The Human Resources Development Authority (HRDA) of Cyprus and the Cyprus Productivity Centre (CPC) provide a number of incentives and grants for employers to hire young graduates and long-term unemployed from various specialisations. These incentives and grants are offered through training packages and programmes, which take place in collaboration with employers. The primary aim is to provide adequate training to employees so that they can become valuable assets to their employers, leading to either the creation of new positions or the development of the company, encouraging growth and avoiding dismissals or collective redundancies. These incentives and grants are part of the measures taken in order to reduce unemployment.
In addition, and subject to certain criteria, the government offers employers wage subsidies for employing persons registered as unemployed.
If an employer wishes to enrol in any of the above-mentioned programmes and proceed with hiring people via these programmes, they must fill and submit specific documentation.
Generally, in Cyprus no specific restrictions or prohibitions apply with regard to background checks concerning the prior work experience and qualifications of a candidate employee.
Employers can freely ask any relevant question about the educational background and professional training of the candidate. However, questions relating to the timing of the education and training may raise age discrimination claims.
An employer can carry out credit and financial background checks in relation to a candidate as long as this does not violate data protection laws and the right to privacy and personal life.
The criminal background of a candidate is considered as sensitive data. As such it is prohibited to gather and/or ask such information unless either:
- A legal exception applies.
- The employer obtains the candidate’s explicit consent.
For criminal offences, the exceptions relate to information concerning convictions for dishonesty or fraud, so as to ensure that such candidates are not put in a position of trust. For these positions the employer may ask the candidate to provide a previous criminal conviction record.
Regarding the candidate’s health condition, employers cannot discriminate on the basis of physical and/or mental disabilities, unless specific requirements for the job cannot be met. Such information is considered as sensitive data under the data protection laws and can only be processed for certain purposes. However, an exception is provided for non-EU nationals as in order to receive a work permit the employer must prove that the candidate has completed a number of medical examinations including a chest x-ray and taken blood tests for infectious diseases. In general, health checks are allowed if they are a prerequisite for the execution of the specific duties.