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Everything you need to know about labor law spain

Many businesses are eager to hire internationally as remote work becomes more prevalent. Employers, however, may find it challenging to understand and follow labor and employment rules. Understanding the complexities of labor laws is essential when recruiting in Spain. Therefore, learning about the labor law Spain can give you a leg up during the hiring process.

In this article, we will tell you all you need to know to obtain the scope of the labor law Spain. We will give you the knowledge you need to make decisions with confidence as you dip in the Spanish pool of talent. No matter if you are thinking about expanding your business to Spain or simply trying to stay current as you hire remote workers.

Types of Employment Contracts in Spain

Indefinite-term agreements are perhaps the most typical kind of employment contract in Spain according to the employment law. These are ongoing, non-terminable contracts that might be either full- or part-time in nature. Fixed discontinuous is a different type that includes cyclical work. In terms of the law, this is when there is a need for sporadic or cyclical activity that occurs at different times. But continues over time and has a somewhat consistent or uniform nature.

In Spain, fixed-term contracts are much less typical than indefinite-term contracts. The Spanish government implemented new law in December 2021 that significantly restricts the usage of fixed-term contracts. Now that their use is rigorously under regulation, giving all employees indefinite-term contracts is typically much simpler in practice. Fixed-term agreements are no longer lawful in any circumstances other than production needs and personnel replacement.

In general, labor law Spain permits verbal or written employment contracts. However, neither side is exempt from requesting that the work agreement be in writing. This freedom of form may not always be applicable because some employment contracts, such those for temporary work, part-time work, and those involving specific occupational relations like attorneys and executives, must be in writing.

If the length of employment exceeds four weeks, irrespective of if the work agreement is verbal or written, the employer has to give the employee details in writing within 2 months from the beginning date. This includes:

  • The employment parties’ identities
  • Date of start and, for temporary agreements, an estimated time frame.
  • A class or collection of jobs.
  • Work environment.
  • Base pay and any additional benefits or compensation.
  • Hours of operation and schedule.
  • Number of holidays overall.
  • Notice period following the end of an employment relationship.
  • Collective labor agreement that applies.

Labor law compliance in Spain

The goal of employment law Spain is to provide employees with significant protection in both their employment relationship and their working conditions. It consists of an extensive set of regulations that govern the interaction between employer and employee.

Despite the fact that Spain’s 17 regions are independent nations, national law controls employment laws. The Estatuto de Los Trabajadores, which addresses numerous areas of work relations on an individual and collective level, is the primary component of employment law in Spain. The institutional structure of Spanish employment law consists of royal rulings, collective bargaining treaties, labor contracts, and other laws that deal with social insurance, safety and health, strikes, and labor unions, among other topics.

In addition to this governmental body, legal precedent is also significant in determining employment issues. Plus, it becomes enforceable once the Supreme Court renders a similar decision in two instances involving the same subject. Spanish employment law has recently made strides in areas including equality and fairness, privacy laws, and rights for remote workers.

Worker’s Rights and Protections in Spain

In Spain, both full-time and part-time workers are entitled to a number of legislative protections against unjust dismissal, a privilege to bargain collectively, and a minimum pay guarantee, among others. According to Spain labour law, these employees have access to benefits like retirement savings and paid time off. Consequently, ensuring they have a healthy and secure work-life balance.

To prevent fines for misclassification, as well as possible legal problems, businesses wanting to hire in Spain must make sure that their hiring practices comply with the country’s labor laws.

Even trainees and interns are bound to the labor law Spain. Fair working conditions, coaching, and, occasionally, compensation are requirements for businesses that offer internships. This guarantees that trainees and interns have their rights upheld and that they gain worthwhile work experience.

In response to the rising popularity of telework, especially with tech professionals, Spain implemented specialized legislation to safeguard teleworkers. The rights and obligations of remote employees and their employers appear in the Royal Decree-Law 28/2020. Important topics including the right to digital disengagement, expenditure reimbursement, and the right to safeguard data and privacy are within the labor law in Spain now.

Some of the employee rights in Spain regarding leaves include:

  • Annual leave: All staff members receives a minimum of one month of yearly leave under labor regulations Spain.
  • Maternity leave: Mothers are eligible for a 16-week maternity absence in which they earn a social security maternal benefit.
  • Paternity leave: Fathers in Spain receive 12 weeks of paternity leave, indicating the country’s dedication to gender parity and equal parental duties.
  • Sick leave: Employees have the right to take sick time off and get statutory sick pay. Both of which are accounted for by the nation’s social security system and shield them from unstable finances during trying times.

Minimum Wage and Salary Regulations in Spain

In Spain, a minimum wage is set by law and applies equally to all workers. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs determines the minimum wage. This varies annually depending on a variety of variables such as employment trends, costs, and overall productivity.

The minimum salary in Spain for full-time employment in 2022 was €7.82 per hour. This works out to a monthly gross of €1,166.7. This is the instance if the firm rewards its employees in 12 equal installments over the course of the year. However, they commonly pay in 14 equal installments, with additional or special payments in July and December (referred to as “pagas extraordinarias”).  This indicates that each payment must be at least €1,000.

Workers must obtain a minimum salary no less than once a month, in currency rather than in kind. To provide the proper payments according to labor law in Spain, companies usually hire an Employer of Record.

The Labor Inspectorate will investigate your complaint if you are receiving less than the minimal wage in Spain. Employers who violate Spain’s minimum wage laws are subject to fines from the Spanish government.

The Spanish Fondo de Garant­a Salarial, FOGASA collaborates with the Spanish Ministry of Labor (Ministerio de Trabajo) to ensure the payment of employees’ salaries as a result of their employer going bankrupt, ceasing payments, entering liquidation, or entering into a composition with creditors.

Obligations and Responsibilities of Employers in Spain

Employers have a duty (depending on comparable rights for employees) to: 

  • Give the employee the agreed-upon work.
  • Pay the agreed-upon or legally mandated compensation to the employee on time.
  • Give the worker a vocational education.
  • Not treat the employee unfairly, either directly or indirectly, because of the legally protected traits.
  • Ensure the physical integrity of the employee and offer a sufficient plan for reducing workplace dangers.
  • Respect the privacy and dignity of the employee and shield them from abuse based on the protected qualities.

In the event that a contract of employment in writing does not contain the essential terms of the agreement, the employer shall provide the employee with a written summary of those terms.

All employment agreements, whether they are written or oral, must be reported by employers to the state’s employment services within 10 days after the agreement’s conclusion. They must also provide copies of any agreements that have to be in writing to workers’ representatives within 10 days (with the exception of senior management).

Workplace Health and Safety in Spain

Employers have a duty to safeguard workers from workplace risks. This primarily appears in Law 31/1995 on the avoidance of workplace risks). Through the incorporation of preventative measures into their daily operations and the adoption of all essential protective measures, they must safeguard the occupational safety and health of their employees and reduce occupational risks. Additionally, employers must continuously enhance and modify their OHS initiatives.

Employers’ preventive efforts must adhere to the following principles:

  • Minimizing hazards.
  • Assessing the dangers that are unavoidable.
  • Reducing dangers at their source.
  • Adjusting the work to the person, particularly in terms of workspace design, equipment selection, and working and production processes, with a focus on reducing the negative health effects of monotonous labor and tasks performed at a set rate.
  • Incorporating technological advancement.
  • Substituting the non-hazardous or less-dangerous for the dangerous.
  • Arranging for prevention efforts and a comprehensive strategy that takes into account technology, work organization, working environments, social interactions, and the impact of issues associated to the workplace.
  • Putting a higher focus on group protection measures than individual protective measures.
  • Offering the right directions to the workforce.

Through a risk-prevention plan, the employer must incorporate the avoidance of hazards at work into its management networks, across all of its activities and at all levels of the hierarchy. This strategy must include the organizational framework, roles, tasks, routines, processes, and assets necessary to minimize occupational risks. The strategy must be founded on a risk analysis that considers the nature of the activities, the traits of the tasks they entail, and the personnel who will be doing them.

Employers must set up an OHS preventive service, either through internal resources or a third party, to handle a variety of OHS activities, such as:

  • Participation in risk assessments.
  • The preparation of preventive actions.
  • OHS education and information.

Resolving Labor Disputes and Collective Bargaining in Spain

Collective bargaining primarily takes place at the firm and industry levels (often at the province rather than the national or regional level). Over two-thirds of the workforce is covered by labor agreements (convenios colectivos), primarily those negotiated at the industry level.

On the employee side, company committees (or staff delegates in small businesses) may be the primary negotiators for company-level agreements. If the combined membership of trade union sections constitutes a majority on a business committee (or within employee delegates), then those sections may participate.

Trade unions that qualify as “most representative” at the national or, where applicable, regional level, along with their affiliates and any other labor unions whose members constitute at least 10% of business board members and staff delegates inside the boundaries of the collective agreement, may negotiate industry-level agreements (with pertinent employers’ associations).

The following method of collective bargaining appears in the Workers’ Statute.

  • By means of a formal notification outlining its power to negotiate, the parameters of the agreement, and the topics up for discussion, one party invites another to engage in negotiations. The inviting party must also include notice of its intent to terminate any existing collective agreements at the same time as it extends the invitation.
  • Within a month of receiving the invitation, the other side must reply in writing, outlining its response’s justifications. It may only decline to negotiate in limited circumstances, such as when a collective bargaining agreement already exists or when the side seeking negotiations lacks the competence to bargain.
  • A negotiating commission from both sides conducts collective bargaining. The parties must agree on a schedule for negotiations. And the commission must be in place within a month of receiving the invitation to negotiate.
  • Both parties must bargain honestly. They are always free to engage a mediator they choose together.

Key Components of Spain’s Labor Regulations

  • Working hours: The maximum length of a workweek is 40 hours. A total of 9 hours may be worked each day, unless otherwise noted in the contract.
  • Rest time: Each working day must be separated by a minimum of 12 hours in accordance with labor law Spain. For every six hours of labor, employees are allowed 15 minutes of rest. Every employee needs at least one and a half free days each week, typically weekends.
  • Overtime: Overtime work generally refers to all hours that you put in over your regular workday’s nine hours. Such hours must be repaid by additional pay or free time according to the law.  A total of 80 hours of overtime are permissible.
  • Holidays: Employees have the right to time off for regional, local, and federal public holidays in Spain. Ten national holidays, 2 local holidays, and 2 local municipal holidays make up Spain’s 14 annual bank holidays. Most companies hire a PEO supplier to abide by these guidelines.

Without the requirement for a formal corporation or Spanish subsidiary, our Spain Employer of Record can offer all you need when employing staff if you are trying to extend your business activities there.

Get in touch with us and learn about the support we can give you in Spain!

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