KEY POINTS OF THE NEW LABOUR LAW L. 4808/2021

On 19 June 2021 the new Labour Law came into force. As stated in the explanatory memorandum, the law recognizes first of all the right of all employees – regardless of their contractual relationship and whether they belong to the private or public sector – in a work environment free of violence and harassment, which constitutes a violation of human rights and which affects mental and physical health, dignity, the economic and social environment, and also pose a threat to the working environment itself.

Below we list the main points of the new law. For more information, please contact our law office.

  1. MEASURES REGARDING HARASSMENT AND VIOLENCE IN THE WORK ENVIRONMENT
  • Measures to prevent and address violence and harassment
  • To inform the employees regarding the risks of violence and harassment and their rights.
  • To inform the employees regarding Health and Safety in the working environment
  • Establishing policies to address violence and harassment ( for entities with more than 20 employees – Templates of such policies will be issued by the Ministry )
  • Establishment of a mechanism for the management of internal complaints about harassment and violence.

Deadline for application: until 19 September 2021

 

  1. EMPLOYEES’ LEAVES
  • Paternity paid leave

14 business days

  • Parental leave

Up to 4 months in order to raise the child until it is 8 years old

  • Caregiver leave

5 days per year for the care of a relative

  • Absence from work for reasons of force majeure

1 day and up to 2 times per year for urgent family or health issues

  • Flexible work arrangements for parents

Right to every working parent to request flexible work arrangements, such as teleworking, flexible working hours or part-time work or leave for a certain period time.

  • Paid Leave in order to be submitted to medically assisted reproduction methods

7 business days

  • Childcare reduced work schedule

The childcare leave is extended to the father too (reduced working hours, etc.).

  • Leave paid to attend a child’s school for information about its progress

Up to 4 days per year

  • Marriage leave paid

5 days

  • Prenatal examination leave
  • Reduced working hours for parents of children with disabilities ( for companies with more than 50 employees )
  • Leave- non paid – due to illness of the child or other dependent member

6 to 14 days per year

  • Leave paid due to serious children’s disease

10 days per year

  • Leave non paid – due to hospitalization of children

Up to 30 days per year

  • Leave paid for single-parent families

6 – 8 days

  • Obligation of the employer to inform the employees about their right to Leaves

 

  1. TELEWORKING

Right to disconnect after the end of working hours

 

  1. WORK CARD

It becomes mandatory

It is directly linked to the authorities’ system

Fines if the cards are not activated

Registration of any change of hours and overtime in the Information System of the Authorities (ERGANI)

 

The lawyers of our office, because of their specialized knowledge and experience, are able to undertake the defense of your employment rights at an individual level, as well as the compliance of your company with the new labour law.

BUYING A PROPERTY IN GREECE

Buying a property in Greece is an excellent investment considering that the housing prices in Greece are still low due to the financial crisis. We shall not forget that despite the financial crisis, Greece remains a European country with a unique climate, great private health and educational infrastructure, and with very low crime rate. The prices for buying a Greek property are considerably lower than those in Italy, Spain, France and other European countries. From a legal perspective, buying a property in Greece is a complicated procedure which could be proved tricky for a foreign investor. Our Greek lawyers can responsibly undertake all the necessary actions regarding the purchase of a Greek property. Mainly, our Greek lawyers can objectively and with honesty make a financial assessment of the property, by taking into account the buyer’s – investor’s interests, and not the other parties’ interests, such as the buyer or the real estate agent who get involved into the transaction. Our long experience in the Greek land market and our professionalism may guarantee to you that we will complete the purchase of a Greek property with success and safety.

The procedure for buying a Greek property includes many stages and the legal support by our Greek lawyers – specialised in such matters – is provided in every step. More analytically

 

1.Finding a suitable property.

 

Our Law Firm may bring you into touch with the most serious real estate agencies in Greece which you can trust. Above this, after finding the best property for you, our Greek lawyers may make an independent financial assessment in order to assure you that the property’s sale price is indeed a fair one, considering matters, such as the location, the ‘’fair value’’ set by the Greek Government, other past purchases in the same location, and generally comparative data.

 

2.Negotiations for buying a property in Greece – Presale agreement.

 

Usually, the sellers treat the foreign investors as an opportunity for selling their property in a higher price compared to the one, had the buyer been a Greek citizen., or for imposing unfair sale conditions. The presence of a Greek lawyer during the negotiations will guarantee to you that no unfair conditions will be imposed neither will anyone exploit you.

When the whole procedure is complete, a presale agreement is usually signed between the buyer and the seller, where the terms and conditions of the final purchase are described and a payment in advance is given.

It should be underlined that this presale agreement has a minor legal force, and this is not known to the foreign investors. Our Law Firm will take care so that the terms and conditions of the presale agreement are suitable and do not jeopardise your interests, that the advance payment is reasonable, and that you are not at risk of losing it.

 

3.Due diligence of the property.

 

The due diligence procedure for buying a property includes the check of deeds, mainly whether the property has a mortgage or other weights. Considering that in Greece the Land Register is not yet completed, the due diligence procedure is very important and absolutely necessary for every investor, and it should be done by an experienced Greek lawyer in order that the buyer is certain about his investment.

Our Greek lawyers, specialised in the Greek land market, will inform you about the building regulation regarding the use of the building and its shared parts. Many times, when a foreign investor buys a property for a special use, either professional or commercial, he later discovers that this use is prohibited according to the building regulation. Our Greek lawyers will check the building regulation and will inform you whether this specific use is permitted or not.

In case that the property is near the sea or a forest, it should be checked whether there are restrictions imposed by the law in favor of the sea and the forests protection. This check is absolutely necessary when the investor wishes to buy a land or a building which is located in such an area.

 

4.The urban legality of property.

 

Regarding the property you may buy in Greece, it needs to be checked whether it was built according to its planning permission or not, if it is legal or there are parts of the building which were built later, something very common in the Greek land market. Our Greek lawyers will indicate a specialised engineer to do this check, in order to be certain that your property satisfies all the requirements set out by the law and by the planning permission, before you proceed to the purchase. In case that there are some illegal parts of the property, there is a possibility, according to the Greek legislation, of presenting the necessary documents and paying a penalty, so that your property gets ‘’legalized’’. Our Law Firm is in a position of undertaking the whole procedure.

 

5.Tax procedure.

 

Our specialised Greek lawyers will undertake the submission of your tax statement for buying a property in the tax authorities and the payment of the necessary taxes, in order to be able to proceed with the purchase.

 

6.Preparing and signing the contract.

 

Our Greek lawyers in cooperation with our notary, or any notary indicated by you, will prepare the purchase contract and will guarantee that you do not have any problem with the transfer of the property. During the signing of the contract our lawyers will represent you so that you have a legal support, and they will also proceed with other important matters such as the issue of cheques.

 

7.Registration of the purchase contract to the Land Register.

 

Our Greek lawyers will register the purchase contract to the Land Register and will deliver to you a complete file with copies of your contract and copies of the necessary certificates, which prove that the specific property is now belonging to you and is free from mortgages or other weights.

 

8.Support after the purchase.

 

Owning a property in Greece makes necessary some further actions and care. We can undertake or support you with everything, such as:

Acting as your local representative for tax and legal issues.

Managing your property. We can help you lease your property, pay the utility bills, find and pay a cleaning service and all the other daily care.

 

GREEK LAND MARKET

The prices of Greek properties, compared to those in 2008 when the financial crises started, have been considerably reduced, in some cases even by 42%. Some areas recovered really quickly due to the high demand, such as Kolonaki, Plaka, Thisio, Monastiraki and Glyfada. More specifically, the Greek Statistical Authority has already recorded an increase of 10,8% since 2016, which is present until today. Therefore, the sustainability of the Greek Land Market should be taken for granted and there are high expectations of achieving even higher records.

Greece is now out of memorandum and this creates a safe harbor and promising possibilities for the Greek Land Market. The recent examples of Ireland, Cyprus and Portugal, which came out of memorandum and are until today showing a great increase in property prices, support this view. Greece is crossing the same path, the confidence is gradually being restored and investments in Greek Land Market are becoming more and more attractive, as there are still some great opportunities of Greek properties. Besides, demand is very high for two main reasons: first, because of the availability of the Greek Golden Visa, and second, due to the ever-growing tourism which creates great opportunities for taking a financial advantage of the Greek properties, especially through Airbnb and other electronic platforms.

An important factor that may influence the Greek Land Market is the property’s fair value. This is determined by the Greek Government and it constitutes the basis of calculating the unified property ownership tax. Moreover, the property’s fair value serves as a point of reference for the buyer in order to compare the fair with the commercial value, which is considerably higher in most times. At this point, an independent financial assessment by a lawyer who has an experience in the Greek Land Market and is independent from the real estate agent or the company that found the property is crucial. A specialised Greek lawyer may consult the buyer regarding the difference between the fair and the commercial price and the true value of the property.

Our Law Firm ‘’Stefanos Economou and Partners’’ has the knowledge and the expertise to undertake not only the legal part ( legal check, purchase contract, issue of Golden Visa ), but to make also an independent and objective financial assessment of the property’s commercial value. Our Greek lawyers have a long experience and may indicate to you when a purchase of a Greek property deserves its money, after considering factors, such as the condition of the property, the year of construction, the area, the possibility of leasing that property and up to what price, and the possible changes of its value in the near future.

Below, the new property’s fair values, set by the Greek Government, are outlined concerning the most famous areas in the center of Athens and in Athens Riviera.

 

FORMER PREFECTURE OF ATHENS NEW PRICES
1st ATTICA DISTRICT 950 8450
2nd ATTICA DISTRICT 950 9000
3rd  ATTICA DISTRICT 900 2350
4th ATTICA DISTRICT 900 1200
5th ATTICA DISTRICT 1050 1250
6th ATTICA DISTRICT 900 1500
7th ATTICA DISTRICT 1050 2850
ALIMOS 1300 2500
GLYFADA 1400 4450
DAFNI 1000 1150
PALAIO FALIRO 1300 2750
EASTERN ATTICA NEW PRICES
VARI 1150 3050
VOULA 1550 3600
VOULIAGMENI 2400 8900
LAGONISI 1100 2000
NEA MAKRI 900 1600
RAFINA 1250 1950
SARONIDA 1350 2300

 

GOLDEN VISA BY GREECE 

Any foreigner can acquire a Visa for Greece and Eby investing 250.000 euro in Greece. 

Our law office can assist you in finding a property or other investment which would entitle you to submit for a Golden Visa and undertake all the necessary legal work.  

Frequent Questions and Answers 

–       Does the residence permit give me the right to enter the other countries of Shengen or other EU countries? Are there any prerequisites for this? 

Yes. By virtue of the principle of equivalence between residence permits and long-stay visas (such as residence permits for property owners) every citizen of a third country who holds a long-stay visa – which validity is up to one year- can travel to other Member States for three months per trimester and has the right of multiple entries. 

–      Does the residence permit give me the right to work in Greece? Can my spouse, children and/ or legal representative of my company have access to the labor market? 

The residence permit does not provide you and members of your family with the right to work. An exception to this is the exercise of business activity as shareholder or Managing Director of a legal entity. 

–        Is the value added tax (VAT) included in the amount of 250.000€? Which is the investment’s amount if the title deed or deed of sale bears the name of both spouses? 

The amount of 250.000€ is the price written in the contract. Spouses – co-owners of the property who own it jointly have both the right to get residence permit. 

–        Can I possess more than one real estate with individual value less than 250.000€ and a total value equal to or greater? What value should the purchased real estate have in order to get a residence permit? 

Yes. The total minimum amount written in the contract should be at least 250.000€. 

–        Can I buy commercial property or a combination of commercial and residential property or land? 

The provisions of the law set the minimum amount of 250.000€ as contract price, without distinguishing between commercial and residential real estate. 

–        Does the residence permit give me the right to have access to the Greek educational system and public health? Can my children go to a Greek public school? 

You can have access to public education, but regarding health services you and members of your family must be insured for hospital expenses and medical care. 

–        Can I buy a car with greek signs in order to facilitate my transportation in the country? 

Of course, under the specific conditions set by the Ministry of Transport. 

–        Can I mortgage the real estate in order to get a loan? 

Yes, in proportion to the greeks. 

–        Have I to prove the source of my income? 

Yes. Your income should be demonstrated with documents showing the financial capability (eg certificate of a recognized bank class A or official financial institution or other recognized organization for the storage of securities) by attesting the existence of bank accounts or other securities, mainly bonds or shares. 

–        Is it necessary to buy the whole property by myself? Can all co-owners of real estate get a residence permit? 

No. You can choose to buy real estate in whole or jointly with other co – owners of the property. But residence permit is given to all co-owners, provided that each of them separately has invested the sum of 250.000€. 

However, you can buy a property of only 250.000€ jointly with your wife. 

–        What happens in case that I tarnish my criminal record in the country of origin or during my stay in Greece? 

The issue of residence permit is repealed. 

–        If I have got a long-stay visa for another Shengen country, am I obligated to cancel that visa in order to obtain a type D visa for Greece? 

With the long-stay visa for another Shengen country, you can enter the country and settle matters on the purchase of real estate. But visa type D is a prerequisite for the submission of the application for the issue of residence permit. Therefore, it is recommended that you obtain a visa type D in advance. 

–       For how many years can I get a residence permit? May the residence permit be renewed? 

The validity of the residence permit is for five (5) years. Then you can renew it for another 5 years provided that you still own the property. 

–        Can my wife and/or children obtain a residence permit? 

Yes. The children have to be minors. 

–        Have I to buy the property only as a physical person or can I purchase it through a company/ legal entity? 

According to the provisions of the law, you can possess real estate in Greece through a legal entity