Working in Cyprus

An overview of the main terms and conditions of employment in Cyprus are described below. All companies operating in Cyprus are obliged to adhere to the employment legislation of Cyprus.

Legislative basis

The employment of non-Cypriot nationals is governed by Alien and Migration Law. All procedures are managed by the Department of Labour and/or by the Civil Registry and Migration Department. The employment of EU nationals, is regulated by the Law on Free Movement and Residence of Nationals of the Member States of the European Union and their Families.

All EU nationals and non-EU nationals working in Cyprus are required to be registered with the Civil Registry and Migration Department.

 Pay Period

There is no standard pay period and each organization is able to adjust its pay period according to its working conditions. It is customary for the pay period to be monthly with most employers paying salaries on the last day of each month.

Probation Period

Employment law provides for a minimum probation period of at least 26 weeks which may be extended to a period of up to 104 weeks. In the event of termination of employment by either the employer or the employee during the probation period, there is no minimum notice period.

Working Hours

The maximum weekly hours of work are 48 hours, including overtime. The normal pattern of working hours in Cyprus is 40 hours per week. In addition, the employee is entitled to at least 11 continuous hours of rest per day. When the daily period of work is greater

than six continuous hours, the employee is entitled to a break of duration of 15 minutes. Sunday work is prohibited by law, unless expressly permitted and also depending on the sector (for example in tourist areas).

Public Holidays

There are 15 statutory holidays per annum. Refer to the Essential Information menu on the CYSA home page for more details on public holidays in Cyprus.

 Annual Leave

Depending on the type of work schedule, employees are entitled to 20 days (when working on a 5-day week), or 24 days (when working on a 6-day week) of annual holiday leave. This only applies to employees that have worked for at least 48 weeks within a year. In cases of work for a shorter period of time, then the duration of annual leave is calculated proportionately. However, for work of less than 13 weeks within a year, the employee is not entitled to annual leave.

Sick Leave

Sick Leave is paid by the Department of Social Insurance of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance. A sickness benefit is payable to employed persons working abroad in the service of Cypriot employers and self-employed persons working abroad whose permanent residence is in Cyprus.

In the case of an employed person the payment of the benefit starts on the 4th day of absence from work due to illness and in the case of a self-employed person the payment starts on the 10th day of absence from work. The level the benefit is determined according to the average weekly amount of earnings on which contributions were made by or for the insured person in the previous contribution year under the social insurance scheme.

It is also customary for organisations to allow a maximum number of paid incidental sickness absences per annum, usually 10 days.

Employer-sponsored pension funds

Many employers sponsor a provident fund scheme for their employees, similar to a pension plan. It is not compulsory to operate such funds, but once formed a fund is regulated by legislation and the office of the Commissioner of Provident Funds. The basic principle of a provident Fund is that both employer and employee contribute a specific percentage of the employee’s monthly gross salary to the Fund.