Employment Contracts

Employment is highly regulated in Spain, and is very protective of employees rights.  Job types are grouped into various categories, and the regulations vary between categories.  This makes Employment Law very complex, and you should always seek legal advice regarding employees and their contracts.

The basics that you need to know are that all employees must have a Contract of Employment in place before commencing work and any person or business employing staff without the correct work contract risks a significant fine.

Businesses are inspected regularly and contracts, licences, everything checked. Don´t listen to bar room experts, please do go to see a professional, otherwise you can end up with fines of thousands of euros. It is not all bad, work contracts can be for a temporary period (the minimum period for this varies depending on the nature of the business).

There is a minimum wage in force in Spain, which again varies on the nature of the business and the type of employment contract. Employees are also entitled to a minimum number of paid holiday days per year (30), as well as certain national, regional and local holidays (14 public holidays).

Employees are also entitled to a leave of absence for other reasons, such as for maternity (this is highly regulated and you should adhere to the procedures), marriage and death of a family member.

Employees are not entitled to “self-certified” sick leave. In order to qualify for leave due to illness, the employee must provide a certificate from their doctor, which then must be provided to the Social Security department.

Usually, working hours cannot exceed 40 hours per week on average but for different industries the hours can be governed by collective agreements, and so could be more restrictive. There are other limits like having at least 12 hours rest between a working say and the next one.  This has recently been enforced by an obligation to log hours entering and leaving work in 2019.

Notice and termination rules are complex and best adhered to, as otherwise it is very straightforward for an employee to take their previous employer to a labour court. If you need assistance with any of these matters, as we can arrange an appointment with our experts, please contact us.

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