Topic 2 Inclusion, diversity, and rights in the Greek labor market

Public Offices, private sector and businesses do not follow the same schedule as the working hours can vary depending on the needs and the services of the business. However, there is a general guide to it.

Vary during the year, while the operating days are from Monday to Friday. As a general rule the working hours start from 07:00 – 09:00 until 15:00 – 17:00. Overtime labor hours are common, and it must be paid extra.

Banks operate Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 14:00/14:30. Most businesses and shops operate from Monday to Friday 09:00 – 21:00 and Saturday 09:00 – 14:00, supermarkets operate from 08:00 – 20:00/21:00 Monday to Saturday, while most Sunday’s businesses and shops remain closed.

After the COVID-19 pandemic there are a lot of businesses that follow remote work, “work from home” depending on the type of job.

Sick leave is possible after informing the supervisor.

Working Hours

Legal Hours 

According to Article 1 of Law 3385/2005 the legal weekly hours are set at 45 hours per 5-day work week and 48 hours per 6-day work week. 

Contractual Working Hours

These hours are defined by individual or collective agreements and the working hours can be less but never more than the legal hours (40h/week) – 8h/day in case of 5-day work week or 6,40h/day in case of 6-day work week.

During the year, Greece observes several public holidays. By Greek law, every Sunday is a public holiday, while there are six obligatory official holidays, two optional and some more recognized by the Ministry of Labor, both movable and immovable. Most businesses and companies follow the holidays calendar and remain close to specific days.

2023 2024 2025 2026
Clean Monday
Good Friday
Easter Sunday
Easter Monday
White Monday

New Year’s Eve – 1st of January

Dormition of the Mother of God 15th of August

Epiphany 6th of January

Ohi Day 28th of October

Greek Independence Day 25th of March

Christmas Day 25th of December

Labor Day 1st of May

Boxing Day 26th of December

National legislation: Inclusion, diversity, and rights in the Greek labor market

  • The Racial Equality Directive (2000/43/EC). It prohibits discrimination on the ground of racial or ethnic origin in a broad range of fields, including employment, social protection and social advantages, education, and goods and services available to the public, including housing.
  • The Employment Equality Directive (2000/78/EC). It is limited to the field of employment and occupation but covers the grounds of religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation.
  • Council Directive 2004/113/EC of 13 December 2004: the application of the principle of equal treatment of men and women in the access to and provision of goods and services.
  • Directive 2006/54/EC on the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and the equal treatment of men and women in matters of work and employment, which was incorporated in Greece by law 3896/2010.

European Commission against Racism and Intolerance has adopted some General Policy Recommendations on Combating Racism and Other forms of Discrimination.

Directive 2014/54/EU on measures to facilitate the exercise of workers’ rights in the context of the free movement of workers.

With Law 4443/2016, Council Directives 2000/43/EC and 2000/78/EC concerning racial equality and equality in employment, respectively, were incorporated into national law.

The Fight against Some Forms and Events of Racism and Xenophobia through the Criminal Law 4285/2014 – “ΦΕΚ 191/Α/10-9-2014”


Can you reflect on working contracts and working hours? Do you have any experience?