US

Feb 04 2019

Minimum Salary Level Unified Across All Ages, Sharply Increased

Greece

At a Glance

  • Effective February 1, 2019, the minimum monthly salary for foreign workers in Greece has increased to EUR 650 for employees of all ages, up 11 percent from last year (up 27 percent for employees under 25 years old).
  • The government removed the age differentiation in the salary threshold, which results in a steep increase for employees under 25. Nevertheless, foreign workers typically receive salaries well above this threshold.

The situation

Effective February 1, 2019, the minimum monthly salary for foreign workers in Greece has increased to EUR 650 for employees of all ages.

A closer look

  • Existing employees. Employers of foreign nationals currently under a Greek work permit must increase the foreign national’s minimum salary to comply with the new rule. Immigration applications that do not meet the minimum salary will be rejected.
  • Initial and renewal applications. Employers of foreign nationals seeking to obtain or renew a Greek work permit on or after February 1, 2019 must increase the foreign national’s minimum salary to comply with the new rule. Immigration applications that do not meet the minimum salary will be rejected.
  • Pending applications. Employers of foreign nationals with pending work permit applications as of February 1, 2019 must increase the foreign national’s minimum salary to comply with the new rule. Immigration applications that do not meet the minimum salary will be rejected.



Reminders on other requirements

  • Benefits and allowances. As before, benefits and allowances may only be included in the minimum salary calculation if they are specified in the employment contract, guaranteed and fixed, and are not paid in kind. Holiday allowance cannot be included in the minimum salary calculation.
  • Market salary rate. As before, salaries must also meet the market salary rate for the proposed position.
  • Currency. As before, employers are required to guarantee the salary in EUR regardless of payroll location and/or exchange rate fluctuations.



Background

Salary increases between one and 10 percent are normal in Europe, typically seeking to keep the salary level aligned with the cost of living.

The previous minimum salary amounts in Greece differed by age. The new, consolidated requirements aim to simplify the minimum salary calculation for all workers, setting a unified threshold at the former highest salary requirement of applicants over 25 years of age on home payroll (EUR 654.50 gross per month for 2018). However, Greece’s government continues to encourage local over foreign workers, as shown by the steep increase in minimum salary levels despite Greece’s current economic conditions.

Looking ahead

Most European countries have published their new salary thresholds over the past weeks. Countries that have not yet published threshold changes at this time are not expected to implement any changes shortly.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to emea@fragomen.com.