Department of Labour Relations

The Department of Labour is actively taking all necessary measures to implement its national legislation on the enforcement of the equality principle and the promotion of equal opportunities for men and women in the workplace, vocational training, according to the Law 205(I)/2002 as has been amended and is fully harmonized with EU directive 2006/54/EC. Also the Law 58(I)/2004 as has been amended is fully harmonized with 2000/78/EC and 2000/43/EC. This Law provides a general framework for combating discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, age or sexual orientation as regards employment and occupation, with a view to putting into effect the principle of equal treatment.

Recently two new amendments enacted regarding the protection of Maternity Law of 1997. Specifically (a) the amending Law No. 116 (I) / 2017 which provides for a surrogate mother and her entitlement to maternity leave of 14 weeks and (b) the amending Law No. 20(I)/2018 which extended the prohibition of dismissal of the employee mother to 5 months instead of 3 months which was before, at the end of maternity and provide provision for protection of the breastfeeding within her workplace.

Furthermore the enactment of Paternity Law No.117(I)/2017 provides that employee spouse has the right of 2 consecutive weeks paternity leave within the period commencing from the week of birth and ends after sixteen weeks.

Any employee who may face any matter of sex discrimination or who may be a victim can submit complaint to the Equality Inspectors under The Equal Treatment for Men and Women in Employment and Vocational Training Law. This Law No.205(I)/2002 as has been amended provides in Section 27 the way/ procedure of investigation a complaint by the Gender Equality Inspectors of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance. Specifically the inspector will proceed with mediation between the complainer and the employer in order to resolve the issue. If an agreement is reached the inspector will write a report and both parties will then sign it. If an agreement is not reached a report will be drafted and it can be used before a court.

The Equality Inspectors examine complaints concerning gender discrimination in order to ensure equality in employment and to combat discrimination. Equality Inspectors exist in each PES District Office and may advice or receive and examine complaints regarding the protection of maternity or may receive complaints regarding sex discrimination which forward them to the Headquarters for investigation according to the Equal treatment of Men and Women in Employment and Vocational Training Law. Their early intervention is vital in order to avoid as match as possible any further labour conflict between the two parties (employee and employer). Also they are responsible to inform all other colleagues in the office regarding equality issues in employment and safeguard that the demanded labour (vacancies) by the Employers does not include statement or imply anything which may infringe provisions of the above equality laws.

More info on Promotion of Equality in the Workplace (en) or Προώθηση Ισότητας στην Απασχόληση (gr)

Relevant Legislation

Non-Discrimination on Grounds of Age in the Field of Employment and Occupation Guide