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Insights on Spanish labour law you need to know about:

Applicable laws to employment relationships.

There are numerous applicable regulations to any employment relationship that need to be taken into account related to employment conditions, social security, occupational hazards etc.
The Workers Statute applies as a minimum law and rules all the stages of an employment relationship from its beginning: trail period, working hours, minimum wage, holidays, leaves, dismissals and Works Councils.

CBA’s do apply to the main economic industries and can be either national wide, provincial or at a Company level. CBA improve the minimum regulations stated in the Workers Statute such as salary and its supplements, working hours and working time, paid and unpaid leaves, trail period, notice period, teleworking, professional categories etc.


Employment agreements can be of indefinite or temporary duration. Temporary agreements can be only agreed when specific temporary grounds do apply with a maximum duration of 6 months up to 12 months if ruled in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”).
Trail period duration needs to be agreed in written in the employment agreement in accordance with the applicable CBA or Workers Statute.

Working time-holidays-leaves

Working time can be agreed to be flexible in accordance with the applicable CBA and needs to be recorded on a daily basis. Changes in working time may require a formal procedure to be implemented together with a notice period of 15 days.
Minimum annual leave is 30 days calendar days plus other local bank holidays that apply also.

Occupational hazards

Every Company needs to perform a specific occupational hazard study on its working positions and environment and grant periodic training to its employees. Failure to do so can end up in administrative fines and civil damages to be borne by the Company in case of a work accident or a professional illness.

Work life balance

There are several paid and unpaid leaves ruled in the Workers Statute which can also be extended by the CBA. Some leaves grant a special protection to employees in case of a later dismissal.
Under specific circumstances, changes in the working conditions may be requested by the employee to the employer to grant work life-balance.

Companies with more 50 or more employees need to negotiate an Equality Plan with the Works Council or employees directly.

Works councils

Works Councils can be elected at any time in work centres with more than 10 employees. The election can be started either by a majority of employees or by any Union that has a wide representation in the industry.
The Works Council represents the employees’ interest before the employer. They have the right to participate or being consulted in various matters and procedures regarding collective procedures affecting employees’ conditions or layoffs, change in the organization system of the company and others. Also, Work Council have several information rights regarding the Company situation e.g., number of employees, type of contract, financial statements, overtime, individual dismissals etc.

Works Councils have legitimation to call strikes and have special protections in case of dismissals.

Termination of employment

The employment relationship can be terminated voluntarily by the employee, by the expiration of a temporary agreement and by a dismissal.
There are two main grounds of dismissal: disciplinary reasons or objective grounds linked to the Company situation (economic, production based, organizational or technical grounds). All dismissals need to be communicated in written by letter explaining with detail the grounds of dismissal. In case of the objective dismissal a statutory severance compensation of 20 days per year of service (capped at 12 monthly instalments) needs to be paid at the moment of delivering the dismissal letter and a notice period of 15 days applies. In case the objective dismissal affects a group of employees in a specific threshold within a period of 90 days, a collective procedure needs to be followed. Failure to do so may end up in the dismissals being declared null and void.

Employees can claim against the dismissal asking the dismissal being declared unfair or null and void. The statutory severance compensation for unfair dismissals is 33 days per year of services (capped at 24 monthly instalments). It is usual that dismissal procedures end up with a settlement reached before the Labour Court.


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