Table of Contents


Table of Contents


Euro (EUR)

Payroll Frequency


Employer Taxes


About Spain

The kingdom of Spain is located on the Iberian Peninsula of Europe and is the second-largest country in the European Union. Spain became the world’s first global empire during the second millennia, leaving a cultural and linguistic legacy that now comprises almost 600 million Spanish speakers around the world, making it the second most spoken language on the planet, after Mandarin Chinese.

Spain has one of the largest economies in the world and is part of the eurozone. However, it continues to suffer from weak employment rates, largely as a result of its big informal economy and a relatively poor education system in comparison to others amongst OECD nations.

Tourism is a big part of its economy, making it the second most visited country in the world. Its geographic location, attractive climate, history, and vibrant culture bring in enough tourist dollars to make the industry almost 5% of the country’s total GDP.

With a population of 46 million (largely Roman Catholics), Spain has several centers of population, including its capital Madrid, as well as cities such as Barcelona, Sevilla, Valencia, and Bilbao. There are distinct ethnic and linguistic identities represented within the nation, including the Basques, Catalans, Galicians, and Andalusians.

Employment Relationship

• Permanent Employment

Spain's law regulates whether contracts can be concluded for a definite period or whether they must be indefinite in term. In the absence of any formal agreement, the default form of employment is indefinite. Employees in Spain acquire permanent status when they are hired under 2 or more temporary contracts for longer than 24 months within a 30-month period. This status is acquired whether the work is continuous or with interruption and whether it is in the same or a different position with a given company or group of companies. The acquisition of permanent status also applies regardless of whether the employees are hired directly or assigned through a temporary employment agency and whether they are hired under the same or different temporary contract arrangements. A permanent contract is concluded with no limits on the provision of services and is considered to exist once any trial or probationary period has expired. Severance pay for improper dismissal of indefinite contracts is 33 days of salary for each year worked up to a maximum of 24 months of salary.

• Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

In Spain, there are 3 categories of standard, definite-term employment agreements: Agreements for a specific, limited service or job Agreement for extraordinary production requirements Interim agreements. Fixed-term contracts can be extended or renewed only once, provided their total length remains within the maximum contract duration. If a fixed-term contract lasts over one year, an advance termination notice of 15 days is required before the end of service, on penalty of compensation.

• Temporary Employment Contratcs

Spain's law provides that employees lent by temporary agencies to third-party user companies should have the same essential employment conditions as if they had been directly contracted by the company for which they work. Additionally, these employees should also enjoy the same protections in relation to pregnancy and discrimination. The law also stipulates that temporary agency employees are entitled to use the transportation, nursery, and other services of the company for which they work. Finally, Spain's law establishes the temporary employee's right to be informed of job vacancies at the company for which they are working. Temporary employees may be hired only for the following reasons: When the employee is hired to carry out a specific work or service When market circumstances, accumulation of tasks, or excess orders so require When replacing employees who have the right to return to their job When launching a new company.

Probationary Period

A probationary period may be arranged in writing, subject to duration limits established in collective agreements. In the absence of duration limits set in a collective agreement, the probationary period's duration may not exceed 6 months for qualified technicians and two months for other employees. In companies with fewer than 25 employees, the probationary period may not exceed 3 months for employees who are not qualified technicians. In the case of temporary contracts of a fixed duration concluded for a period not exceeding 6 months, the probationary period may not exceed one month unless otherwise provided in a collective agreement. The agreement that establishes a probationary period will be null and void if the employee has already previously held the same position in the company under any type of contract.

Working Hours

Spain's regulations on work hours state that employees must: Not work more than 40 hours a week (based on an annual average) Not work more than nine hours a day Be given at least 12 hours of rest before starting work the next day. Remote Work Spain defines remote work as work conducted by an employee outside the workplace for at least 30% of the work day, occurring over a minimum period of 3 months. The employee and employer must meet certain conditions for remote work to take place. 

Holidays / PTO

• Statutory Holidays

January 1: New Year’s Day (Nao Nuevo); January 6: Epiphany (Dia de los Reyes Magos); April 15: Good Friday (Viernes Santo); May 1: Labor Day (Día del Trabajo); August 15: Assumption (Asunción de la Virgen); October 12: National Day / Columbus Day; November 1: All Saints’ Day (Fiesta de Todos los Santos); December 6: Constitution Day (Día de la Constitución); December 8: Immaculate Conception (La Immaculada); December 25: Christmas (Navidad); March 19: Father’s Day (coincides with St Joseph’s Day); November 1st All Saints Day on . December 26: St. Stephen’s Day; Varies: Islamic Feast of the Sacrifice or Eid al Adha.

• Paid Annual Leave

In Spain, employees are entitled to a period of paid annual leave that cannot be substituted by financial compensation and must be agreed to in the employee's collective agreement or individual contract. In no case can the duration of paid annual leave be less than 30 calendar days (equivalent to 22 business days of leave). The leave period will typically be set by mutual agreement between the employer and the employee in accordance with the provisions (where appropriate) of any collective agreements on annual vacation planning.

• Sick Leave

In Spain, the maximum duration of sick leave is 12 months (365 days). However, it can be extended another six months (180 days) if a cure is foreseen in this latter period. The law distinguishes between common illnesses and occupational illnesses. The latter refers to a chronic ailment that occurs as a result of work or occupational activity. A public medical practitioner must examine employees who suffer from a temporary incapacity to work. The practitioner fills out a medical report and submits it to the INSS (National Social Security Institute) where it will then be transmitted to the employer. During the first three days of illness, the worker is usually compensated by the employer, although the law does not mandate that the employer pay the employee during this time. From day four to day 20, the employee receives 60% of their regular wage, and after day 20, they receive 75% of their regular wage. From day four to day 15, the employer is liable to pay the wage, and after day 16, it is funded by the INSS (Spanish Social Security System). Collective agreements may have different sick leave arrangements.

• Maternity Leave

In Spain, employees are entitled to 16 weeks of maternity leave (plus two additional weeks for each additional child in the case of multiple births). The maternity leave period should be enjoyed continuously and is independent of any leave taken to attend medical examinations or due to a health risk during pregnancy. The mother may choose to begin maternity leave up to 4 weeks before the child is born, and at least 6 weeks must be utilized immediately after childbirth. If both the mother and father work, the mother may grant part of her maternity leave to the father, provided that she enjoys the minimum of 6 weeks postpartum and that her returning to work does not constitute a risk to her health. In cases of adoption and foster care, both pre-adoptive and permanent, of minors up to 6 years of age, the suspension will have a duration of 16 uninterrupted weeks and is extendable in cases of multiple adoptions. Under Spain's current law, women can transfer up to 10 weeks of leave to the father.

• Paternity Leave

In Spain, fathers are now entitled to 16 weeks of paid paternity leave, up from 12 weeks previously. The Spanish social security system provides leave at 100% of covered pay. Leave can be taken either on a full or part-time basis, at a minimum rate of 50% of regular working time. 2 days of birth leave (separate from the paternity leave and paid for by the employer) are also provided to new fathers, with an extra 2 days added per child for multiple births, adoptions, or foster care. The first 6 weeks of the leave must be taken continuously after birth. The remaining 10 weeks may be interrupted and begin on the expiration of the mandatory leave after birth until the child turns 12 months old.

Termination of Employment

• Notice Period

Individual dismissals on objective grounds are subject to a notice period of 15 days, while no notice is required for dismissals on disciplinary grounds. Where notice periods apply, the employer can also decide to pay in lieu of notice. In case of termination of fixed-term employment contracts with a duration exceeding one year, the employer must generally give a minimum notice period of 15 days in advance of the termination date. If an employee resigns, regardless of whether they were hired under an open-ended or fixed-term contract, they must give the employer the notice defined by any applicable collective agreement or by custom and practice in the workplace concerned (generally, the notice period ranges from 15 days to one month, though some collective agreements require a notice period of three months). 

• Severance Benefits

In Spain, in the event of dismissal for an objective reason (economic or organizational reasons, worker's capacity, etc.), an employee receives severance pay when the written contract termination notice is delivered. The amount of severance pay varies depending on the category of dismissal. Objective dismissal: A tax-free payment is provided in the amount of 20 days' salary per year of service, up to 12 months' salary. Disciplinary dismissal: If the dismissal is proven in court to be fair, the employee is entitled to no severance. If it is deemed unfair, the appropriate tax-free severance is 33 days' salary per year of service up to 24 months' pay.