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Employment Laws in Spain

Updated on:
16 Jan, 2024
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As tech industries continue to evolve and expand, Spain is fast becoming a fertile ground for hiring employees. The country boasts of a highly skilled tech workforce and favorable working conditions, which can be largely attributed to its comprehensive and robust employment laws. By adhering to the Spanish employment law, employers can ensure a safe and fair workplace, fostering loyalty and high productivity among employees.

Understanding Spanish labor laws

Spanish labor laws stem from several key sources. These primarily include the Spanish Constitution, the Workers’ Statute, collective dismissal agreements, and the judicial decisions from the labor courts.

The Constitution or Spanish labor laws lay down the fundamental rights of the workers, such as the right to work and protection against discrimination. The Workers’ Statute covers most aspects of an employment relationship, such as working hours, leaves, wages, and termination rights. Collective bargaining agreements, signed between the worker or trade unions and the employers or employers’ associations, establish specific working conditions for a certain sector or company. Lastly, the decisions by the labor courts also contribute to the development of employment laws and their interpretation.

Employers should be mindful of these labor laws to avoid common legal troubles such as disciplinary dismissal and prevent the misclassification of independent contractors.

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Worker Protection under Spain's Employment Law

Spain's employment legislation has always aimed to prioritize worker protection. These labor laws have adapted to changing labor market trends, ensuring a comprehensive framework that safeguards all types of workers. Whether you're a full-time employee, part-time worker, intern, or tech professional working remotely, Spain's employment laws have you covered.

Protection for Full-time and Part-time Employees

Full-time and part-time employees in Spain enjoy a range of statutory rights that include protection against unfair dismissal, the right to collective bargaining, and guaranteed minimum wage, among others. These workers are also entitled to benefits such as social security and paid leaves, ensuring they enjoy a balanced and secure working life according to the law in Spain.

Businesses planning to hire in Spain need to ensure compliance with these Spanish labor regulations to avoid penalties for misclassification and other potential legal troubles.

Temporary and Fixed-Term Employees

Temporary and fixed-term employees in Spain are also protected under the Spanish employment law. Their contracts must specify the reason for the temporary status and the duration of the contract. In cases where a fixed-term contract exceeds a certain duration or is used improperly, the law may consider the employee as indefinite-term, which affords them further protections.

Protection for Interns and Trainees

Spain's employment laws ensure that even interns and trainees are not left unprotected. Companies offering internships must provide fair working conditions, mentoring, and, in some cases, remuneration. This protects the rights of interns and trainees and ensures they receive valuable work experience.

Legal Safeguards for Remote and Teleworkers

With remote work becoming increasingly prevalent, especially among tech professionals, Spain has enacted specific legislation to protect teleworkers. The Royal Decree-Law 28/2020 outlines the rights and duties of remote workers and their employers. It addresses key issues like the right to digital disconnection, reimbursement of expenses, and the right to privacy and data protection.

Moreover, remote work does not alter the worker's employment status, and they continue to enjoy the same rights as onsite employees. Employers looking to build remote or distributed teams can refer to this sample letter of agreement to understand the contract's necessary details.

Employment Contract in Spain

In Spain, an employment contract plays an integral role in defining the professional relationship between an employer and an employee. It provides clarity about their mutual obligations, terms of employment, and what each party can expect from the other. Spanish employment law mandates certain elements in employment contracts to ensure fair practices.

Types of Employment Contracts in Spain

Spanish employment laws allow for different types of contracts to cater to diverse work arrangements. They are mainly classified into two categories: indefinite contracts and temporary contracts. Each type has its own set of rules and obligations under the employment law, as outlined below.

Indefinite Contracts

Indefinite contracts, also known as permanent contracts, are open-ended with no specified end date. These are the most common type of employment contracts and offer the greatest stability and security for the employee. It signifies a long-term commitment between the employer and the Spanish employees, fostering loyalty and trust.

Temporary Contracts

Temporary contracts, on the other hand, are for a fixed duration. These can be used for seasonal work, specific projects, or to fill in for a permanent employee who is on leave. These are examples of temporary employment contracts. Once the specified term or project is completed, the contract ends, although it can be renewed based on the employer's needs and the employee's agreement.

Each contract type requires a careful approach to ensure compliance with employment laws and to avoid potential penalties for the misclassification of independent contractors.

Key Components of an Employment Contract in Spain

Regardless of the type of contract, certain fundamental elements must be included in an employment contract. The basic requirements, as per the Spanish employment law, include:

  • Identification of the employer and the employee
  • Start date of the contract
  • Job title or a brief description of the work
  • Salary and payment details, including bonuses and allowances, if any
  • Details about working hours and the work schedule
  • Workplace location, or the possibility of working remotely
  • The notice period for both parties.

A comprehensive letter of agreement between employer and employee will ensure transparency and set clear expectations for both parties, thereby reducing potential misunderstandings or disputes.

Minimum Employment Terms in Spain

Understanding the minimum employment terms set by Spain's labor laws is crucial for businesses looking to employ tech talents in Spain. Not only does it help in adhering to legal obligations, but it also ensures employees' rights are upheld, promoting a healthier and more productive work environment under the purview of employment law.

Working Hours and Overtime Regulations

The maximum working week in Spain is limited to 40 hours on average, calculated annually. This equates to a maximum of nine hours of work per day, with exceptions granted for flexible working arrangements. Employers must keep a record of the hours worked by their employees to ensure compliance with Spanish labor laws and prevent overwork.

Overtime is regulated and should not exceed 80 hours per year unless it is compensatory overtime. It can either be paid as an increased hourly rate or compensated with time off. The choice between these options can often be defined in a worker's contract or collective bargaining agreement.

Minimum Wage and Salary Composition

The Spanish government sets a minimum wage annually. This statutory minimum wage, known as "Salario Mínimo Interprofesional (SMI)," ensures that all workers, regardless of their role or industry, receive fair compensation for their work. It's essential for employers to be aware of these annual adjustments to remain compliant and avoid legal troubles under the law in Spain.

In addition to the base salary, remuneration may include various allowances and bonuses, which must be clearly outlined in the employment agreement.

Rest Periods and Breaks

Spain's labor law stipulates that Spanish employees are entitled to a minimum daily rest period of 12 hours between two working days. Furthermore, if an employee's working day exceeds six hours, they are entitled to a break, typically ranging from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the specific terms set in their contract or the applicable collective bargaining agreement.

Adhering to these minimum terms and conditions, which are part of the employment law in Spain, can significantly boost employee satisfaction and productivity. It also helps prevent HR compliance mistakes and fosters a healthy work environment, making Spain an ideal place for hiring tech talents.

Mandatory Leaves in Spain

Annual Leave

One of the crucial aspects of Spanish employment is the mandatory annual leave. Under Spanish employment laws, every employee is entitled to a minimum of 30 calendar days of paid annual leave. This provision is designed to give workers ample time to rejuvenate, promoting productivity and work-life balance.

It is worth noting that these leaves are in addition to the public holidays observed in Spain. For tech talents used to the hustle and bustle, this offers a welcomed respite and an opportunity to explore Spain's rich cultural heritage. The duration of this leave period is well beyond the minimum wage labor time, making it attractive to employees.

Maternity and Paternity Leave

Spain is forward-thinking when it comes to parental leave. To support working parents, Spanish employment laws have defined generous maternity and paternity leave provisions.

Mothers can avail of 16 weeks of maternity leave, during which they receive a maternity benefit social security. This initiative helps mothers adjust to their new roles without worrying about their job security, an aspect that makes Spain an appealing destination for hiring tech talents.

Moreover, fathers are entitled to 12 weeks of paternity leave, demonstrating Spain's commitment to promoting gender equality and shared parenting responsibilities. This leave is also supported by social security benefits, ensuring that fathers can comfortably take time off to bond with their newborns.

Sick Leave

Sickness can strike at any time, and Spain's sick leave policy ensures that employees can take the time they need to recover without risking their income. Employees are entitled to take sick leave and receive statutory sick pay, which is covered by the country's social security system, protecting them from financial instability during challenging times.

This benefit is especially important considering the ongoing pandemic and the increased focus on health and well-being. Furthermore, the provision of free healthcare in Spain complements this policy, making it easier for employees to access medical care.

Managing Leaves and Ensuring Compliance

Managing employee leaves can be complex, especially for companies building remote or distributed teams. Employers need to track different types of leaves and ensure they comply with the mandatory provisions under Spanish law.

Using technology, such as leave management software, can streamline this process and ensure accurate records are kept. This can prevent common HR compliance mistakes and contribute to a healthy and compliant work environment.

Termination of Employment in Spain

Employment contracts in Spain can be terminated for various reasons, such as mutual agreement, expiration of the contract term, and employee misconduct. However, any dismissal should be justified to prevent HR compliance mistakes.

In cases of wrongful termination, employers may be required to provide severance pay or reinstate the employee.

Anti-discrimination Laws in Spain

Spain's employment laws strictly prohibit discrimination based on race, gender, religion, age, disability, or sexual orientation. They also promote equal opportunities and fair treatment in all aspects of employment, from recruitment to termination.

Ensuring compliance with anti-discrimination laws can significantly enhance a company's reputation, making Spain an appealing location for hiring tech talents.

Data Privacy in Spain

Spain's data privacy regulations are in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This requires businesses to implement stringent measures to protect personal data and respect individuals' privacy rights. Non-compliance can result in substantial fines, highlighting the need for companies to prioritize data privacy when operating in Spain.

In conclusion, understanding and complying with the employment laws in Spain can provide a solid foundation for companies to tap into the country's promising tech talent pool. With Spain offering free healthcare and robust worker protection laws, it serves as an attractive destination for both employers and employees navigating the new era of remote work.

Ensure Compliance in Spain with Skuad

Staying compliant with Spain's employment laws not only enables your organization to avoid needless fines and penalties but also ensures you build an efficient global remote team.

Skuad's Employer of Record platform enables organizations to compliantly hire and onboard independent contractors and employees in over 160 countries, including Spain. Skuad ensures your organization stays above legal challenges anywhere across the globe.

To learn more, schedule a demo with Skuad.

FAQs

Is Spain a 4-day work week?

No, Spain typically operates a 5-day workweek employment schedule. However, Spain recently tested a 4-day workweek system with seemingly positive results.

How many days off in Spain?

Employees in Spain are entitled to a minimum of 30 days off work per year. This usually amounts to at least 22 working days per year. Employees have the option to split these off days throughout the year.

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EOR in 
Spain
Monthly
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Annually
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349
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limited-offer-banner
EOR in 
Spain
Monthly
$
399
/month
(billed annually)
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
349
/month
(billed monthly)
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Employ contractors and employees in 160+ countries

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Table of Content

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