Work and Wages

Minimum Wage

Minimum wages are governed under the Minimum Wages Act of 1941 (Chapter 183). Minimum wage is set annually by the Government in consultation with social partners for certain occupations in which unionization and collective bargaining coverage is low. The recommendations for updating the minimum wage are made by the tripartite labour advisory board with representation from the government, employers and the workers side.

There is no national minimum wage in Cyprus. The minimum wages are announced for the following nine occupations through an Order/Decree of the Council of Ministers: sales staff, clerical workers, auxiliary healthcare staff (personal care staff), auxiliary staff (child care staff) in nursery schools, in crèches and in schools, security guards, caretakers and cleaners.

 The Minimum Wages Order (180/2012) applicable from 1 April 2012 fixes the monthly minimum wage for seven of the above nine occupations while it provides for a minimum hourly rate of pay for security guards and cleaners of business premises.  The initial (on recruitment) monthly minimum wage is €870 and is raised to €924 after completion of six months of employment with the same employer.

The initial (on recruitment) hourly minimum wage for security guards is €4.90 and is raised to €5.20 on completion of six months of employment with the same employer. The initial (on recruitment) hourly minimum wage for cleaners is €4.55 and is raised to €4.84 after completion of six months of employment with the same employer.

Sources: Minimum Wages Act, 1941 (Chapter 183); Minimum Wages Order (180/2012)

Regular Pay

‘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.

The relevant Cypriot law on payment of wages is Protection of Wages Act 2007. An employer is under obligation to pay due wages (to workers) in cash in a legal tender, that is currency notes or coins or through a salaries account or by bank cheque or postal draft. The cash payment of wages must be made during working hours and at the workplace. In-kind payment of wages is allowed under the law in industries or occupations where such allowances are customary provided that the employee has given his prior consent, the allowances are useful and beneficial for the employee or his family, the value given to such allowances is reasonable and fair. Payment of wages in form of alcoholic beverages or other harmful substances is also prohibited.

Wages must be paid directly to the worker unless the worker has given written consent to the opposite. A worker has the full right to dispose of his wages and an employer cannot limit, in any way, the freedom of a worker to dispose of his wages except in cases permitted by the law. An employer cannot coerce workers to use company operated stores to buy goods and services. Wages must be paid regularly at least once a week, except for monthly paid employees, who are to be paid at least once a month. If wages are calculated on a piece rate basis or according to output/production, wages must be paid at least twice a month at intervals not exceeding sixteen days, provided that this is feasible or that no other arrangement applies arising from a collective agreement or custom.

Deductions from wages are permitted only under certain conditions and always to the extent deemed necessary for the support of the employee and his family. Moreover, assignment (transfer) of wages is not permitted unless explicitly provided by law or regulation and only to the extent that this does not obstructs the support of the employee and his/her family.

Following types of deductions can be made from the wages: those prescribed by laws and regulations (social insurance, inland revenue, etc.); those in accordance with regulations for retirement, provident and medical funds; those prescribed by Court rulings; those for the reimbursement of damage or loss to the employer (authorized  only if the damage or loss was caused intentionally or due to severe negligence on behalf of the employee); and other deductions following the employee’s consent.

Employers are required to maintain records for each employed worker showing the gross and net amount of wages, including any deductions and the grounds for it. Such records have to be maintained by the employer, or on his account, and should be available for inspection purposes by Inspectors of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance.

sources: Protection of Wages Act (35 (I)/2007), as amended