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Medical Leave in Spain Everything Employee Need to Know About

In Spain, workers are entitled to a minimum of 15 days of paid leave Medical leave per year. With their full salary covered through the country’s social security system. A medical leave occurs when a worker cannot continue carrying out his or her activity in a company for health reasons whether physical or mental.

In this article. We are going to delve a little more into what medical leave in Spain is like, what are the criteria to follow to be eligible to opt for medical leave. What are its benefits, what rights does it offer to employees and what is its duration.

Eligibility Criteria for Medical Leave in Spain

medical leave

When the worker wants to request sick leave. He or she will have to comply with the following medical leave rules:

  • Register or affiliate with Social Security.
  • In the event that sick leave is due to a common illness. The worker must have contributed a minimum of 180 days in the last 5 years.
  • The sick leave results from an accident or occupational disease, the minimum contribution period will not be necessary.
  • The worker will have to present a medical certificate of disability to receive the subsidy while they cannot carry out their activity in the company.
  • You will have a period of 3 days to submit the sick leave report. Throughout the leave, the worker will also have to present the relevant confirmation reports (the frequency of which will depend on the case).
  • When the employee cannot deliver all these documents in person due to being incapacitated. Anyone else may do so on his or her behalf.
  • When the worker wants to register .He will have a period of 24 hours in which he must return to his job.

Part-Time and Temporary Employee Eligibility

In Spain have different considerations in terms of eligibility for medical leave of absence. Generally work 35 hours or less per week depending on state laws. Although these workers must comply with company policies and regulations. They is not entitle to the benefits enjoyed by full-time employees.

Also, they can request medical leave in case of illness or temporary disability. A medical leave report is required in the process, similar to full-time employees, issue by a health professional. In the case of temporary employees. They are those who do not meet the requirements. To be consider seasonal employees and who work more than 30 hours a week.

Those who work more than 30 hours per week. Is consider full-time employees and are eligible for benefits under applicable Affordable Care Act rules. These can request medical leave in case of illness or temporary disability. As with part-time employees, a medical leave report issued by a healthcare professional is require.

Exceptions and Special Circumstances

Spain offers a variety of medical leave and special situation benefits, providing protection to employees in times of need. Under the leave policy in Spain, employees is entitle to paid leave for special events. The number of days of leave depends on the occasion:

  • Marriage: 15 calendar days.
  • Change of Residence: 1 day.
  • Accident, Illness or Death of a Family Member: 2 calendar days (4 days if travel is required).

There are national holidays in Spain when all employees have the right to a day off. Additionally, different cities and regions have their own local holidays. For example:

  • Easter Monday is not a national holiday but regions such as Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and  Valencia give workers the day off.
  • Some localities also designate a holiday to celebrate the saint their city represents. For example, Saint Joseph’s Day in Murcia, Madrid and La Rioja.

Employees is entitle to paid medical leave that begins on the fourth day of illness. Starting on the fourth day, employers must pay 60% of the employee’s regular salary for 16 days. Then, the amount increases to 75%.

In cases with collective bargaining agreements. The amount for paid medical leave may be higher and recognize payments of up to full salary. Employees must consult a physician through State Health Services to certify their illness and the need to take sick leave.

Benefits and Compensation During Medical Leave

The benefits and compensation during medical leave in Spain depend on the type of leave, its duration and the worker’s employment situation. In Spain, there are two types of medical leave for common contingencies and for professional contingencies.

Common contingencies are understood to mean when the cause of sick leave is due to a common illness or a non-work accident. In this case, the worker receives 60% of the regulatory base from the fourth day of sick leave up to and 75% from the 21st day onwards.

On the other hand, professional contingencies are when the cause of the leave is due to an occupational disease or a work accident. In this case, the worker receives 75% of the regulatory base from the day following the day of sick leave from work, and it is not necessary to have prior contributions to access the benefit.

In addition, the worker has the right to obtain medical leave for illness or injury, to receive adequate and timely medical care, and to receive financial compensation for medical leave.

Bonuses and Incentives

According to labor law, during a period of medical leave or temporary disability, the employee cannot receive any type of economic incentive or additional benefits related to their work. However, there are some exceptions and nuances to know:

  • If the incentive or bonus is generate and pay before the withdrawal, it will already be include in the regulatory base and will be receive during the withdrawal. 
  • On the other hand, if it has been generated but not pay, you will have the right to receive it during the withdrawal, provide that the requirements for its accrual have been met.
  • Also, if it depends on the worker’s activity or performance during the sick leave period, there will be no right to receive it, since it is understood that no contribution has been made to its generation.

In any case, it is important to consult with your employers about the individual agreement stipulated in the incentive or bonus system, as it may establish specific conditions for their receipt during medical leave.

Employer-Sponsored Support Programs

In Spain, some of the main employer-sponsored support programs and statutory leave benefits are:

  • Annual leave: Employees are entitle to a minimum of 22 working days (30 calendar days) of paid annual leave per year, which does not include. They can be replace by monetary compensation.
  • Sick leave: Employees who are temporarily unable to work due to illness or injury are entitled to sick leave, which can last up to 365 days (extendable by a further 180 days in exceptional cases).
  • Maternity/Paternity Leave: Employees who become parents are entitled to maternity/paternity leave, which allows them to take time off work to care for their newborn or adopted child.
  • Care leave: Employees who need to care for a seriously ill or disabled family member are entitled to care leave, which allows them to reduce their working hours in between 50% and 100%.

Rights and Protections During Your Medical Leave

When requesting medical leave, the employee has a series of rights that protect him or her during this period. Some of them are:

  • You are entitled to temporary sick leave if you are unable to work due to illness or injury. The duration of your sick leave depends on the type and severity of your condition, as well as the medical assessment of your situation.
  • Also, receive sick pay from the Spanish Social Security system, which is usually 60% of your average daily wage during the first 20 days of sick leave and 75% of your average daily wage for the rest of your leave for sickness.
  • Right to return to work the day after the date of issuance of the discharge report, unless the report is issued by the INSS medical inspector, in which case you must return to work on the same day.

Duration and Extension of Medical Leave in Spain

medical leave

The duration and extension of medical leave in Spain depend on the type and severity of the illness or injury:

  • A long term medical leave is 12 months. However, the National Social Security Institute (INSS) may extend the sick leave for an additional 6 months if it considers that the worker can recover in that period of time.
  • The first three days of sick leave, the worker must obtain a medical certificate from the doctor who issues the discharge, confirmation or discharge report and deliver a copy to the employer and this is responsible for paying the employee their full salary.
  • The doctor must also send the data contained in the reports to the INSS by electronic means. The worker must undergo periodic medical checks to confirm the continuation or termination on sick leave. The frequency of checks depends on the estimated duration of sick leave.

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