Staff welfare - Spain
Employees are the main resource of a company, their welfare playing a key role to its functioning and the quality of its products and services.
Companies are required to comply with rules on labour, health and safety at work, risk prevention, working conditions, gender equality, reconciliation of work and family life, among others. Employers may voluntarily adopt additional measures to those required by the rules in order to improve the welfare of their employees, thereby profiting from more sustainable management of their human resources and the benefits to be gained from giving employees the opportunity to identify more closely with the company.
Any entrepreneur wishing to recruit a non-EU citizen must take the rules on immigration into account.
Community law gives every individual residing in the EU the right to go to another member state to live, study, work, or establish oneself to perform economic activities, without facing discrimination on grounds of nationality with regard to access to employment, working conditions, taxation, social security or welfare benefits. EU acts serve the purpose of making this freedom simple and effective to ensure the welfare of employees.
In Spain, labour relations and employee welfare are determined by the Workers’ Statute and labour legislation, for instance with regard to health and safety and work and equality, inter alia. In addition to the aforementioned regulations, collective agreements and the contract of employment also apply.
This legislation seeks to strike an appropriate balance between the interests of employers and employees, so that appropriate working conditions are established that respect their dignity as human beings, and enable them to develop both personally and professionally. Its content is reflected in the Labour Guide below:
The Law on effective equality between men and women is designed to establish true equality between people and remove all gender-based discrimination. Also in the work environment.
The General Workers Statute is the general rule governing the rights of employees. In it you can find everything relating to working conditions, vacations, contracts, etc.
Employee protection: Health and safety at work
The law and labour institutions cover different areas of employee protection: health and safety at work, reconciling work and family life, and social security.
Respecting the provisions of labour legislation, company representatives and employees agree on labour agreements.
In accordance with the Workers Statute, the contract of employment and collective agreements govern the employer-employee relationship. This may be a written or verbal agreement. Contract types and duration may vary. The employer is required to promptly inform the relevant Public Employment Services of the recruitment as well as the conditions of the agreement.
The Ministry of Equailty intervenes in cases of suspected discrimination. In the case of labour disputes and strikes, the Labour and Social Security Inspectorate may intervene at the request of the parties. Ultimately, these are:
In addition to these measures imposed by public authorities, the corporate responsibility of companies is also encouraged. This includes promoting the welfare of employees, voluntary initiatives to reconcile work and family life or contributing to the integration of individuals facing difficulties in doing so.
Mandatory social rules complete the requirements related to managing staff.
Businesses are free to go beyond the minimum social legal requirements at their own initiative.
Non-discrimination, equal treatment and gender equality
Its responsibilities include launching schemes relating to equal treatment and opportunities at work, with particular emphasis on gender equality.
Health and safety at work
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo) is responsible for analysing and studying health and safety conditions at work, as well as promoting and supporting their improvement. This work is carried out in coordination with the competent entities in the various Autonomous Communities.
Through its Labour and Social Security Inspectorate, the Ministry of Labour and Immigration, is responsible for carrying out inspections and on-the-spot checks.
The Social Security system guarantees workers and their families or carers relevant protection in case of unemployment, illness, etc. This applies to both Spanish citizens and foreigners working in Spain. The employer must register with the General Social Security Agency before recruiting his/her first employee. They must also register each employee under the relevant Social Security scheme.
The Women's Institute organises training courses to help integrate women into the job market. The aim is to promote entrepreneurial spirit among women by developing training, funding and mentoring schemes for business projects.
Furthermore, Chambers of Commerce support actions to achieve equality in collaboration with the Ministry of Equality, and maintain a business support programme for women (PAEM) in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and the Women's Institute.
Check also the legislation on this topic in: