• 3 years ago

Opportunities to work on Cyprus are many and varied, EU Nationals can work on the Island without hindrance, although as a courtesy and to help in everyday life, we would suggest a basic understanding of Greek is learnt. You can join a profession, bring your business over from the UK or select a whole new direction for your career when you get over there. There are UK citizen associations which can help you find work, and adapt to your new surroundings.

You will be required to pay local taxes if you are resident. The job market is very similar to both the UK and to much of Europe with vacancy’s available including electrician, plumbing and building to investment banking, insurance. Clearly learning Greek can be an advantage however many businesses use English and most Cypriots speak English as a second Language.

The climate, infrastructure and location make Cyprus a perfect place to create and generate a business from. Many visitors carry on their mainline day to day business from the tranquility of their veranda thanks to the modern and progressive communication links available, and many people establish businesses from the Island and simply work from home.

The employer, the employee and the State all contribute to social insurance (6.3%, 6.3% and 4% respectively). The social insurance requirement applies to all persons working in Cyprus. When you start work in Cyprus you will begin to pay contributions to the Social Insurance Fund.

Participation in social insurance gives the possibility of benefit cover for contingencies such as unemployment, sickness, maternity, occupational disease, disability and death etc. And, of course, it facilitates pensions for the self-employed, the old-age pension and the survivor’s pension.

· You can find out about your own specific case by contacting the Social Insurance Services (Tel. +357 22 401 600).

Community social security provisions

Social security systems in EU countries still show substantial differences, and this calls for a necessary coordination of social security regulations. Common rules ensuring access to social benefits are important to avoid disadvantages for European workers exercising their right of free movement. They are designed to prevent EU citizens from running the risk of being ensured twice or losing their social security benefits when moving to another country.

Although there is no single European social security system, the EU has set common provisions in the field of social protection. This includes the coordination of national social security schemes without seeking to harmonise national regulations. EU law has laid down common rules and principles to be observed by national local authorities and social security institutions that do not replace, but complement, the social security provisions of Member States.

The common social security provisions have the objective to:

· stimulate the free movement of workers, by guaranteeing equal treatment of EU nationals under different legislations
· guarantee social protection to employees and the self-employed (and their families) in whichever EU country they exercise their activity
· ensure that all periods of employment are considered, while periods of overlapping social security systems need to be avoided


The application of common provisions

The common regulations do not apply to all national social security legislation. The following benefits are covered:

· maternity and sickness
· family benefits
· workplace accidents
· old-age and invalidity pensions
· survivor benefits
· unemployment benefits

Benefiting from social protection within the EU

Social security benefits available in other Member States are established by common EU provisions and apply to the following categories of people:

· workers, who are nationals of an EU Member State and who are or have been insured under the laws of this Member State, as well as members of their family
· pensioners, who are nationals of an EU Member State
· third country nationals, who are insured under the legislation of a Member State
· stateless persons and refugees, as well as their families, if they are working in the EU and are insured under the laws of one of the EU Member States


Affiliation of migrant workers with national social security systems

If an EU citizen works in another Member State, it is important to determine which national social security system he or she is subject to – either the one in which they are insured or the one where they exercise their occupation. The necessity to avoid that a worker receive double insurance or no social security at all, requires certain rules settling the basic principles of affiliation to one system and/or the other.

Receiving a pension in another Member State

EU nationals have the right to retire in another Member State. Countries where a worker has made pension contributions share a proportional responsibility for paying that pension, based on the period of employment.

Further Information

Social Insurance Services
At: 7 Byron Avenue, 1465 Nicosia,
Tel: 22 401772/685

Leave and Sickness

The legislation provides 20 working days of leave for workers on a five-day week and 24 working days of leave for workers on a six-day week. The contract of employment or the collective agreement may give more days of leave (with pay). Workers request the leave and take it when the needs of the company permit.

The number of official holidays, on which offices and organisations are closed, varies from 14 to 17.

· Information about this can be obtained from the  Social Insurance Department (Tel. +357 22 401 628/629).
· Information about sickness and parental leave, leave for reasons of force majeure etc. can be obtained from the Department of Labour Relations (Tel. +357 22 451 500/1).


Sickness leave is fixed by agreement between employers and employees through collective or individual agreements. A worker who does not receive sick pay from his employer is entitled to sickness benefit from the Social Insurance Fund under certain circumstances.

Sickness benefit is payable to insured employed and self-employed persons and to persons who are working abroad for Cypriot employers and are voluntary contributors.

Payment of sickness benefit is subject to the following conditions:

· the insured person must be unable to work because of sickness and not receiving the full amount of his salary or wage from the employer during the period of his sickness,
· at least 26 weeks must have passed between the day on which the person became insured and the day on which he became unable to work, and in that period he must have paid earnings-related contributions totaling not less than 26 times the weekly basic insurable earnings amount, and
· Insurable earnings totaling not less than 20 times the weekly basic insurable earnings amount must have been paid or credited to the person in the previous contributions year

Sickness benefit is payable for at least 156 working days in each period of interruption of employment. Payment of the benefit may be extended for a further 156 working days in the same period of interruption of employment if the insured person satisfies the contributions requirements for an invalidity pension but is not expected to be permanently incapable of work.

The amount of the benefit is determined on the basis of the insured person’s average weekly paid and credited insurable earnings in the previous contributions year.

In order to be paid sickness benefit the insured person must submit a claim on a special form which can be obtained from any social insurance office and from the website of the Social Insurance Services. The claim must be accompanied by a medical certificate and be submitted within 21 days from the date on which the person became unable to work.

Maternity and paternity

Sixteen weeks of maternity leave are given. Nine weeks must be given before the period commencing two weeks before the expected date of the birth. An adoptive mother is entitled to 14 weeks of maternity leave from when she takes over the care of the child.

Both the father and the mother are entitled to parental leave. A parent who has worked for an employer for more than six months is entitled to parental leave of up to 13 weeks after a birth or adoption in order to attend to the care and raising of the child. The law also provides for leave for reasons of force majeure (e.g. ill dependents).


If you are studying for a degree you should be aware that some organisations grant leave for that sort of thing. Whether or not such leave is granted is up to the employer. The leave is usually granted to enable the employee to obtain professional qualifications (e.g. certified accountants) or qualifications which enhance his work skills. If you are thinking of continuing your studies, it is advisable to come to an agreement with your employer before proceeding.

Self employment

It should be noted that most companies in Cyprus work in the services sector and are classified as small on the basis of the EU definition.

Registering a company in Cyprus requires the submission of an application to the Registrar of Companies (+357 22 40 44 00), in order that the name of the company can be examined and approved, and payment of a fee of €12 or, if the rapid service is required, of €25.

After the name has been approved, the relevant documents have to be submitted by a lawyer practising in Cyprus. The registration fee depends on the capital of the company. If you are interested in creating a company in which you will be self-employed or in moving your existing company to Cyprus, you should seek the guidance of a lawyer and an accountant in order to avoid mistakes and unnecessary trouble. You can find information relating to companies and/or professionals providing legal and accountancy services on the websites of the Cyprus Bar Association and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus.

If you wish to pursue a regulated profession in Cyprus, you must submit an application for that purpose to the competent body, together with the requisite certificates and items of proof.

· Information can be obtained from the National Reference Body for Professional Qualifications at the Department of Labour (Tel: +357 22 400 845).

Financial assistance, subject to criteria, is provided to young people and women for innovative activity through the national benefits framework, chiefly by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.


Contributions and benefits are proportionate and calculated as a percentage of the insured person’s income from employment. A main feature is the provision for the regular revaluation of insurable earnings and the adjustment of benefits in line with movements in salaries, wages and the consumer prices index.

The Social Insurance Scheme provides compulsory cover for every person who is gainfully occupied in Cyprus. Insured persons are placed in three categories:

· employed persons
· self-employed persons
· voluntary contributors


The contribution in the case of an employed person is calculated on the basis of the wage or salary up to a certain ceiling. The contribution is shared between the employer, the employed person and the State at the rates, respectively, of 6.3%, 6.3% and 4%.


The contribution in the case of a self-employed person is calculated on the basis of income levels which are fixed according to occupation and the place of the employment.


The contribution rate for voluntary contributors within Cyprus is 13.5% of earnings. The insured person pays 10% of the contribution and the State pays 3.5%. The contribution rate for voluntary contributors employed by Cypriot employers abroad is 16.6%, of which the insured person pays 12.6% and the State pays 4%.

The Scheme

The Scheme provides cash benefits for marriage, maternity, sickness, unemployment, widowhood, invalidity, orphans, old age, in respect of a missing person spouse, funerals, employment injuries and occupational diseases. It also provides free medical treatment for persons with entitlement to an invalidity pension and for insured persons who have suffered bodily harm because of an employment injury or occupational disease.

Employed persons have entitlement to all the above-mentioned benefits. Self-employed persons are not entitled to unemployment benefit and employment injury benefits.

Voluntary contributors are entitled only to the marriage, maternity, widowhood, old age, missing person, orphan and funeral benefits. Voluntary contributors working abroad for Cypriot employers are entitled to all the benefits to which employed persons are entitled other than employment injury benefits.

Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefit is payable to insured persons who have been employed and to voluntary contributors who have worked abroad for a Cypriot employer. Insured persons under 16 and over 63 years of age are not entitled to employment benefit.

An insured person may claim unemployment benefit for days when he is unemployed, able to work and willing to accept suitable employment. He is not considered to be unemployed:

· when he is unable to work because of sickness
· on Sundays,
· when on leave,
· on days on which he works in an additional occupation that he pursued along with his former usual employment and from which he receives earnings equal to at least 1/12 of the basic insurable earnings amount,
· on any day for which the employer pays his earnings.


· at least 26 weeks must have passed between the day when the person became insured and the day on which he became unemployed, and in that period the person must have paid contributions on earnings totaling at least 26 times the weekly basic insurable earnings amount; and
· The person must have been paid or credited with insurable earnings in the previous contributions year totaling not less than 20 times the weekly basic insurable earnings amount.

When an employed person becomes unemployed, unemployment benefit is paid from the fourth day of unemployment. In the case of a voluntary contributor who was working abroad for a Cypriot employer, the benefit becomes payable after the first 30 days of unemployment. The benefit is payable for 156 working days in each period of interruption of employment.

Unemployment benefit is made up of a basic benefit and a supplementary amount. In order to claim benefit the unemployed person must attend in person at the nearest social insurance office and sign the unemployment register. He must attend regularly to sign the register on days stipulated by the social insurance office.

An unemployed person loses entitlement to unemployment benefit for up to six weeks if he:

· was to blame for losing his job or left the job voluntarily without good cause,
· refuses or fails to submit an application for suitable work or to accept an offer of suitable work,
· fails to take advantage of a suitable employment opportunity,
· refuses or neglects without good reason to comply with instructions issued by the Director of Social Insurance to attend vocational training classes.


There is a number of private Employment Agencies mostly operating in the hospitality, tourism and agricultural sectors to be found locally. However a growing number of International recruiters now target Cyprus for quality positions.

Cyprurecruiter is a popular and respected company

Compare listings