In other countries, calling in ill as an employee is frequently a last resort because it is frowned upon by employers or jeopardizes your financial security. This is not the case in Greece. One of the various social security benefits available to employees covered by the public healthcare system in Greece is paid sick leave so they can rest and be back at the best performance in their best state.
There is a widespread assumption in Greece that being ill, even with a minor illness, can negatively impact your work productivity and your capacity to do daily duties. Sick leave is the greatest choice in this situation.
Does Greece Have Paid Sick Leave?
The sickness benefit is the fundamental benefit offered to insured people who are temporarily unable to work or miss more than three days of employment because of physical or mental disease. Please be aware that inability to work must be certified by an EOPYY doctor as of the first day and that a medical certificate issued by the appropriate Health Committee after 15 days is necessary. You had to have been insured in accordance with the following in order to be eligible for the illness benefit:
For a minimum of 120 days in the year prior to the illness (100 days for workers in the construction sector), for the first 12 months of the 15 months, for a minimum of 300 days in the two years before the illness, or a minimum of 27 months before the illness, for a minimum of 1,500 days (of which 600 must have been accrued in the last five years before the inability to work due to the same illness), or for a minimum of 4,500 days prior. One insurance day equals one day of employment.
However, if you’re self-employed, meaning you have your own business, then sick leaves don’t apply to your case. You can get privately insured and get an allowance for your sick leaves.
How Much Is Sick Pay In Greece?
Your earnings throughout the previous year’s final 30 days will determine how much you’ll be paid. For example, each year, for the first 15 days of the benefit, you are only entitled to 50% of the daily sickness benefit that corresponds to your insurance group or class, which is calculated using your wages from the last days of the previous year, boosted by 10% for each protected member. After this 15-day window, you are eligible for the entire sum. The only exceptions are skilled laborers and construction employees, who are paid 50% of their verified daily wages in the relevant insurance group.
How Many Sick Days Do You Get A Year In Greece?
Employers must pay for sick time. Employees are entitled to up to 13 days of paid sick time during their first year. This increases to 25 days starting with the second year of employment. However, if you take more than your maximum allowed sick leaves and do it again and again, each year, it can lead to being a reason for your employer firing you, so be careful.
How Many Days Can You Be Sick Without A Doctor’s Note?
Please be aware that inability to work must be certified by an EOPYY doctor as of the first day and that a medical certificate issued by the appropriate Health Committee after 15 days is necessary. This may change from employer to employer, so be sure to know beforehand the number of days you’re allowed before presenting a note/certificate. In some places, employers have requested employees to give the note/certificate as they take the leave and not afterward.
Three Steps To Follow When Sick In Greece
You can follow the following steps to make sure you’re taking sick leave:
Inform Your Employer
Employees must notify their employers about their taking leave, whether physically or through email/phone. This is extremely important as taking a leave, even if it’s for a valid reason, but not informing the department will result in them not counting it as sick leave but as regular leave.
Go To A Doctor
You should visit a doctor immediately and get a note/certificate so you can provide it to your employer as proof of your sick leave.
Send A Sick Note To The Employer And Health Insurance
You should send the note as soon as possible to your employer and your health insurance company. The employer one is, so they know you’re on sick leave, and one for the health insurance company is kept for record.
You must send it within time to claim your paid sick leave. You can send it through email; however, most prefer you hand in the original copy. You can submit a soft copy for your insurance company online, as that would be easier, and all of them accept it that way.
If you have sick leaves covered in your insurance plan, they also pay you after a specific number of days, as mentioned in the plan. You can look this up or ask your insurance company about this online before setting up a plan.
What Am I Allowed To Do During A Sick Leave In Greece?
Even though an employee is officially off sick, they may be able to engage in several acceptable activities while not at work. For instance, a worker might be physically incapable of working but still be able to go food shopping, run or walk, or visit friends and relatives. Even if you believe that an employee should be sleeping at home while on sick leave, seeing them out of the office does not justify disciplinary action or termination. In many circumstances, the illness or injury for which an employee has requested time off from work won’t leave them bedridden or need them to stay at home. With work-related stress or any other mental health problem, being able to go out and socialize is only sometimes compatible with being unfit for duty. Additionally, their doctor might have suggested a few therapeutic activities. Nevertheless, it should go without saying that an employee should not work a different job while on sick leave or engage in any other activity that cannot be justified, given the type and severity of any stated illness or injury.
How Much Is An Annual Leave In Greece?
Twenty days of yearly leave are granted to full-time workers each year. After one year of employment and two years of employment, this increases to 21 and 22 days, respectively. Employees with a long tenure may increase their entitlement to up to 26 days annually. This doesn’t include sick leaves. Employers must pay for sick time. Employees are entitled to up to 13 days of paid sick time during their first year. This increases to 25 days starting with the second year of employment.
Hopefully, you don’t fall sick during your time in Greece, but even if you do, you’re now aware of the process of getting sick leave and the duration you get. Greece is one of the countries where taking sick leaves isn’t frowned upon, so don’t worry if you get sick, take some time for yourself and get back to your full potential.