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Cyprus

Staff welfare

Updated 03/2011

Legal requirements

Company rules

Non-discrimination, equal treatment and gender equality

According to Cypriot legislation, banning all forms of discrimination   with regard to employment and gender equality in terms of employees' rights and obligations in the workplace is guaranteed through relevant acts, both in employment and in vocational education. 

In addition, equal remuneration for both men and women is ensured through the Laws on Equal Remuneration for both Men and Women for carrying out the same Work, or Work of Equal Value of 2002 to 2009. The main scope of the Law is the application of a principle of equality in the remuneration for the same work or work of equal value, regardless of the employee's gender.

Health and safety at work

The Health & Safety at Work Act 1996 makes employers responsible for ensuring that their employees enjoy health and safe conditions in the workplace. The Ionizing Radiation Protection Act 2002 also makes employers responsible for ensuring protection from ionising radiation.

The employer must report accidents at work to the Department of Labour Inspection in writing.  This also applies to accidents occurring to third parties outside work when they result from activity at work.

Labour law

Contract law

As of 2000, employers are required to inform employees in writing on the main terms of the contract or employment relationship (Laws on Informing the Employee of the Terms and Conditions Governing the Employment Relationship of 2000 to 2007).

In addition, collective agreements or individual employment agreements that include the main employment terms are a common practice in Cyprus and contribute to maintaining smooth employment relations within the enterprise.

Labour relations

Salaries are usually paid on a weekly or monthly basis pursuant to the Law on Protection of Salaries of 2007.

The minimum salary is determined by a Council of Ministers Decree (the Decree on Minimum Salary) and is readjusted every year on April 1st. The professions covered include clerks, salespersons, school assistants, assistant kindergarten teachers, assistant baby nurses, assistant nurses, guards, caretakers and janitors.

Time of employment, daily and weekly rest, breaks and annual leave are specified in the provisions of the Laws on Organisation of Working Time of 2003 to 2007. It is noted that the weekly time of employment, based on collective agreements, ranges between 38 and 40 hours.

The terms and conditions of employment for drivers of goods transportation vehicles and passengers are governed by the (EC) Regulations no. 561/2006 and (EEC) no. 3821/85 as well as the Laws on Control of Driving and Resting Hours of Drivers of Certain Vehicles of 2007 to 2010 and the Laws on Organisation of Working Time of Persons Executing Mobile Land Transport Activities of 2005 to 2009.

Every employed parent, whether a man or woman, is entitled to parental leave without remuneration of up to 13 weeks, in order to care and nurture the child (Laws on Parental leave for reasons of Force Majeure of 2003 to 2007).

Protection in the workplace

Every employer shall ensure that prior to engaging in night work and, thereafter, at regular intervals, employees undergo free health assessment.   If it is proven that night workers suffer from health problems caused by the night work, they will be transferred to day work for which they are suited, whenever possible.

Litigation

The Industrial Disputes Tribunal has jurisdiction to handle disputes arising from the application of the provisions set forth in labour laws.

In addition, the social partners signed the Industrial Relations Code in 1977 that stipulates detailed procedures to be followed by both parties (employers and unions), along with the competent mediation agency (Department of Labour Relations), in order to solve labour disputes.

Although, the Industrial Relations Code is not legally binding, it is highly respected by all social partners and its provisions are rarely bypassed.

Mandatory social rules complete the requirements related to managing staff.

Businesses are free to go beyond the minimum social legal requirements at their own initiative.

Administrative procedures

Non-discrimination, equal treatment and gender equality

The Equality Authority of the Office of the Commissioner for Administration is responsible for the investigation of complaints on cases of discrimination.

Furthermore, the Committee for Gender Equality is responsible for providing independent assistance to victims of discrimination in relation to the aforementioned legislation, including legal advice and representation before Courts or other competent authorities.

Health and safety at work

As far as the working environment is concerned, all diseases caused by employee exposure to hazards in the workplace must be communicated in writing to the Department of Labour Inspection, either by the employer or the doctor who diagnosed the disease.

Exposure or likely exposure to ionizing radiation or cases of radioactive contamination must be notified to the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance.  A permit grant application must also be submitted.

If a company conducts activities in factories, it is subject to the Factories Act and has to fill in a registration application to be submitted to the Chief Inspector. Before issuing the certificate of registration, the factory is inspected to check that it meets the minimum requirements for health and safety at work.

Social insurance

The Social Insurance Scheme forcibly covers every person employed in Cyprus, while optional insurance is available to specific individuals. Everyone should nevertheless become registered in order to obtain a Social Insurance Number.

Policy holders are divided into three categories: employees, self-employed individuals and volunteer policy holders. The contributions for each of these categories are calculated separately.

Accidents at work and occupational disease covered by legislation on Social Insurance should be declared for to local authorities both by the employer and the employee.  In any case, and in order to provide such benefits, pensions and allowances, the employee must be examined by the Medical Council.

The Scheme also provides financial benefits for the purposes of marriage, parenthood, illness, unemployment, widowhood, disability, orphanhood, old age, missing partner, death, for which a relevant application must be submitted to the District Offices for Social Insurance or Citizen Service Centres.

Programmes

The Scheme for training new entrants to employment in health and safety issues aims to help young people entering employment for the first time to develop safety awareness. This is being implemented by the Cyprus Productivity Centre, in conjunction with the Department of Labour Inspection and the Human Resources Development Authority.

Help & advice

Help & advice

Cyprus is a member of the European Network for Workplace Health Promotion (ENWHP). The Department of Labour Inspection acts as national body for the Network's activities.

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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