Spanish labour law: overview


The Spanish Labour Code, called ‘Worker’s Statute’ (Estatuto de los Trabajadores) is the main rule in the Spanish system, which regulates the main and basic conditions in a labour relationship. However, Collective Bargaining Agreements also contain an important number of provisions which govern employment relations in Spain. Moreover, Spanish employment law also includes international treaties incorporated into the Spanish legal system, EU regulations of direct applicability as a EU Member State, case law from the European Court of Justice and European Court of Human Rights and recommendations and resolutions of the International Organisations of which Spain is a member.

Employers and employees are free to negotiate the terms and conditions of their employment relationship, but the ‘Workers Statute’ regulates the minimum working conditions, which mainly are:

Working hours: Normal working hours in Spain must average 40 hours per week maximum of actual work, calculated on annual basis. The actual number of normal working hours should never exceed of 9 hours per day, unless a Collective Bargaining Agreement establishes a different distribution. Employees under 18 years of age may never work more than 8 hours of actual work per day. This distribution shall always respect the minimum daily and weekly rest periods.

Overtime: Overtime cannot exceed 80 hours per year, unless the Collective Bargaining prescribes something different. It is legally banned for minors to work overtime and the worker must be compensated, either in cash or by paid time off.

Rest periods: The standard weekly uninterrupted rest is one and a half days, although it can vary from one occupation to another one. Also, at least 12 hours must elapse between the end of one working day and the start of the following working day.

Holiday: Once employees have been continuously employed for one year, they are entitled to a minimum of 30 days of paid vacation per year. This can be improved by contract or collective agreement and cannot be replaced by financial compensation. In addition, there are 14 public nonworking days per year, which may differ slightly by region. Subject to notice and subsequent justification to the company, workers may take paid time off for some reasons, such as:

-Marriage: 15 calendar days.

-Birth of child: 2 calendar days.

-Moving house: 1 calendar day.

Salary: The minimum wage in Spain for 2016 is EUR 655,20 per month (around NT$24.250). The employer must deduct monthly contributions to the Social Security. Also, the salary is subject to a personal income tax in Spain, which depends on the income level.



Spanish Labour Code: Real Decreto Legislativo 2/2015, de 23 de octubre, por el que se aprueba el texto refundido de la Ley del Estatuto de los Trabajadores:




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