About to have a kid and worried about how your maternity leaves are about to finish? And how will you balance work and not just take care of but bond with your newly born or adopted? Parental leave answers your concerns wherever it is legally made part of the labor laws. This leave is granted to parents who have recently given birth or adopted a child. The idea is to let the parents take time, process this beautiful change in their lives, and spend some quality and much-needed time bonding with their new child. This helps them adjust to the new family dynamic and to attend to the physical and emotional needs of both themselves and the new baby. Many international organizations consider parental leave a fundamental human right and are protected by various labor laws and policies throughout the world. In Greece, parental leave is regulated by the Greek Labor Code and is available to both mothers and fathers. This article will explore the specifics of parental leave in Greece, including the duration, compensation, and eligibility requirements.

Parental Leave

Parental leave is often granted to parents after maternity and paternity leave, enabling mothers and fathers to care for their young children without losing their jobs. All EU member states have such a policy, known as “Άδεια χωρίς αποδοχές,” translated as “leave without pay” in Greece. Not all men and women in the EU are eligible for parental leave because of differences in policy design and qualifying requirements. 

The Greek government’s maternity leave policy stipulates that maternity leaves must last at least 14 weeks and meets international norms. In Greece, maternity benefits also include a pay package that must equal at least 67% of the employee’s monthly salary and is disbursed in accordance with the number of weeks the worker is expected to be absent from work.

What Is Parental Leave In Greece

In Greece, the combined maximum post-natal leave for both parents is 72 months in the public sector and 20 months in the private sector, known as parental leave. Paid leave, however, is only offered for about a year in each industry.

Who Can Take Parental Leave In Greece?

Working parents directly insured are eligible to get parental leave in greece. Furthermore, Paternity leaves are two days for public or private sector workers. whether one has given birth to a child or just adopted a kid, fathers may take up to 14 days of employer-paid paternity leave, an increase from the previous two days.

Both moms and fathers in Greece are qualified for parental leave if they satisfy the following requirements:

  • Before the child’s birth or adoption, the parent had to have been employed in Greece for at least six months.
  • Before the child’s birth or adoption, the parent had to contribute to the Greek Social Security Institute (IKA) for at least six months.

There are several limitations on parental leave in addition to these eligibility criteria. For instance, unless the woman cannot work due to a medical issue related to the pregnancy, parents are not permitted to take parental leave for the first six weeks following the birth.

Employees who meet the requirements and care for children under 12 may seek flexible scheduling. This covers both permanent and temporary telework agreements and other flexible work schedules.

If a family or other person with a severe medical condition lives with the employee and needs a lot of care or support, the employee may take five days of caretakers’ leave each year after six months of service.

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Who Cannot Take Parental Leave In Greece?

You may apply for maternity leave if you have recently given birth and are employed. You can apply for pregnancy-postpartum and maternity benefits if you’ve accrued at least 200 days of coverage. There is 119 days total of maternity leave before and after giving birth. You can only apply for parental leave if you meet the abovementioned criteria. Similarly, adoptive moms are not eligible for the supplemental maternity payment; you must be qualified and have a working contract. If the mother is uninsured, the benefit is given based on her financial situation, and she should not have worked for 42 days before and after giving birth. Paternity leaves, either for public or private sector workers, is two days. 

Duration To Go On Parental Leave In Greece?

For the first 30 or 18 months after giving birth, adopting, or sponsoring a child, one of the two working parents is entitled to a reduction in working hours.

  • Employees can request up to ten hours of overtime per day, which will be deducted from the following workday. The maximum weekly working time, measured over a five- or six-day workweek, remains at 40 hours.
  • The overtime cap increased from 120 hours to 150 hours annually.
  • The real-time recording of employees’ working hours on a Digital Work Card starting on January 1, 2022, will enable authorities to check businesses’ compliance with working-time legislation. The digital card will be covered in further depth by ministerial decisions.
  • While partial annual leave may be carried over to the following calendar year, at the same time, the other half must be used between May 1 and September 1.

What Is The Best Time To Start My Parental Leave In Greece?

The basic rule for private sector maternity leave is: 

  • Seventeen weeks is the standard leave period
  • Eight weeks must be taken before the baby is born and nine after childbirth.
  • It would be best if you consumed all of your leave.

How Can I Split My Parental Leave In Greece?

Parents are entitled to work one hour less per day for up to 30 months after maternity leave and, with the employer’s agreement, can convert this reduced working time into a block or blocks of time within the 30 months after maternity leave. Optional leave is available to mothers who have exhausted the regular maternity leave period and possibly the approximately 3.5 months of reduced working hours if taken in one block.

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Compensation During Paternal Leave In Greece

Greece provides women with 18 weeks of paid leave, during which they are entitled to a specific portion of their average wage based on their average earnings in the 12 months preceding the delivery. The figure is now set at 30% and is regulated by the Greek Social Security Institute (IKA). This implies that moms get paid 30% of their typical wage throughout their paid leave.

In addition, fathers who take paid parental leave are entitled to receive 30% of their typical salary during the leave period. However, if the mother takes less paid leave, the father’s pay can be affected.

Can I Work During Parental Leave In Greece?

At many workplaces, working parents can work fewer hours (up to 25% of their daily work time) without losing pay instead of taking a leave of absence for a specified reason. However, there is no one rule for how much you can work, for how long, and how much you get paid. Employers decide whatever response to give in each situation based on the particulars of each case. For example, some employees may be able to work part-time or from home during their leave, while others may not be able to work at all.

It is always best to ask your employer if you need clarification about working during parental leave in Greece. You can always talk to a legal professional for guidance if you think you are being mistreated regarding your parental leaves and work rights during your leaves.

Can I Get Fired During Parental Leave In Greece?

Simply put, a mother is covered against contract termination throughout her pregnancy, for 18 months after giving birth, and for absences brought on by illness related to pregnancy or delivery. Employees in Greece are protected from termination and discrimination while on parental leave. Greek labor law prohibits employers from terminating an employee’s contract or mistreating them in any other way just because they are on maternity leave.

However, there are some situations where an employee’s parental leave may be terminated. For instance, even if an employee is on maternity leave, their employment may be terminated for cause, such as excessive misconduct. It is important to remember that the specific laws and regulations governing termination during parental leave might change based on the unique circumstances of each case. If you have any questions or concerns, it is advised that you consult a legal expert or employer for help.

Parental Leave In Greece Experienced By An Expat

The next step after landing a job and moving to Greece is to apply for a taxpayer identification number (AΦΜ, short for ΑριθμόςΦορολογικούΜητρώου). This number is required for many daily tasks in Greece, including opening a bank account and setting up your utilities.

At your neighborhood tax office, you must apply for an identification number. You must bring your passport together with the completed Form M1. If further documentation, such as your birth certificate, marriage certificate, or visa, is needed, you should check with your local tax office. Once done with this, you are up for paying social security payment and, in return, will get insurance benefits after a certain period. 

Should You Take Parental Leave Or Not?

The million-dollar question is whether you should take parental leaves or not. At the same time, it is your decision whether you want to avail yourself of parental leave. However, you should consider certain things, including your circumstances and priorities. Here is a list of few things to consider when making this decision:

Financial Considerations: Parental leave often involves a reduction in income, so it’s essential to consider how this will impact your finances and whether you have the resources to support yourself and your family during this time.

Career Goals: Taking parental leave can have implications for your career, so it’s essential to consider how this time off might impact your future professional aspirations and opportunities.

Family Needs: The main reason for parental leave is to spend time with and care for your child. It’s important to consider whether this is the right choice for you and your family.

Work environment: The support offered by your employer and your coworkers’ attitudes towards parental leave can also be a factor in your decision.

Ultimately, the decision to take parental leave should be based on what is best for you and your family. It may be helpful to discuss your options with a trusted advisor or counselor to help you make an informed decision.


While parental leave in Greece allows parents to spend time with their new kids and respond to their physical and emotional needs, there are specific difficulties and restrictions with the current system. For instance, some families, particularly those with low incomes, may find that the meager remuneration offered during parental leave is insufficient. Additionally, some families might need more time to find the leave duration, particularly in nursing or with kids with special needs.