Hire in Cyprus

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Last updated at June 16, 2022

Currency

Euro (EUR)

Capital

Nicosia

Time Zone

GMT+2

Key Country Facts

Introduction

Cyprus is an island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. It became independent from Great Britain in 1960 and thereafter is known as the Republic of Cyprus.

Area

Cyprus covers a total land area of 9,251 sq km and is the third largest island in the Mediterranean, measuring 240km long and 100km wide. It lies about 65km south of Turkey, 100km west of Syria and 770km southeast of the mainland Greece. It has a 640km coastline that is indented and rocky with long, sandy beaches.

Climate

The climate in Cyprus is intense Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and rainy winters. Autumn and spring are short and the weather volatile then. Summers in Nicosia range between 21-37 deg c and winters range between 5-15 deg c.

Culture

Cyprus has two distinct ethno-religious communities, the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots, that share cultural affiliations with Greece and Turkey respectively. The country is largely partitioned into 2 parts, each with its own geography, culture, politics and daily life.

Religion

The majority of Greek Cypriots are Christians (~73%), specifically Greek Orthodox and Turkish Cypriots are Sunni Islam (25%). There are small communities of Anglican, Catholic and Armenian Apostolic.

Official Language

Cyprus has two official languages, Greek and Turkish. Armenian and Cypriot Maronite Arabic are recognised as minority languages. English is widely spoken and features widely on road signs, notices and advertisements. English was the official language during British colonial rule until 1960 and continued to be used in courts of law and legislation until 1996, and is spoken by ~80% of the population today.

Cyprus HR at a Glance

Employment Law

Employment relationships in Cyprus are governed by ordinary contract law principles and are supplemented by statutory rights and obligations where appropriate. The Constitution guarantees certain basic rights relating to employment, e.g. the right to work, the right to strike and the right to equal treatment.

The main employment-related statutes are the following:

  • the Termination of Employment Law of 1967 (amended)

  • the Social Insurance Law of 1980 (amended)

  • the Annual Paid Leave Law of 1967 (amended)

  • the Protection of Maternity Law of 1997

  • the Minimum Salaries Law (amended)

  • the Equal Treatment at Work and Employment Law of 2004 (amended)

  • the Health and Safety at Work Law of 1996 (amended)

  • Law 100(I)/2000, providing for an employer’s obligation to inform employees about the conditions applicable to their contract or employment relationship

  • and the Collective Redundancies Law of 2001

EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT

An employment contract must contain the following information:

  • Identity of the employee and employer

  • Place of work and the registered address of the employer

  • Position and job scope of the employee

  • Start date of contract, and the end date for fixed-term contracts

  • Notice period

  • Paid annual leave entitlement

  • Remuneration and frequency of payment

  • No. of days per week of work and working hours

  • Collective agreements, if any

Employment contracts can be written in any language that is understandable to both parties. If the contract is written in a language that the employee does not understand, its provisions must be explained to the employee. The employee must receive the written contract within a month of commencing work.

Contract Terms

The most typical category of employment in Cyprus is an employment contract of indeterminate or indefinite duration.

Where there is a collective agreement made between trade unions and employers, job contracts are not mandatory.

Part-time employees are entitled to the same rights and conditions as full time employees.

Pre-Employment Checks

In general, health checks are permitted if they are required to determine if the candidate is physically capable to perform the specific duties as listed for the job role.

Credit history checks, even if the employee consents, is only permitted if the role involves financial control or frequent handling of funds.

Probation Period / Trial Period

The minimum probation period is 6 months, and can be extended for up to 2 years. During the probation period, an employer may dismiss an employee without cause.

Working Hours

Normal working hours is 40 hours per week. A working week cannot exceed 48 hours, including overtime (i.e. maximum overtime per week is 8 hours). The employee is entitled to a break of at least 15 minutes if the daily period of work is >6 continuous hours.

There should be a minimum of 11 hours of continuous rest per day and 24 hours of continuous rest per week, and either 2 rest periods each of 24 continuous hours or 1 rest period of 48 continuous hours every 14 days.

Overtime

Overtime pay is not regulated by law and it is up to negotiations between the employer and employee.

However, in some industries, this is covered in a collective agreement.

Timesheets and Record Keeping

Payroll and payment records of employees must be maintained (employee details, offer letter, employment contract, working hours and attendance records, paid leave days, remuneration, overtime earnings, expense reimbursements, proof of payment, documents showing contributions and deductions).

The Cyprus Tax Authority has 6 years to raise any enquiry, or 12 years in the event of fraud or wilful deceit. It is recommended to keep payroll and tax related documents for this time period.

Health and Safety in the Workplace

Employers are obliged to ensure general prevention of injury at work without financial cost to the employee, including evaluating occupational risks and outfitting the workplace. The appropriate health and safety training should also be provided to all employees throughout the period of employment.

Bonus

Bonus payments are at the discretion of the employer, and may be paid out based on individual or company performance, but this is not mandated by the law.

Termination

Termination without notice is allowed for the below reasons:

  • a criminal offence committed by the employee

  • improper behaviour by the employee

  • violation of work rules or regulations in relation to the employment

Severance compensation is not payable if termination is for the below reasons:

  • Inability to perform the job role as described due to skills required, temporary incapacitation

  • Redundancy due to change in economic conditions

  • Expiration of fixed term contract (either by date or by completion of task/project)

  • Force majeure, act of war, civil commotion or act of God.

The below categories of employees are protected from termination:

  • Pregnant women and new mothers (for up to 5 months after the end of maternity leave)

  • Employees participating in trade union related activities

  • Employees on sick leave

Notice Period

If the employer intends to terminate an employee, notice must be given to the employee in writing. The notice period depends on the period of continuous employment.

  • 26-51 weeks: 1 week

  • 52 – 103 weeks: 2 weeks

  • 104- 155 weeks: 4 weeks

  • 156 – 207 weeks: 5 weeks

  • 208 – 259 weeks: 6 weeks

  • 260-311 weeks: 7 weeks

  • >312 weeks: 8 weeks

Payment of wages in lieu of notice is permissible.

During the notice period, the employee is entitled to paid time off during normal working hours to seek new employment. The paid time off cannot exceed 8 hours/ week or 40 hours in total.

If an employee intends to terminate his/her employment, he/she must also give the employer notice depending on the period of continuous employment:

  • 26-51 weeks: 1 week

  • 52-259 weeks: 2 weeks

  • >260 weeks: 3 weeks

Redundancy / Severance Pay

For terminations due to redundancy, payments are made by the state Redundancy Fund as follows, based on employee’s length of service and wages drawn:

  • Up to 4 years – 2 weeks wages for each period of continuous employment of 52 weeks
  • 5-10 years – 2.5 weeks wages for each period of continuous employment of 52 weeks
  • 11-15 years – 3 weeks wages for each period continuous of employment of 52 weeks
  • 16-20 years – 3.5 weeks wages for each period continuous of employment of 52 weeks
  • >20 years – 4 weeks wages for each period continuous of employment of 52 weeks (capped at 75.5 weeks of wages)

Severance pay for unlawful dismissal to be paid by the employer is calculated the same way as for redundancy above, capped at 2 years wages.

For the purpose of calculating severance, employment of >26 weeks in a given year is considered as a full year of employment.

Post-Termination Restraints / Restrictive Covenants

Restrictive covenants must be reasonable in its geographical coverage and time scope, and cannot restrain the employee from being engaged in a lawful profession.

For a restrictive covenant to be enforceable:

  • the work has to be of a sensitive nature (e.g. R&D)

  • the employer must offer monetary compensation during the period of non-compete or when there is a restrictive covenant in place

To protect its confidential interests and information, an employer should have non-disclosure contracts and it is assumed that employees’ duty to act in good faith will continue beyond the termination.

Trade Unions / Collective Agreements

It is not mandated by law for workers to be represented by a trade union. However, it is more common in certain industries to have trade union representation and collective agreements (e.g. hotels, transport sector, building & construction).

Tax and Social Security

Personal Income Tax

PIT in Cyprus is imposed on worldwide income of individuals who are tax residents in Cyprus. Employees must be registered with the Tax Department and submit a personal tax return by 31st July following the tax year of assessment.

Employers are obliged to without income tax under the PAYE system and make the payment to the Tax Department by the end of the following month.

Annual Chargeable Income (EUR) Tax Rate % Accumulated Tax (EUR)
0 – 19,500 0.0 0
19,501 – 28,000 20.0 1700
28,001 – 36,300 25.0 3755
36,301 – 60,000 30.0 10,885
>60,001 35.0  

Social Security

Contributions Employer (%) Employee (%) Annual Cap (EUR)
Social Insurance Contributions 8.3 8.3 58,080
Social Cohesion Fund 2.0    
General Healthcare System 2.9 2.65 180,000
Redundancy Fund 1.2    
Industrial Training Fund 0.5    
Holiday Fund (if not exempt) 8.0 (maximum)    

The rate for social insurance contributions will increase in 2024 to 8.8%. Thereafter, it will increase 0.5% every five years, until it reaches 10.3% (1 January 2039).

The employer’s contribution to the Central Holiday Fund depends on the duration of leave the employee is entitled to, and is based on gross earnings (before deductions of taxes and contributions). Gross earnings include basic salary, any cost of living allowances, bonuses, overtime pay and any other remunuration the employee receives.

*The above rates serve as a broad guideline. Actual rates charged will differ.

Employees

Salary Payment

The frequency of salary payment is not mandated by law, and pay period can be decided by employer. However, it is common to pay salary on a monthly basis.

Monthly salary is paid in 14 instalments, with the 13th and 14th instalment paid in June and December each year.

Payslip

Employers generally provide monthly payslips, and either electronic or hard copy is acceptable. In addition, the employer must provide a certificate of emolument on an annual basis. This certificate must include the details of employee, gross emoluments, income tax, social insurance and healthcare contributions.

Annual Leave

An employee who has worked 48 weeks in a year is entitled to paid annual leave with pay of four weeks. The entitlement is as follows:

  • For employees on a 5 day work week – 20 working days

  • For employees on a 6 day work week – 24 working days

For employees who have worked less than 48 weeks, the annual leave is prorated accordingly.

Temporary absence from counts towards the 48 weeks of work. These include sickness, maternity, paternity leave.

Annual leave can be carried forward for up to 2 years, given the mutual agreement of both employer and employee. An employer has to pay employees’ unutilised annual leave at termination.

An employee’s wages during the annual leave is either paid for by the employer directly, or out of the Central Holiday Fund (to which employers are obliged to contribute towards).

If an employer provides more annual leave than what is required statutorily, the employer may apply for exemption to pay contributions towards the Central Holiday Fund. However, wages must still be paid to the employee for the period of leave.

An employee has to have worked for at least 13 weeks in the previous year to be entitled payment from the Central Holiday Fund. For employees to receive payment, the annual leave has to be taken for at least 9 consecutive days. If the employee worked less than 48 weeks in the previous year, the annual leave taken has to be for at least 4 consecutive days.

Sick Leave

Sick leave benefit is paid out from Social Insurance from Day 4 of sickness (no payment of benefit will be made in the first 3 days). The employee files a claim with the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurances. The employer is not legally obliged to pay for the first three days of sick leave.

The maximum number of days for which sick pay is payable is 156 days during a single period of interrupted employment.

Compassionate & Bereavement Leave

Carer’s Leave

Employees are entitled to 7 unpaid days for taking care of a dependent.

Bereavement Leave

Employees are entitled up to 5 days of leave for death of a child/spouse, 3 days for death of parent/sibling and 1 day for death of other family member.

Maternity & Parental Leave

Maternity Leave

Maternity leave is 18 consecutive weeks, 11 of which are mandatory (2 weeks before expected delivery date, week of delivery and 8 weeks after the week of delivery). The pregnant employee has to give advance notice to the employer, providing a medical certificate of her pregnancy specifying the expected week of delivery.

Maternity leave is extended for multiple births, at 4 additional weeks per child.

Paternity Leave

Paternity leave is 2 weeks and is given to employees whose wife gave birth, had a child through a surrogate mother or who adopted a child below 12 years old. The 2 week leave must be taken consecutively, and anytime up to 16 weeks from the date of birth/adoption. The employee has to provide a written notice to the employer at least 2 weeks in advance prior to taking the paternity leave.

Surrogate Leave

Female employees expecting a child through a surrogate are entitled to 18 weeks leave. A medical certificate with a relevant court order must be provided. The leave can commence 2 weeks prior to the expected week of delivery. This leave is extended by 4 weeks per additional child (e.g. 22 weeks for twins).

Adoption Leave

A female employee who has adopted a child below 12 years old is entitled to 12 weeks maternity leave. The employee has to provide a written notice to the employer at least 6 weeks in advance prior to effective date of adoption.

Parental Leave

An employed employee who is a parent is entitled to unpaid parental leave of up to 18 weeks. For multiple births, the unpaid leave entitlement is 18 weeks per child. For a single parent, the unpaid leave entitlement is 23 weeks. The employee has to provide a written notice to the employer at least 3 weeks in advance, specifying the start and end dates of the parental leave.

Public Holidays

There are 14 public holidays in Cyprus.

Public Holidays

Employees are entitled to paid leave from work on public holidays. Local (Municipal or State) holidays may also apply, depending on where the company is based. If the employer demands the employee to work on a holiday, the remuneration paid with respect to the worked holiday must be at least double the regular compensation. Applicable collective bargaining agreements may establish a higher rate for the holiday remuneration.

Benefits to the Employee in Cyprus

Statutory Benefits

All persons employed in Cyprus either as employees or as self-employed persons are covered by the Social Insurance Scheme, and the following benefits are provided:

  • sickness benefit

  • maternity grant & allowance

  • benefits for accidents at work and occupational diseases, including temporary incapacity (injury benefit), disablement benefit and death benefit

  • invalidity pension

  • redundancy payments

  • unemployment benefit

  • old-age pension

  • widows’ pension

  • orphans’ benefit

  • funeral grant

Visas and Foreign Workers

General Information

Visas are issued by all the Diplomatic Missions (Embassies and General Consulates) of the Republic of Cyprus, and by all the Honorary Consulates of the Republic of Cyprus abroad in their respective countries.

All non-EU nationals who intend to stay in Cyprus for more than three months must apply for a long-stay visa. EU nationals require a residence permit if they intend to stay and work in Cyprus for over three months. During the first three months, EU nationals must apply for a Certificate of Registration within eight days after their arrival to Cyprus. The Civil Registry and Migration Department of the Ministry of Interior is the authority that grants entry permits and residence permits.

A work permit application for a non-EU national can take up to 6 months and is administered by the Council of Ministers and the Ministerial Committee. There are specific conditions for the approval of a work permit, e.g. lack of qualified local candidates to meet the employer’s specific need.

GETTING A TAX NUMBER

Fill-in the form TD2001 (application for obtaining a tax number) from the Department of Inland Revenue to get a Taxpayer’s Identification Code (TIC).

The below documents are required depending on status of individual:

  • For Cypriot citizens: Copy of Identification Card (ID).

  • For EU citizens (resident in Cyprus): Copy of ‘Registration Certificate’ from the Civil Registry and Migration Department.

  • For Non–EU citizens (resident in Cyprus): Copy of ‘Permanent Residence Certificate’ from the Civil Registry and Migration Department.

  • For Non Cyprus residents: Copy of any other official certificate from country of residence, which clearly states Tax Code/Identification Card (ID)/Social Insurance number and a letter that explains the reason of request for registration to the Cyprus tax authorities.

Public Holidays in 2022

S.No Occasion Date
1. New Year’s Day 1st January
2. Epiphany 6th January
3. Green Monday 7th March
4. Greek Independence Day 25th March
5. National Day 1st April
6. Orthodox Good Friday 22nd April
7. Orthodox Easter Monday 25th April
8. Labour Day 1st May
9. Orthodox Whit Monday 13th June
10. Assumption Day 15th August
11. Cyprus Independence Day 1st October
12. Ochi Day 28th October
13. Christmas Day 25th December
14. Boxing Day 26th December

Several other holidays are observed, either unofficially at a national level or by official local public observance.

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