Questions & Answers on Basic Aspects of Cyprus Employment Law
- Does the employer have any obligations by the start of a new employment?
According to the law, (The provision of Information to the Employee by the Employer on the Conditions Applicable to the Contract or Employment Relationship Law) the employer is obliged to inform the employee in writing, within one month after the beginning of the employment, of the basic terms applicable to his contract of employment or employment relationship.
- What are the basic terms of an employment contract or relationship?
The basic terms of an employment contract or employment relationship, that the employer is obliged to inform in writing the employee are the following:
- The place of his work.
- His duties, his grade or category of work, as well as the content and object of his work.
- The starting date of the contract or the employment relationship and its probable duration, in the case of employment on a fixed term.
- The duration of paid leave, to which the employee is entitled, as well as the method and time in which it may be taken.
- The probation period, if any.
- All types of remuneration to which the employee may be entitled and the time schedule for their payments.
- The duration of his daily or weekly work.
- Mention of any collective agreements which govern the terms of the employment.
- Is there a minimum salary?
In general, the salary is negotiated between the employer and the employee. However the Ministerial Council has set the minimum salary for certain occupations.
The Minimum Wage Order of 2012 applies to clerks, sales-persons, school aids, child and infant minders, nursing aids, care workers and from the 1st of April 2012 is €870. After six months of employment with the same employer the minimum salary is increased to €924. The minimum hourly salary for security guards is €4,90 and after six months of employment in the same employer it becomes €5,20. The minimum hourly salary for cleaners of business is €4,55 and after six months of employment in the same employer it becomes €4,84.
- Does the employer have the authority/discretion to delay payment of the employee's salary?
According to the Protection of Salaries Law, the payment of the employees' salaries must be per week or per month, depending on the terms of the employment agreement. If there is any delay in the payment of his salary the employee can submit a written complaint to the Inspector of the Department of Labour Relations. In cases where the said violation cannot be settled, the employee can file an application to the Labour Disputes Court.
- When the employer must give notice regarding the termination of an employment and when the employee must give notice in case of resignation?
According to the Termination of Employment Law, an employer who intends to terminate an employment, who has completed at least 26 weeks of continuous employment with that employer, has an obligation to give written notice as follows:
From 26 weeks work to 51 weeks (6 months – 1 year) : one week notice
From 52 weeks work to 103 weeks (1 year – 2 years): two weeks' notice
From 104 weeks work to 155 weeks (2 years – 3 years): four weeks' notice
From 156 weeks work to 207 weeks (3 years – 4 years): five weeks' notice
From 208 weeks work to 259 weeks (4 years – 5 years): six weeks' notice
From 260 weeks work to 311 weeks (5 years – 6 years): seven weeks' notice
From 312 weeks' work or more (6 years +): eight week's notice
(The same periods apply in case of resignation)
*It is worth mentioning that in cases where the employee is a pregnant woman then the employer cannot give her a notice and/or terminate her employment from the moment she informs her employer about her pregnancy until three months after her maternity leave ends.
*It is also worth mentioning that the general provision regarding the probation period does not apply in the case of a pregnant employee.
- Can an employer fire an employee without any notice? If yes, in which cases?
The employer has the right to terminate the employment of an employee without any notice, where the employee's conduct is such as to justify his dismissal without notice, e.g.:
- Gross misconduct by the employee in the course of his duties,
- Commission by the employee in the course of his duties of a criminal offence without the agreement, expressed or implied, of his employer,
- Immoral behaviour by the employee in the course of his duties and
- Serious or repeated contravention or disregard by the employee of work or other rules in relation to his employment.
- Where the employer does not exercise his right to dismissal without notice within reasonable time from which one of the above events occurred, the termination of employment is deemed to be unjustified.
- Does the employee have any right to compensation for unlawful dismissal?
An employee, whose employment is terminated unlawfully after he has completed 26 weeks of continuous employment with an employer, is entitled to compensation. Compensation is also payable in the case of an employee who terminates his employment because of his employer's conduct i.e delay in payment of salary.
- What is parental leave and how much leave an employee can take?
An employee of either sex who has completed six or more months of continuous employment with the same employer can claim unpaid parental leave for up to a total of 18 weeks on grounds of childbirth or adoption in order to take care of and/or participate in the raising of the child. The above also applies in case of part-time workers, employees on fixed contract and temporary workers.
- I am pregnant. Is there any legislation that protects me?
Maternity rights are secured through the "Maternity Protection Law". It protects the pregnant employee from a termination or notice of termination of employment during her pregnancy and three months after the maternity leave ends.
This does not apply in cases where the employed woman is found guilty of a misdemeanour or the business at which she is employed closes down or the contract period is expired.
An employee who gave birth and/or is breast-feeding or has increased responsibilities for the care/raising of the child, can, until the baby becomes nine months old, interrupt their employment for one hour or go to work one hour later or leave work one hour earlier per day. The one-hour excuse period is considered working time.
There is also right for leave of absence from employment, without any lost of pay, for the purpose of natal examinations where they must be taken during employment time.
The maternity leave does not affect adversely in any way the seniority of an employee and/or the right of promotion.
- Is there any leave for reasons of force majeure?
Yes. The employee is entitled to unpaid leave of 7 days per year for reasons of force majeure connected with illness of and/or accident to his dependants and necessitating the immediate presence of the employee. Such leave can be granted either partially or totally. The employee must notify his employer of his intention to take such leave as soon as possible.
*A "dependent" is defined as a child, husband, wife, parent, brother, sister, grandfather and/or grandmother.