Collective conventions

Employment in Spain is highly regulated, with the main purpose to protect an employee’s rights. The regulations are complex: jobs are grouped into categories, and each category has a different set of regulations, called the “Convenio Colectivo”.

Employment in Spain is highly regulated, with the main purpose to protect an employee’s rights.

Please contact us and we will freely inform you about the best possibilities for your company.

These convenios regulate, for example, the legal salary range for each job, hours in a work day, vacation days per year. The following norms, though, generally hold true for employment in Spain:

  • A 40-hour week.
  • Either 12 payments or 14payments annually. 

    If you choose 14 payments, you should pay the monthly salary plus two extra payments due by July 10 and December 15. To avoid problems, make sure you agree on a gross annual salary, so it doesn’t matter how it’s divided. If you and your employee prefer 12 payments, just have the employee sign a statement to that effect, and let your payroll provider know.

  • Vacation of 22 business days for each full year of service. See FAQ regarding holidays.
  • There are no sick days per se.

    If an employee gets sick, they should find a doctor to sign a baja confirming that they are unable to work. With a baja, social security then takes over to pay the salary of the employee after a period of time.

  • If you lay off someone, you pay 45 days of compensation for each year that the employee had worked for you. Note that if you fire someone with sufficient cause, then there is no compensation payment necessary. In either case, though, you must pay something called a finiquito, which mainly covers any vacation that the employee has not yet taken. Make sure you get this finiquito signed by the employee.
  • The employee has a right to 15 days (including weekends) for marriage, 2 days for the birth of a child or the death of a family member, 1 day for home relocation, 16 weeks for maternity leave that could be distributed at the option of the interested party, provided that six weeks are immediately subsequent to the birth of the child. In the event that both parents work, the mother may elect to have the other progenitor enjoy a certain uninterrupted part of the resting period. The father will have a paternity leave of 4 weeks.

So, our advice to employers in Spain:

  • Be aware that salaries are lower in Spain than in northern Europe and the USA. You can contact us before making your offer to see if you are in the range for Spain.
  • When making a salary offer to someone in Spain, make sure you quote a gross annual salary (sueldo en bruto) rather than a net salary, so you’re not in for a rude surprise.
  • Companies have traditionally avoided giving indefinite contracts because of the difficulties in laying off such employees, and the high compensation package involved. Consequently, the Spanish mentality is such that receiving an indefinite contract is almost as important as what salary they will actually receive.
  • You cannot be too careful about employee issues. Spain is not a litigious country EXCEPT when it comes to an employee who has been fired.