working laws in spain

Spanish working laws offer significant employee protection, including in the areas of employment contracts, minimum wages and termination. They also address issues such as workplace safety, gender equality and data protection.

The Workers’ Statute (Estatuto de los Trabajadores) is a key part of Spanish labor law. It governs individual and collective relationships between employers and employees, and it is in charge of the collective bargaining agreements that regulate rights, obligations, professional groups, and minimum wages within specific areas.

Minimum wage

Spain’s minimum wage is set by the Ministry of Labour and Social Economy. It’s a fixed amount that is paid in 14 payments per year and doesn’t take into account sex, age or the sector in which you work.

It is intended to improve the living standards of workers in Spain and reduce wage inequality. However, critics say that the government’s new minimum wage is a threat to jobs, especially for small and medium-sized businesses.

Moreover, the wage increase could trigger employers to pass on higher costs to consumers or cut hours. That may lead to a drop in productivity or even unemployment.

In order to protect workers, the minimum wage does have carve-outs, including young people, apprentices and those doing a voluntary or mandatory internship for up to three months during their schooling, training or studies. It also doesn’t apply to long-term job seekers during their first six months of employment.

The latest minimum wage hike in Spain will affect around 2.5 million workers, boosting their pay by almost 8%. It will be applied retroactively from January 2022, and comes against a backdrop of high inflation.

The increase in minimum wages is expected to improve living conditions for many workers in Spain, especially women and the young. It should help to reduce wage inequality and poverty rates in the country, according to experts.

Working hours

In Spain, workers typically spend about 1,686 hours per year at work, slightly lower than the OECD average. However, Spanish working conditions can be challenging.

The earliest and latest working hours are regulated by law and are subject to minimum rest periods. The maximum legal working week is 40 hours, with an hour for lunch. Nevertheless, many employees will work over the maximum limit.

Spaniards also have the option of taking two weeks of paid holiday leave annually. This is the standard for full-time workers, but some companies offer it to part-time employees.

There are also new laws requiring employers to keep daily records of their workers’ working hours. These rules were enacted in March 2019 and apply to both full-time and part-time employees.

As a result, it is important for companies to keep track of employee working times and comply with the new regulations. This may be difficult to do in the first place, but it is important to follow the guidelines if you want to avoid any future legal issues.

One way to do this is to have a flexible work schedule. This will allow you to be more productive and have a better work-life balance.

Another way to improve your work-life balance is to make sure that you have enough time for family activities, sports, or hobbies. It can be hard to balance work and family commitments, but it is essential for health and happiness.

The Spanish government is looking for ways to encourage managers to change their attitude toward work-life balance. This is an important step, as it shows that managers are becoming more aware of the importance of work-life balance and how to support it.


Holidays are a major part of the Spanish culture, and many festivals are celebrated throughout the year. From national Spanish bank holidays to regional festivos, parades, fireworks and open-air markets spice up the local life all year round.

The most important holidays are religious in origin and celebrate various saints and Virgin Marys. These include La Semana Santa, Easter, Corpus Christi, All Saints Day and St James’ Day (July 25).

Christmas is a very special time in Spain because it involves celebrations of all kinds, with traditions that reflect different parts of the country. For example, kids might be more excited about the Day of the Three Kings, or Epiphany, than they are about Santa Claus.

These holidays are a great time to explore the local culture and discover new places, so it’s worth booking early if you’re planning a holiday in Spain. You’ll find a wealth of stunning cultural sights in cities like Madrid and Barcelona, as well as dazzling beaches along the Costa del Sol.

Another important holiday is San Fermin in Pamplona, where the famous running of the bulls is accompanied by dancing and celebrations. There are also dozens of other festive events, with some celebrating the Virgin Mary and others centered around various saints.

The Spanish government sets nine national holidays each year, but local governments can set additional ones, including patronal holidays. Then there are the regional holidays, which are set by each of the 50 regions in Spain. If a holiday falls on a weekend, the regional governments can choose to replace it with an alternate day if they so wish.


When hiring global employees, you must always ensure that they are compliant with local labor laws. This will help you avoid costly compliance issues and keep your company image in tact.

If an employee is hired for a specific role, they will usually be offered a written work contract that spells out their rights and responsibilities. This helps them understand what to expect from the role, and it protects the employer and employee from any miscommunication.

The contract can be indefinite, or it could be for a set number of years. It is important to get the right type of contract, as it can determine your salary and other benefits.

Spanish employees are entitled to 22 days of paid leave each year, and they can also take public holidays. They may also choose to bump up their vacation time with a contract or a collective bargaining agreement.

Overtime is not common in Spain, and workers should only work 40 hours per week on average. Employers are allowed to compensate overtime monetarily, but they should give their employees at least 50% more pay than their regular rate.

In addition, employees are able to claim social security benefits for temporary incapacity due to illness or injury. They must get medical certification from the state health service before claiming these benefits.

Discrimination is illegal in Spain and wrongful discrimination based on sex, race, nationality, age, ethnic origin, disability, religion or belief, or other factors can be a valid grounds for a legal claim. If you’re experiencing discrimination, it’s a good idea to file a complaint with the labor court.

Spain’s labor law is extensive and offers significant protection to employees. It covers the individual and collaborative relationships between employers and employees as well as social security, health, and special employment relationships.


The Spanish labor law is extensive and offers substantial employee protection. This includes the Workers’ Statute (Estatuto de los Trabajadores), which governs many aspects of individual and collective employment relations. It also regulates the minimum wages of a wide range of professions, special types of employment contracts and relationships, social security, training, temporary agency work and health and safety at work.

Generally, employees cannot be discriminated against on the grounds of gender, marital status, nationality, ethnic or cultural origin, disability, religion or belief or age. This is a fundamental right for workers, as it enables them to live in an environment free from discrimination and harassment.

There are several legal remedies for discrimination in Spain, including a class action lawsuit. This allows a single person or a group of people to sue the company for its actions against them, regardless of the size of the business.

It is a violation of the workers’ fundamental rights to be subjected to any form of sexual harassment by an employer or a third party, regardless of whether the offender is a member of the company. For this reason, it is a legal requirement for companies to promote working conditions and procedures aimed at eliminating or preventing sexual harassment at work.

In addition to these measures, the law guarantees the right of employees and their representatives to participate in trade unions, which may be constituted through either individual delegates or works councils. These statutory representatives must negotiate with the company about any policies or initiatives aimed at eliminating sexual harassment in the workplace.

If a worker is dismissed without just cause, the employee has the right to receive compensation for their loss of income. They can claim 20 days of their salary for each year they have worked with the employer, up to 12 months’ total. They can also make a complaint to the local labor court or to a higher court.