your probation period, and it won’t get extended.