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Employment Law in Spain

Employment Law in Spain

Updated on Friday 27th May 2016

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Hiring employees in a Spanish company is a process similar to the one available in other countries situated in the European Union (EU). Foreign investors are advised to become familiar with the main regulations related to the employment legislation, such as the types of contracts signed between the employers and the employees, social security payments, official holidays, the legal working time and many other aspects.
Foreign entrepreneurs who want to hire employees for their business in Spain and who are not familiar to the local legislation related to employment can receive information on this matter from our Spanish attorneys, who will offer assistance on the main legal requirements.
There are general regulations, applied to nearly all the employment contracts, and specific rules for certain types of jobs. The general rules refer to the following:
-    an employee is required to work 40 hours/week and not more than nine hours per day;
-    the local legislation prescribes a period of 30 working days for holiday purposes per year for every employer working on a full time employment contract, if the employee worked for at least one year in the company;
-    the maternity leave is established at four months, but the period can increase in several conditions such as multiple births or various medical situations;
-    the employer is entitled to a holiday of 15 calendar days when he or she gets married and two days for the birth of a child or the death of a family member;
-  the employees are also entitled to other 14 free days, as an effect of the Spanish public holidays;
-    in certain cases, if an employee is fired, the employer must pay him or her an indemnisation, set out in accordance with the period of time the employee worked in the company; our team of Spanish lawyers can provide more information related to the rights and obligations of both parties.
Employees who work in shifts are entitled to a minimum time off between their working days, established at 12 hours. At the same time, it is important to know that, in case of injuries, the workers are allowed to a sick leave which can last up to 18 months. 

Types of employment contracts in Spain  

In Spain, there are two main types of employment contracts - indefinite and temporary. An employee who has an indefinite period contract is entitled to receive a severance payment in certain cases of dismissal. This payment is correlated to the period he or she worked for that company and the sum of money is established at a maximum of 42 months equivalent salary.  
The Spanish authorities offer certain incentives for employers who hire persons on indefinite contracts for certain categories of workers
They refer to the following:
persons who are 45 years old or older and who have been unemployed for at least one year;
women who have been unemployed for at least one year; 
men and women (between 30 and 44 years old) who have been unemployed for more than a year; 
workers under the age of 30.
The temporary employment contracts are chosen especially for employees who are involved in certain projects, on a definite period of time.
Persons who need more details about the Employment Law in Spain may contact our Spanish law firm.


  • Canadian 2014-12-18

    I have been in communication with a Nicaraguan who is living and working in Spain. This person works fifteen hours per day, six days per week. This person does not have a work permit so I am inclined to think that when the employee is an underpaid overworked illegal domestic servant, the authorities have a don't look, don't see attitude. Is this correct?

    Hello, you can send us your question at and one of our lawyers will answer you as soon as possible.

  • Carina 2016-05-27

    I'd like to receive more information related to the maternity leave for women who are carrying twins or triplets. Thank you!

    Hello, you can send us your request via e-mail at and one of our lawyers will answer you. 

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