Right to labor and leave.
Why is it useful in your everyday life?
Every worker has some basic rights:
- health and safety at work: precaution measures, work equipment, work in suitable workplaces;
- equal opportunities for women and men: equal treatment at work, pregnancy, maternity leave, parental leave;
- protection against discrimination based on sex, race, religion, age, disability and sexual orientation;
- annual and sick leave: sick leave for illness or accident, annual paid leave.
You know you work legally when:
- Your employer has given you a document that describes your work position and will ask for your signature. In this paper your wage, days and hours of work should be written.
- Your employer has asked for your AFM, AMKA/PAAYPA, bank account and possibly for your AMA IKA. Before you sign anything, it is important to understand the content of this document!
Problems you may face
- I do not have valid documents and I cannot work legally. Therefore, I am forced to undeclared work. What is important to know?
It is important to know that undeclared work is not stated in Greek authorities. This means that you have neither insurance (health care), nor labor rights according to the law (annual leave, overtime, etc.). It is common that people who work in undeclared works become victims of exploitation and face poor working conditions.
- What happens if I get sick and cannot go to work?
If you get sick or had an accident, you can take a leave. Every worker can be absent due to illness. In this case, you need to inform your employer and visit a doctor who will verify the days that you have to stay home.
If you need to leave for more days, you should address the closest office of EFKA (organization for social security) and apply for sick pay. In this case, you will get paid from EFKA and not from your employer. You will be examined from a doctor in EFKA who will inform you on the documents you need to deliver to your boss.
- Could they get me fired due to pregnancy?
No, the employer does not have to right to fire you until your child is 18 months; unless you have agreed to work until certain date (fixed-term contract) or something important happens that could justify firing. While pregnant, you have some additional rights, as not to work before and after you give birth (approximately 2 months before and 2 months after). Also, you can spend some time off work. The duration depends on the type of your contract.
- The employer does not declare the actual working days and hours for the employee. Overtime and other benefits are deprived.
- The employer is not following the law (e.g., does not accept the annual leaves that the employee has the right to take).
- Discrimination for work positions due to health problems, disability, gender or colour.
- Fired due to sexual orientation.
Possible solutions and answers
- What can I do if they do not pay me or violate my rights?
You can turn to labor inspectorate (SEPE) or talk with a lawyer. In case an inspection is conducted in the company you are working, and officers find out that procedures are not following the law, your employers will receive a fine. You can also press charges.
- Contact the union or a labor center.
- File a report to the Greek Ombudsman. Does not impose penalties and its decisions are only advisory, nevertheless important.
- In order to press charges, you need to talk to a lawyer.