The matter of the minimum period of paid annual leave that an employee is entitled, is regulated by the Law on Paid Annual Leave, L. 8/1967 (the “Law”).
Pursuant to the provisions of the Law, in the event where an employee has worked for no less than forty-eight weeks within the year whereby the leave is requested, then the minimum period of paid leave that he/she is entitled to take, is:
- twenty working days for employees who work five days per week; and
- twenty-four working days, for employees who work six days per week.
Recently, the House of Representatives has passed an amending law to the Paid Annual Leave Law, which effectively allows employees to take paid annual leave from the first day of their employment (and not upon the completion of thirteen weeks of continuous employment with the same employer, which has been the case under the previous regime) (the “Amending Law”).
It is understood that any periods during which an employee is temporarily absent from work due to an accident or illness or while he/she is on maternity, paternity, parental or care leave, or leave due to force majeure, shall be counted as regular working periods for the purposes of the Law.
It is noted that the following, shall not be counted as annual leave days:
- public holidays established by law, custom or contract;
- the period of maternity or paternity leave;
- days on which an employee is incapable to work due to an accident or illness;
- days on which there is a lock out;
- the period during which a notice of termination of employment has been served;
- the period of parental leave, care leave and leave due to force majeure.
Social Insurance Inspectors have the right to conduct inspections for the purpose of verifying whether the employers comply with their obligations emanating by Law. During the inspections, the Inspectors may, inter alia, examine the employer’s books/records regarding the employees, their remuneration and the employer’s contributions towards such employees, while he/she may make such enquires and request such clarifications from the employers, as he/she may deem necessary under the circumstances. It is underlined that any employer who obstructs an Inspector from performing his/her duties, without justification, or refuses to answer to the questions raised by the Inspector during the inspection, is guilty of an offense, and in case of conviction, the employer will be subject to a monetary fine.
It is further noted that any employer who fails to grant to an employee a leave that is due to him/her as per the provisions of the Law, is guilty of an offense, and in case of conviction, is subject to a fine not exceeding EUR 3,400 or one year of imprisonment or both.