Protection of Wages Law in Cyprus
The Protection of Wages Law of 2007 entered into force on 21 March 2007. Its purpose is to provide for the manner of payment of wages by the employer.
- Employees’ representatives means the employees’ representatives in accordance with any law and/or practice.
- Employee means a person working for another person, either under a contract of service or apprenticeship or in circumstances such as the existence of an employer-employee relationship may be derived, and the term ‘employer’ is construed accordingly and includes the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.
- Wages means any remuneration in money as a result of the employee’s employment and any gain from such employment capable of being attributed a monetary value and includes the provident fund contribution, as well as the contribution payable to the Central Holiday Fund, established under the Holidays with Pay Law, but does not include occasional commissions and ex-gratia payments.
Employees’ wages must be paid in cash in a legal tender, that is currency notes or coins or through a salaries account or by bank cheque or postal draft.
- Payment of the wages, either wholly or partly, in the form of alcoholic drinks or other dangerous substances is prohibited.
- Payment of part of the wages may be made in kind, where this is customary in the industry or occupation concerned, provided that:
- Allowances in kind, considering their amount and quality, are appropriate for and benefit the employee and his family;
- The value attributed to them is fair and reasonable;
- In every case the employee’s consent has been obtained.
The wages must be paid directly to the employee concerned, except where the employee himself has agreed in writing to the contrary.
The employer has no right to limit in any manner, whether directly or indirectly, the employee’s freedom to dispose of his wages, except where and to the extent permitted by the Law.
Where the employer operates stores for the sale of goods or services to the employees, the employees must be free of any coercion to make use of such stores or services.
- The payment of wages, where made in cash, must be made only during working hours, at or near the workplace, except as may be otherwise provided by another law, regulation or collective agreement;
- Payment of wages is prohibited in amusement or similar establishments and, where necessary to prevent abuse, in shops for the retail sale of goods, except in the case of persons employed in such shops.
- The payment of wages must be made at least every week, except in the case of monthly paid employees, whose wages must be paid at least monthly;
- In the case of employees, whose wages are fixed on a piece-work basis or on a production basis, the maximum intervals of payment of wages must be, as far as possible, such as to allow payment at least twice per month, at intervals not exceeding 16 days;
- The frequency of payment referred to above may be modified where a collective agreement or practice provides otherwise.
Deductions from wages are prohibited, except for:
- Deductions provided for by law or regulation.
- Deductions in accordance with the rules of a pension scheme, provident fund or medical care fund.
- Deductions by order of the court.
- Deductions for damages in respect of a loss suffered by a business as a result of the intentional act or gross negligence of the employee concerned.
- Other deductions, subject to the employee’s consent, and provided that the following conditions are satisfied:
- Before any deduction from the wages for damages to the employer, consultations must take place with the employees’ representatives with a view, inter alia, to determining the amount of damages and the manner of payment of damages; in case there is no recognized machinery of representation of the employees at the level of the establishment, consultations must take place with the employee himself;
- Where the above-mentioned consultations do not result in a settlement of the dispute, the dispute is referred to the Minister of Labour and Social Insurance for mediation and, if no agreement is reached at the mediation stage, the Ministry refers the dispute to the Labour Disputes Court;
- Deductions from wages are limited to the extent that allows the employee to maintain himself and his family.
The assignment of wages is prohibited, except where and to the extent that this is provided for by law or regulation. In no case such assignment may be made to such an extent as to prevent the maintenance of the employee and his family.
Obligation to keep records:
- The employer is required to keep a record showing the gross and net wages of every employee and any deduction from his wages, as well as the reasons for such deduction.
- The above records must be kept by or on account of the employer and be available at all reasonable time for inspection by an Inspector appointed by the Minister.
- Every employer or his representative and every employee of such employer is obliged, when so required by an Inspector, to furnish him with any information, book, record, certificate or other document or particular, which the employer, his representative or his employee, as the case may be, has in his possession and is relevant to the matters governed by the provisions of the Law;
- The employer, his representatives or his employees, must provide the means required by an Inspector as being necessary for the entry, inspection, examination, investigation or exercise of any other power, as the Law provides, in connection with the business of such employer.
An employer who violates the provisions of the Law is guilty of an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding €3.417 (£2.000) or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
Any employer who abuses his right of instituting insolvency proceedings, with a view to depriving the employee of his rights under the Law, is guilty of an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding €5.125 (£3.000) or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
Any person who,
- obstructs an Inspector in the exercise of his powers under the Law, or
- refuses to answer or gives a false answer in any investigation under the Law, or
- fails to produce any record, certificate, book or other document or furnish any information, as required by the Law, or
- prevents or tries to prevent any person from appearing before an Inspector or from being examined by him,
is guilty of an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding €3.417 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
Where the above offences are committed by a legal person or corporation, guilty of the offence is the managing director, chairman, director, secretary and any other such official of the legal person or corporation, if it is proved that the offence has been committed with his consent, connivance or tolerance. In such case the offender, is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding €3.417 (£2.000) or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or to both such fine and imprisonment. The legal person or the corporation is also guilty of the same offence and is liable to a fine of €3.417 (£2.000).
The competent Authority for implementing the Law is the Department of Labour Relations.