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Michael Antoniou: Cyprus is on a Growth Trajectory

Michael Antoniou: Cyprus is on a Growth Trajectory

The Director General of the Cyprus Employers & Industrialists Federation (OEB) Michael Antoniou, addressed the 3rd Cyprus International Investors Summit in Limassol on September 14, underlining in his presentation a basic overview of labour legislation, the catalyst in achieving and maintaining sound labour relations and labour peace in general, as well as to present the basic characteristics of the labour market and the benefits of establishing business on the island in this respect.

Antoniou started his presentation by recalling the full and equal accession of Cyprus to the great EU family in May 2004, saying it was a major event described by many as a cornerstone in the island’s history. “This was the result of long-term visions and efforts, on the part of all the Governments of the Republic of Cyprus and, primarily, the result of the sacrifices made by the Cypriot businesses and people” he said.

He then continued by explaining how the accession to the EU required the Harmonisation of the Cyprus Legislation with the Social and Labour Acquis Communautaire, which became the largest law – making experience on the island. For this purpose, tripartite committees were set up (Government – employer – employee representatives) to review and draft the new legislative framework. The result was the significant upgrade of health and safety at work, equal treatment for men and women, and general protection of employment.

 

Antoniou also mentioned some of the many successful laws passed due to Cyprus’ entrance in the EU family such as:

24/1967 -Termination of Employment = Stipulates when a termination of employment is legal/fair/justified, describes the rights of an employee who: (a) has been illegally dismissed (b) has been dismissed legally on grounds of redundancy, and is applicable only on employment relationships governed by the private Law
  
8/1967 - Annual Leave with pay = Provides for the minimum paid annual leave per employee and its preconditions and requirements. Sets up the Annual Leave Fund
 
100(I)/1997 - Protection of Maternity = Prohibits termination of employment during maternity.
 
63(I)/2002 - Organisation of working time = Defines working time, rest breaks, night work etc. Applicable to all sectors of the economy except seafarers, mobile workers, police and armed forces, managing executives, family workers and employees working on religious ceremonies. Provides for derogations.
 

He then continued by explaining why Cyprus is one of the best choices for investors. “Hiring procedures are simple and fast as there are no legally enforceable procedures. Employers can seek and recruit candidates directly from the Cypriot labour market and the European Union, or alternatively through the Public Employment Services that register the unemployed” he said, adding that “the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance and the Human Resource Development Authority regularly implement projects through which they fund the employment of several categories of unemployed (e.g. young, disabled etc), as incentives for employers to consider such candidates.”

Antoniou additionally mentioned Cyprus’s strategic location and favorable climatic conditions are important comparative advantages for the Cypriot economy. “Advanced telecommunications and transport facilities, an educational standard of its labour force among the highest in the world, excellent business relations with European countries and a generally favorable economic climate contribute favorably to new business opportunities” he said.

Concluding, he stated “Despite the hardships and setbacks of the recent past, Cyprus is on a growth trajectory. We had to readjust to the new realities but the robust and sound industrial relation systems, the aforementioned legal framework and the involvement and guidance of OEB, managed to secure labour peace and implement all the solutions necessary to make our businesses and our economy viable in the long term. We are thus ready to welcome all of you and invite you to invest in Cyprus as others have done in order to enjoy the benefits of this wonderful country.”

 

About

The 3rd Cyprus International Investors Summit presents investment opportunities in the Property, Real Estate and Leisure sectors in Cyprus and it is organised by Invest Cyprus. This event is a perfect platform for institutional investors, investment firms, real estate agents, citizenship specialists, real estate lawyers, family offices and property/leisure fund providers to network with local companies involved in the sales and promotion of the real estate/leisure markets.

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