Employment and labour law in Cyprus

Updated: January 19, 2024

Cyprus Employment Law is a combination of common laws and statutes that govern the relationship between an employer and employee. Since employment is regarded as a contract, contract law's standard principles underlay all employment agreements in Cyprus. As such, it is understood that both parties freely and willingly agreed to the terms and conditions of the contract. Several statutory regulations and obligations, such as the Termination of Employment Law of 1967 and collective agreements, complement common law to protect employee rights.

Employee rights safeguarded by the Statute

In addition to honouring contract law, employers must uphold all employees' constitutional rights (to work, strike, and be treated equally in the workplace). Furthermore, several statutes related to employment exist to safeguard workers' rights in Cyprus. The most important is the Termination of Employment Law of 1967. Others include:

  • The Social Security Insurance Law of 1967,
  • The Annual Paid Leave Law of 1967,
  • The Protection of Maternity Law of 1997,
  • The Health and Safety at Work Law of 1996,
  • The Collective Redundancies Law of 2001,
  • The Equal Treatment at Work and Employment Law of 2004, and
  • The Minimum Salaries Law.

Employers must also inform employees of conditions related to the employment relationship or any changes to those conditions.

Employment contracts

In Cyprus, contracts are binding whether they are written agreements or not. However, employers must provide details of the terms of employment within a month of the commencement date. It needn't be a formal employment contract either. Any document, contract, or letter of appointment that outlines the terms of employment and is signed by the employer will do.

It's important to note that statutory and common law rights and obligations apply to all employment contracts. This is irrespective of whether they are mentioned in the agreement or not. Some employee rights include the following:

  • A working week, including or excluding overtime, cannot exceed 48 hours.
  • Parents are entitled to maternity and parental leave.
  • A minimum of 20 weeks should be available for maternity leave.
  • All employees have the right to be paid equally for equal work done.
  • The minimum wage is guaranteed for employees in specific industries.

Termination of employment in Cyprus

The most important employment law-related statute in Cyprus is the Termination of Employment Law. It regulates termination of employment, and its primary purpose is to protect employees against dismissal. This law covers all employees, whether in the private or public sector.

According to the Termination of Employment Law of 1967, employers must give adequate notice of termination. However, the notice period varies depending on the length of service:

  • 26 to 52 weeks of service requires a notice period of one week,
  • 52 to 104 weeks of service requires a notice period of two weeks,
  • 104 to 156 weeks of service requires a notice period of four weeks,
  • 156 to 208 weeks of service requires a notice period of five weeks,
  • 208 to 260 weeks of service requires a notice period of six weeks,
  • 206 to 311 weeks of service requires a notice period of seven weeks, and
  • 312+ weeks of service requires a notice period of eight weeks

Employers are obligated to provide a reason for dismissal. If they cannot give a reason or it is unjustified, the employee has the right to file an unlawful dismissal claim.

Employers are not lawfully entitled to terminate an employment contract in certain circumstances. For instance, your employer legally can't fire you for being a trade union or safety committee member. Similarly, you can't be dismissed for filing a complaint in good faith.

Employers are entitled to terminate an employment agreement and dismiss the employee in the following scenarios lawfully:

  • An employee's work performance is not up to standard;
  • A role has become redundant;
  • Force majeure, war, civil unrest, natural disasters, or an act of God;
  • Non-renewal at the end of a fixed period;
  • An employee is subject to summary dismissal based on their conduct;
  • The relationship between the employee and employer cannot be expected to continue due to the employee's conduct;
  • An employee commits a disciplinary or criminal offence or behaves indecently;
  • An employee repeatedly violates or ignores the terms of employment.

Termination based on redundancy has to meet specific criteria as well. If a company closes or relocates to a different premise, an employer may terminate the employment agreement lawfully as long as employees are given adequate notice. Technological advances or any other changes in its production method may also cause redundancy. Also, in the below cases, a company has grounds to let go of employees based on redundancy:

  • When companies downsize,
  • they experience a reduction in profits, or
  • if a product is no longer thriving in the market.

Maternity and family leave rights

Cyprus' Protection of Maternity Law of 1997 guarantees female and male employees leave after a child's birth. Employees are entitled to 18 continuous weeks of maternity leave and up to two weeks of paternity leave.

This statute doesn't obligate employers to pay wages or benefits to employees on maternity leave. However, it does protect pregnant workers from dismissal due to pregnancy. Additionally, pregnant employees are entitled to paid time off.

Minimum wage

For most employment agreements, the employer and employee negotiate a salary. However, certain occupations have a guaranteed minimum wage. The amount is set yearly by the Ministerial Council's order, which sits annually on the 1st of April. The minimum wage statutes cover the following workers:

  • Shop assistants
  • Clerks
  • School assistants
  • Security guards
  • Nursing assistants
  • Assistant baby and childminders
  • Employees with caring and sanitation duties in senior living communities, private hospitals, and clinics. 
  • A minimum hourly wage exists for security guards and cleaners.


Employment and labour law in Cyprus protects employees against all forms of discrimination (age, gender, language, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, or political beliefs). Unequal pay based on sex is prohibited explicitly in Cyprus, where workers are entitled to equal compensation for equal work. 

The law also protects employees who file sexual harassment complaints. A Gender Equality Inspector or the Ombudsman should investigate sexual harassment complaints.

In the event of unfairness, employees have two options. Depending on the nature of the discrimination, they may file a civil claim or a complaint to the relevant authorities. Employees can claim damages, reinstatement, and attorney's fees if the discrimination claim is successful.

Part-time and fixed-time employees should also be treated equally. Part-time workers are entitled to the same salary and benefits as full-time employees fulfilling the same duties. Employers should pay part-time workers proportionally to the number of hours worked.

Working hours

Employees working five days should not exceed 48 hours per week or eight hours a day. This restriction includes overtime. There are circumstances where different limitations apply. The hotel industry is one example. Shift workers also have other limits. Employees are also entitled to a minimum of 11 continuous hours of rest every 24 hours. Also, they have the right to a constant 24-hour rest period each week. Furthermore, employees are entitled to two consecutive days off with a 14-day cycle.

Similarly, night workers should not, on average, work for longer than eight hours a night in a calendar month.

Our services

Our Law firm can offer the following services:

  • Helping individuals with the process of filing a claim and a court case.
  • Inform you of your rights and obligations under the law.
  • Assess the strengths and limitations of your case.
  • Employment contract drafting.
  • General advice and legal consultation.
  • Handling unfair dismissal claims and discrimination cases.

Frequently asked questions

What are the employment rights in Cyprus?

Employment rights in Cyprus encompass various rights, including human rights like non-discrimination and freedom of thought and opinion. Key employment rights include the right to receive information about employment details, regulated working hours, entitlement to a notice period, social security, the right to strike, paid leave, maternity and paternity leave, equal pay for equal work, non-discrimination, minimum wage in certain industries, and workplace safety.

What is the Cyprus labour law?

Cyprus labour law consists of common law, contract law, and several employment and labour statutes, including the Social Security Insurance Law of 1967, the Health and Safety at Work Law of 1996, and the Termination of Employment Law of 1967 (24/1967).

Who is covered by the Cyprus employment law?

Cyprus employment law covers employers and employees, including Cypriots, EU citizens, and third-country nationals.

What is the law relating to the termination of employment in Cyprus?

The primary legislation includes the Termination of Employment Law of 1967 and contract law principles. This law applies to both private and public sector employees, protecting against unfair dismissal and setting rules for notice, redundancy, and compensation. Wrongful dismissal pertains to breach of contract, while unfair dismissal relates to termination for reasons not allowed by statute. Employees are entitled to compensation and remuneration for work performed, including paid leave, with specific provisions based on the duration of employment.

What notice period is required under Cyprus employment law?

Under the Termination of Employment Law of 1967, the required notice period varies with the length of service: 1 week for 26-52 weeks of service, 2 weeks for 52-104 weeks, 4 weeks for 104-156 weeks, 5 weeks for 156-208 weeks, 6 weeks for 208-259 weeks, 7 weeks for 260-311 weeks, and 8 weeks for 312 weeks and above.

What is the compensation for unfair dismissal in Cyprus?

For unfair dismissal, an employee with at least 26 weeks of service is entitled to remuneration for work performed, including paid leave, plus up to two years’ wages as compensation. Those with less than 26 weeks of service are entitled only to remuneration for their work and paid leave.

Does the general contract of employment vary per industry?

Yes, employment contracts may vary by industry and sector. While a contract may be oral, employees can receive written basic information about their employment. All contracts must comply with employment and labour legislation regardless of their form.

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