The Employment Contract Law
The Provision of Information to the Employee by the Employer on the Conditions Applicable to the Employment Contract/Relationship Laws of 2000 and 2007 consist of the principal Law, which entered into force on 7 July 2000 and the Amendment Law, which governs the powers and duties of Inspectors and entered into force on 16 February 2007. The Law requires the employer to notify the employee in writing, of the essential conditions of the employment contract or relationship and lays down the minimum content of such information.
The Law applies to every employee having an employment contract or relationship (in the private, the public or the semi-government sector).
The Law does not apply to certain categories of employees:
- whose total duration of employment does not exceed one month or eight hours per week; or
- whose employment is of casual and/or specific nature, provided that non-application of the Law is justified on objective grounds.
The employer is obliged to inform the employee in writing about the conditions of employment. Such written information should at least cover the following:
- The identification particulars of the employer and the employee;
- The place of work of the employee and the registered place of the business or the employer’s home address;
- The title or specific job, grade and category of the work of the employee, as well as the object of his work;
- The date of commencement of the employment contract or relationship and its expected duration, in the case of fixed-term work;
- Reference to any collective agreement applicable to the terms and/or conditions of the employees’ employment.
In addition, the following information, for which written reference may be made to the respective law or collective agreement, if any, should be given:
- The length of the period of paid annual leave to which the employee is entitled and the manner and time of granting such leave;
- The length of the period of notice to be observed by the employer and the employee in case of termination of the employment contract or relationship;
- All the components of the employee’s remuneration and the frequency of its payment;
- The length of the employees’ normal working day or week.
None of the above-mentioned conditions of employment can be less favourable to the employee concerned than those provided for by the respective legislation.
Written information may be in the form of:
- A written contract of employment; or
- A letter of engagement; or
- Any other document, signed by the employer and containing at least all the information referred to above.
Information about the above-mentioned conditions must be given not later than one month after the commencement of employment. Where there is a change in the conditions of employment, the employer must inform the employee in writing, within one month at the latest, after the date of the change.
The requirement of the one month’s notice does not apply, when the change arises from a law or other document to which reference was made in the information initially provided.
If an employment relationship was in existence:
- for less than five years before entry into force of the Law, then the information had to be given within six months after the entry into force of the Law (7 July 2000), that is not later than 7 January 2001;
- for more than five years before entry into force of the Law, the information should have been given within two months, on request by the employee. If the employer failed to respond, then the employee should remind him. If, following the reminder, the employer failed to comply within 15 days, then the employee could, if he so wished, have recourse to the Industrial Disputes Court.
The reminder procedure is not required in cases of persons:
- Employed abroad;
- With temporary contract or employment relationship;
- Not covered by a collective agreement.
The Law applies also in the case of an employee who works abroad under a contract of employment or employment relationship, concluded in Cyprus or governed by Cypriot law or practice and is of at least one month’s duration.
Information to the employee concerned must be given before his departure and must include the following additional points:
- The duration of the employment abroad;
- The currency to be used for the payment of the employee’s remuneration;
- All possible benefits, in cash or in kind, attendant on the expatriation;
- Any conditions governing the employee’s repatriation.
The Minister of Labour and Social Insurance has appointed Inspectors, responsible for monitoring the application of the Law. The Amendment Law of 2007 lays down the powers and duties of Inspectors.
The competent court for settlement of any dispute arising from the application of the Law is the Labour Disputes Court. The burden of proof of the fact of informing the employee about the conditions of his employment contract or relationship, is on the employer.
An employer who, without good cause, violates the Law, is guilty of an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding €854 (£500). The burden of proof of good cause in failing to inform the employee is on the employer.
The competent Authority for implementing this Law is the Department of Labour Relations.