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This content is for informational purposes only. We do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this content. It is not legal advice and shall not be relied on as such.

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The island of Cyprus is located in the Mediterranean Sea, 70 kilometers (45 miles) south of the coast of Turkey and 100 kilometers (62 miles) west of Syria. The majority of the population of the southern two-thirds of the island is Greek. Turks make up most of the population of the northern third, which calls itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Although a United Nations buffer zone separates the Greek and Turkish areas, Turkey is the only country to recognize the Turkish Republic as a separate country, and there are ongoing efforts to bring both Greek and Turkish Cyprus together under a single, universally recognized government. The entire island became a member of the EU in 2004, and the euro has been the official currency since 2008, although the Turkish lira is used in the north. Cyprus’ beaches and warm weather attract millions of visitors each year, making tourism one of the pillars of its economy. Cyprus also is an international finance center. Many corporate entities are domiciled on the island, as well, with a number establishing corporate headquarters there. The energy sector is likely to play an important role in Cyprus’ future, thanks to the discovery of large offshore natural gas reserves in 2013.

Employment contracts in Cyprus are either indefinite-term or fixed-term. The duration of a fixed-term contract cannot exceed 30 months, and a series of fixed-term contracts may not have a combined term of more than 30 months. If the employee remains employed with the employer beyond the 30-month limit, the contract automatically converts to an indefinite contract. An employment contract does not have to be in writing but it is advisable. The employer must disclose some information to the employee in writing within 30 days of the start of employment if it is not stated in a written contract.

The standard workweek in Cyprus is 40 hours over five days, although a six-day week is possible. Employees may not work more than 48 hours in one week, averaged over four months, and the employee’s consent is required for work beyond 40 hours. The rates of pay for overtime and other non-standard working arrangements are normally set by a collective bargaining agreement, or if no collective bargaining agreement applies, the employer and employee usually negotiate the rate.

The amount of an employee’s sick leave in Cyprus, as well as sick pay, are usually set by collective bargaining agreement or the employment contract. If the employee does not receive sick pay under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement or their individual contract, they may qualify for a social security benefit in the event of an illness lasting three days or more, up to a maximum of 156 days. Employees are also allowed five days of unpaid leave per year to care for a family member who is ill or injured.

An expectant mother is entitled to 18 weeks of maternity leave in Cyprus after providing her employer with a medical certification of her pregnancy. She must take a minimum of 11 weeks, starting at the latest two weeks before the expected week of the birth, and at least eight weeks must be taken after the birth. If she gives birth to more than one child, she is entitled to four additional weeks of maternity leave for each additional child. Fathers receive two weeks of paternity leave, which can be taken anytime during the 16 weeks following the child’s birth. The father must provide two weeks of advance notice in writing. Employers have no obligation to pay employees during maternity or paternity leave, but both parents can receive a social security benefit during their leave if they meet the eligibility requirements.

Cyprus has no general minimum wage, but certain professions do have one. Bonuses are paid at the employer’s discretion. Many employers pay a 13th month of salary as a bonus, usually in December. Employers are also required to give employees holiday pay, which is paid either to the employees directly or from a Central Holiday Fund to which employers contribute.

Employees receive four weeks of paid annual leave in Cyprus: 20 days per year for employees who work five days per week, or 24 days for those who work six days per week. A collective bargaining agreement or employment contract may provide for more leave time. Employees become eligible for their full leave after 48 weeks of employment. Employees must request leave, and the employer may deny the request because of the needs of the business.

In Cyprus, the public holidays are:

  • New Year’s Day

  • Epiphany Ash Monday (Kathara Deftera)

  • Green Monday

  • Greek Independence Day

  • Greek Cypriot Day (EOKA Day)

  • Orthodox Good Friday

  • Orthodox Easter Monday

  • Labor Day

  • Orthodox Whit Monday (Katalysmos)

  • Assumption Day

  • Cyprus Independence Day

  • Ochi Day (Greek national day)

  • Roman Catholic Christmas

  • Boxing Day

Cyprus has universal health care. Cyprus also has many private clinics and hospitals. Private medical insurance is available, and many residents of Cyprus purchase it.

Employers in Cyprus may terminate employees with notice for a legitimate reason. The main legally recognized reasons for termination with notice are unsatisfactory performance, redundancy, the expiration of a fixed-term contract or for reasons outside of the employer’s control. The notice must be in writing, with the notice period depending on the employee’s length of service. The employer also has the option of making the termination effective immediately and paying the employee the salary they would be paid during the notice period. Terminated employees in Cyprus must be paid severance pay as soon as possible after termination. Severance pay is based on length of service.

  • Local Laws & Regulations

    We understand that local laws and regulations change and sourcing an accurate reference guide is not easy. Our data is researched and verified by our team of local international Employment Attorneys, HR and Benefit Professionals and Tax Accountants through our Atlas team and consultants, to ensure information up-to-date and accurate.

  • Partner with atlas logo

    Partnering with Atlas when expanding into Cyprus can dramatically reduce the standard brick and mortar processes of doing business in foreign markets and allow you to focus on what you do best, growing your company! To discover more about how Atlas can simplify your ability to expand globally, please feel free to contact us.

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