Current status

A probationary employment contract exists when the employer retains for a reasonable period the right to judge whether the employee has the skills, qualifications and diligence necessary for the specific job, to proceed with definitive employment. The characteristic of the trial contract is that it makes it easier to terminate.

According to the provision of the Law 3899/2010, employment with an open-ended contract is considered as employment of a trial period for the first twelve months and may be terminated without notice and without severance, unless otherwise is agreed by the two parties.

In other words, until now there are two ways of concluding a trial employment contract:

  1. Agreement of a fixed-term contract, the duration of which coincides with the duration of the employee's trial period. After the expiration of the fixed-term trial contract, either the definitive employment contract (fixed-term or indefinite-term) is concluded, if the probationer is deemed suitable, or not. The advantage of this solution is that the trial period is predetermined and therefore there is no dispute as to the characterization of the contract by the contracting parties. The disadvantage of this solution is that the employer cannot terminate the probationary contract before its expiry, except for an important reason, as defined for all fixed-term employment contracts.
  2. Agreement for a specific trial period, but at the same time there is the possibility of terminating the contract, due to the unsuitability of the employee and before the end of the trial period. In other words, a clause can be included in the employment contract that the existence or continuation of the employment contract depends on the suitability of the employee during the probationary period or that the employment contract is overturned, and the previous situation automatically reverts if the employee is deemed unsuitable.


New regulation according to Law 5053/2023

According to article 4 of Law 5053/2023, which is added to the Individual Labor Law Code, the probationary period and the concept of a probationary employee are redefined as follows:

  1. The employer may, when concluding an employment contract of indefinite duration, agree with the employee a trial period of up to 6 months, during which the contract or employment relationship is tested.
  2. If, during or at the end of the probationary period, the employer determines that the probationary service of the employee is successful and retains him in his company, the time of commencement of the contract shall be considered the date of initial employment of the employee for all his rights under in his employment.
  3. If, during or at the end of the probationary period, the employer determines that the employee's probationary service is not successful, the probationary contract is automatically terminated, and the time spent is counted as working time for all rights earned up to its solution point.
  4. In the case of a fixed-term contract, the trial period agreed is proportional to the total time provided for in the contract and, in any case, cannot exceed 1/4 of the total period of employment, with a maximum of 6 months. If the contract is renewed for the same position and the same duties, provision for a new trial period is not allowed.
  5. If the employment relationship is suspended for any reason during the probationary period, the duration of the probationary period shall be extended accordingly.
  6. In any case and during the trial period, all protective provisions for the employee linked to his contract or employment relationship apply.

We must note that the condition of completing twelve months of service with the same employer to establish the right to severance pay and to observe a notice period upon termination is not modified but is kept as it is. Finally, it is strongly recommended that the employer follows specific evaluation stages, to prove that he did not really meet the requirements of the job for which he was hired and that in the event of legal recourse by the employee, abuse of the termination of the employment contract does not arise, which would lead to rehiring the employee.

Thanasis Karmiris

Payroll Manager