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Legislative framework

Law 4052/2012 establishes the appropriate framework for recourse to temporary employment, by recognizing temporary employment agencies as employers, in order to substantially enhance the creation of jobs and the development of flexible forms of work.

What is Temporary Employment?

Temporary employment means work provided to another employer (indirect employer) for a limited period of time by an employee who is related to said employer (direct employer) under a contract or dependent employment relationship of indefinite or definite duration.

Who is the indirect and who is the direct employer?

Indirect employer is the natural or legal person for whom and under whose supervision and direction the temporary employee works temporarily.

Direct employer is the Temporary Employment Agency which concludes employment contracts with the temporary employees.

What is the object of a Temporary Employment Agency?

The object of the activity of a Temporary Employment Agency is the provision of work by their employees to another employer (indirect employer) in the form of temporary employment.

A Temporary Employment Agency is a natural or legal person entering into employment contracts or dependent employment relationships with temporary employees, in order to assign them to indirect employers to work temporarily under their supervision and direction.

The Temporary Employment Agency is not allowed to carry out any other activity. Exceptionally, it is allowed to carry out the following activities:

  1. evaluation and/or training of human resources
  2. mediation to finding a job, for which a special permit is required.
Obligations of direct and indirect employer

The TEA and the indirect employer are jointly and severally liable to the temporary employee under a contract or employment relationship to satisfy their salary rights and pay their insurance contributions. This liability of the indirect employer is suspended, provided that the contract stipulates that the direct employer is liable for the payment of salaries and insurance contributions and that salary and insurance rights are temporary.

The provision of employment in the form of temporary employment requires a prior written employment contract of definite or indefinite duration. The contract is drawn up between the TEA (direct employer) and the employee and it must necessarily indicate the working conditions and the work duration, the terms of the provision of work to the indirect employer or employers, the terms of remuneration and insurance of the employee, the reasons for the assignment of the employee, as well as any other information of which, in good faith and under the circumstances, the employee must be aware with regard to the provision of his work. The TEA undertakes to proceed to the conclusion of a contract of dependent employment of definite or indefinite duration with the temporary employee and to announce and submit the respective contract to the competent bodies [Labor Inspectorate (SEPE), Unified Social Security Fund (EFKA)], etc.

The duration of the employee’s assignment to the indirect employer, which also includes any possible renewals made in writing, shall not exceed thirty-six (36) months. In the event that such time limits are exceeded, the existing contract is converted into a contract of indefinite duration with the indirect employer.

If the employment of the employee by the indirect employer continues after the expiration of the initial placement and of any legal renewals even with a new placement, without an interval of forty-five (45) calendar days, this is considered an employment contract of indefinite duration between the employee and the indirect employer.

Occupational safety and health for temporary employees

As regards occupational safety and health, employees under a contract or temporary employment relationship enjoy the same level of protection as that provided to the other employees of the indirect employer.

The indirect employer, without prejudice to the contractual provision for the TEA’s joint and several liability as well, is responsible for the conditions under which the employee’s work is performed and for the occupational accident.

The TEA has the obligation to employ a safety technician and an occupational physician, regardless of the number of employees it employs.

Restrictions or prohibitions

The assignment of an employee to an indirect employer under a temporary employment contract is not allowed:

  • when it replaces employees exercising the right to strike
  • when in the previous six months the indirect employer had laid off employees of the same specialty for economic and technical reasons or, in the previous twelve months, had collectively laid off employees of the same specialties
  • when the indirect employer is a company governed by public law
  • when the tasks, by their very nature, pose particular risks to the health and safety of the employees. Such tasks are determined by a decision of the Minister for Labor and Social Security following an opinion from the Council for Health and Safety at Work
  • when the employee is subject to special provisions for the insurance for building craftsmen.
Establishment and Operation of Temporary Employment Agencies

A Temporary Employment Agency can be established by a natural or legal person with a capital of at least one hundred and seventy-six thousand and eighty-three euros (€176,083,00).

Financial and insurance guarantees for temporary employees

Each Temporary Employment Agency must, in order to carry out such activity, to submit two bank letters of guarantee as a financial guarantee, one to ensure the remuneration of its temporary employees and one to ensure the payment of their insurance contributions.

The first letter of guarantee is submitted to the Hellenic Ministry of Labor and Social Security and the second to the Social Insurance Institution (IKA). The amount of the letters of guarantee may be adjusted every two years by decision of the Minister for Labor and Social Security, depending on the number of temporary employees that the Agency has contracted with, and the Agencies shall submit the respective additional letters of guarantee within three months.