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Labour law in Spain

Spanish labour law is known to provide more extensive protection to employees in terms of social, income, and labour security than several other foreign countries. Consequently, complying with the regulations can be challenging for employers.

Are you planning to expand your business to Spain and want to familiarize yourself with the Spanish labour law? Here you can find an overview of the essential regulations that impact employment terms and social security.

To simplify things for you, we have compiled all the necessary information related to labour conditions, social security, contracts, probation/notice periods, and terminations into one document. Please fill out the form and we’ll send it to you promptly.



Labour Conditions


Minimum wage

The statutory minimum wage takes into account the system based on 14 payments. The minimum salary (gross) in Spain for 2023 is:

  • Minimum monthly salary: EUR 1,080.00 gross (paid in 14 instalments)
  • Minimum annual salary: EUR 15,120.00 gross

Collective Agreements in Spain can also regulate the minimum salary that should be considered for different professional groups and categories of employees.


Extra payments

Historically, salary in Spain is paid in 14 instalments – 12 monthly wages plus two additional payments taking place in July and December. However, this may differ
among companies and Collective Agreements. Salary can also be paid in 12 monthly payments, so the annual salary will be divided in 12 instalments and the employee will receive the same salary each month.


Working hours & resting times

The maximum weekly working hours in Spain are set up to 40. The maximum is 8 hours per day. However, many Spanish companies do not work on Friday afternoon, for this reason from Monday to Thursday they work 8.30 hours.

Generally, the stablished resting period between end and start of employment must be 12 hours.


Sick leave

Employees are entitled to sick pay in Spain if they have contributed to the social security system for at least 180 days in the five years prior to the illness. Once an employee is considered sick by a healthcare professional from the public health system, the maximum period to receive sick pay is 1 year, which can be extended to 6 additional
months. Coverage of sick pay is subject to various conditions (request the document with the complete overview).


Annual leave

In Spain the minimum is 22 working days or 30 calendar days per year of paid annual leave. Our Collective Agreement establish a minimum of 23 working days. However, the companies can always increase those days.


Paid leave

Our Collective Agreement set that employees, with prior notice and justification, may be absent from work, entitled to remuneration, for – amongst others – the following reasons:

  • 15 days in case of marriage.
  • 2 days in case of birth of a child, death, accident or serious illness, hospitalization of relatives until the second degree of consanguinity or affinity.
  • 4 days in the case of death of spouse, parents, or children.
  • 1 day for moving from the habitual residence

Click here for more information regarding equality in Spain (Equality plan in Spanish)

Click here for more information regarding equality in Spain – Consulting (Equality plan in Spanish)



Social Security

The Spanish social security system (“Sistema Nacional de la Seguridad Social”) allows access to:

  • Healthcare
  • Sick leave, paternity/maternity leave
  • Inability to work
  • Unemployment
  • Public pension

Social Security in Spain includes contributions from employers and employees. Contributions are the salary percentages given to the Social Security (“Tesorería General de la Seguridad Social”). The employer contributes approx. 31,95% (it may vary depending on employee’s workplace and the type of contract), employees will contribute around 6,35% in an indefinite employment contract and around 6,40% in a temporary contract.

Besides the contributions that the company makes directly to the Social Security, there are compulsory amounts that must be paid to the Mutual Insurance companies
(“Mutuas”). These Mutuas provide coverage for long-term sick leaves, as well as for sick leaves derived from work accidents / occupational diseases.

Health Insurance

Employees need to apply for healthcare at one of the many “Centros de atención e información de la Seguridad Social” and the “Instituto Nacional de la Seguridad Social”
(INSS)” will confirm their eligibility. This eligibility will mostly depend on the personal contributions to the social security system; other factors may also apply depending on the type of leave. Please see further detail below Employees will have access to medical care at the health care centre of their place of residence. The state healthcare coverage contains:

  • Primary medical care: access to public healthcare centres and hospitals
  • Emergencies: access to emergency care in the whole territory
  • Rehabilitation

Excluded from this coverage are dental and vision care. The public healthcare system in Spain is of high quality. Additionally, companies in Spain can offer their employees Private Medical Insurance as a Benefit or within the Flexible Compensation Plan. Apply for more information by filling the form on the top of the page.


In Spain, the retirement pension depends on the age of the interested and the contributions accumulated throughout his working life, being:

  • 67 years or;
  • 65 years when 38 years and 6 months contribution is credited

The public pension system in Spain works with the contributions that companies and workers make to Social Security.

Unemployment Insurance

Employees in Spain are entitled to unemployment insurance, commonly known as “el paro”. The requirements are:

  • To have been dismissed or having ended a temporary job contract;
  • To have been contributing at least 360 days in the past 6 years before becoming unemployed;
  • To be “legally” unemployed, which requires proper registration at the public employment service and the willingness to accept suitable work.


Maternity/Paternity leave

In Spain maternity leave is up to 16 weeks. On this 16 weeks, 6 weeks are mandatory and must be taken right after the baby is born and the other 10 weeks are voluntary and can be taken on weekly accumulated or separate periods before the baby is one year old. This time will be increased in case of multiple birth, infants born prematurely, etc.

To be entitled to paid maternity leave, the employee needs to be in a contributory situation or equivalent situation, and should have been working for a minimum period, depending on age. If the employee does not fulfil all these requirements, she will be entitled to receive a birth grant.

Since 2019, maternity and paternity benefits have been unified into a single benefit known as Birth and childcare. The duration and coverage reached the same benefit rights as those of the maternity leave.

Breastfeeding leave

After the end of maternity leave, the worker is entitled to breastfeeding leave for one hour each day, until the child turns 9 months. This hour can be divided in two half hours to be taken at the beginning and the end of the day. The third option would be to accumulate the hours to enjoy complete days (approximately 15 natural days, according to our Collective Agreement).
It can be requested by the mother or father, or both at the same time. There is no loss of pay, so this hour is paid by the company. It can only affect proportionally on the bonus based on individual productivity or attendance.

Unpaid care leave

The employees who are responsible for a child under 3 years of age and have a minimum seniority of one year, can request unpaid maternity/paternity leave until when the child turns 3 years. During this period, the employment relationship will be suspended, so there will not be any salary payment or payment of Social Security contributions by the employer.

Your guide

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