Recruiting Top Talent in Cyprus

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Cyprus Top Talent

Recruitment can be a tricky business, especially when a company is venturing into unfamiliar countries and exploring new markets. This is the perfect occasion to bring in a specialist to oversee the process for you – Bradford Jacobs’ expertise and over 20 years of experience in international recruitment services are indispensable for expansion into Cyprus.

Our comprehensive knowledge of all Cypriot employment sectors and understanding of the culture and customs guarantee an untroubled transition.

The Recruitment Process in Cyprus

A foreign company expanding into Cyprus does not require the assistance of a local entity to hire their employees. It is, however, vital to your recruitment efforts to know where you can find the right talent and which local and international employment organizations they can collaborate with to access the right talent pools. This, however, does not come easily – and once the right employee is found, the employer must follow thorough staffing and registration procedures. These include:

  • Registering with Cyprus’ Tax Department for a taxpayer’s identification code
  • Registering with the Social Insurance Foundation to pay social security contributions
  • Registering with the National Health Insurance System
  • Registering employees with the Department of Labour
  • Creating employment contracts and translating them to Greek or English
  • Applying for employees’ employment invitations and work permits
  • Applying for employee’s visas or special expatriation status (if applicable)
  • Calculating employees’ monthly salary and creating payslips.
  • Researching for any available tax-free allowances or benefits.
  • Submitting wage tax returns and national insurance forms.
  • Corresponding with the involved parties (organizations, trade unions, etc.)
  • Creating annual accounts, financial administration, and year-end statements.
  • Creating a payment schedule for wage tax, national and social insurance, and net wages.

Legal Checks on Employees in Cyprus

When commencing the recruitment process in a foreign country, employers must consider their legal obligations regarding personal information. Cypriot law follows EU law, which requires employers to ensure equal treatment of employees in the workplace and protect them against discrimination based on characteristics such as race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, etc.

This law also includes background checks, which are only considered fair and legal if they relate directly to a job and are necessary for reaching a decision on recruitment. Following the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 679/2016) (GDPR) put in place by the EU, these background checks may only be carried out with the consent of the candidate.

Nevertheless, employers recruiting in Cyprus may ask for the following checks (following certain conditions):

  • Criminal background checks: The criminal background of a candidate may only be asked for if it is relevant to the work of the job position and must be provided with the consent of the employee.
  • Health checks: Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees based on their physical and/or mental disabilities unless specific requirements for the job cannot be met. Health checks are allowed if they are used to ensure the capability of the candidate for the accomplishment of specific duties in a profession.
    With regards to non-EU nationals, the employer must provide proof of the employee’s medical health through several medical examinations, which include a chest x-ray and blood tests, to obtain a work permit.
  • Reference and educational checks: Often done in practice, to assess a candidate’s suitability regarding work performance.
  • Immigration compliance

Basic Facts on Hiring in Cyprus

  • Cyprus is a politically unique country, which has two distinct areas – one Greek, and one Turkish – that operate independently (partially) of each other.
    These major political and cultural differences between the two areas need to be factored into your recruitment efforts to avoid cultural insensitivity or cultural disputes.
  • An employer’s questions during an interview are regulated and restricted by EU data legislation – they must directly relate to job specifications and requirements.
  • Terms and conditions of employment in Cyprus are regulated by national legislation, as well as trade unions and collective agreements.
  • For onboarding employees, you will need the following documentation: A social security number, a tax identification number, a work permit, and a residence permit if an employee is a non-EEA national.
  • Employers must follow EU anti-discrimination laws throughout the process of recruitment, which prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, language, sex, political worldview, social class, national or social descent, wealth, age, sexual discrimination, disability, etc.
  • Collective agreements are the main method in Cyprus through which the terms and conditions of employment are met. These agreements are usually valid for two or three years, but the validity is negotiable.
    Collective bargaining takes place at the industry and company levels, and key industry-level collective agreements in the private sector cover hotels, metalworking industries, oil, and construction.
    There is also widespread collective bargaining in the public and semi-public sectors, and coverage is close to 100%.
  • Administration and enforcement of employment requirements are governed by The Ministry of Labor, as well as District Labor Relations Offices.
  • In Cyprus, employment contracts are not obliged to be in writing. However, employers must provide the employee, in writing, with specific information regarding the terms of their employment.
  • Standard employment contract types include indefinite contracts, as well as fixed-term contracts.
  • The standard working time is 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week, but this can be altered according to the type of employment contract and work.
  • Employers must at least meet the minimum wage for the employee’s salary, but the average monthly salary may differ according to the industry and sector.
  • Overtime work cannot exceed a maximum of 2 hours daily, and 8 hours weekly. Any employee who works overtime should receive a supplement of no less than 150% of their hourly rate (200% during the weekends and holidays), or fully paid time off for no less than the amount of overtime that has been worked. 
  • In a week, employees are entitled to 2 rest days.
  • Employers are obligated to withhold and pay employees’ personal income tax and social security contributions monthly.
  • The notice period for employment termination is one month depending on the employment contract:
  • 6 months – 1 year: 1 weeks notice
    • 1 year – 2 years: 2 weeks’ notice
    • 2 years – 3 years: 3 weeks’ notice
    • 3 years – 4 years: 4 weeks’ notice
    • 4 years – 5 years: 5 weeks’ notice
    • 5 years – 6 years: 6 weeks’ notice
    • 6 years – 7 years: 7 weeks notice
    • 7 years +: 8 weeks notice
  • The probationary period in Cyprus is a minimum of 6 months, and can extend for up to two years, provided that both the employer and employee agree and that the terms and conditions are written in the employee contract.
  • Terminating employment during the probationary period may be done immediately and without justification.