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Spain

Staff

Updated 09/2012

Do you have employees? Attracting, retaining and properly managing the talent of the best employees is the key to success in enterprise. The economy is global, competitive and changing.

In 2012 employment regulations were reformed in Spain with the aim of: increasing the employability of workers, creating jobs, support internal flexibility at enterprises, allowing them to adapt better to changes, and so avoid redundancies. The aim is to help sole traders and SMEs, to increase the efficiency of the labour market. These actions are accompanied by measures to foster employment among those with the greatest difficulty in finding a job, and to improve training.

The regulatory framework for labour relations applies universally in Spain. It comprises the Workers' Statute, employment legislation, Social Security, collective agreements and the employment contract.

The Autonomous Communities (regions) have competencies regarding active employment policies: employment guidance, training, intermediation in the labour market and other aspects.

You will enjoy reading this Employment Guide. It provides straightforward information about any queries you may have in the fascinating world of labour relations: recruitment, professional training, support for the creation of enterprises and employment, employment contracts, employment conditions, modifications to these conditions, employees from other EU countries, employees who are not EU citizens, trade unions, collective bargaining, Social Security, unemployment

Legal requirements

EU Citizens and Foreigners

The citizens of the EU, the European Economic Area and Switzerland are entitled to reside in Spain to engage in an enterprise activity or work on an equal footing with Spaniards. They must have their identity documents. If they are to live or work in the country for more than three months, they must apply for registration with the Central Foreigners Register and obtain a registration certificate or residency card. This application is presented at the foreign citizens office or police station.

The citizens of countries not belonging to the EU or European Economic Area require foreign citizen authorisation in order to live and work in Spain. This will be granted in accordance with the situation of the labour market in Spain. There are exceptions, and it is very simple for the following to move into the country: highly qualified employees, scientists, corporate executives, artists and performers of established standing and others. For further information:

Search for Employees

You may find it helpful to use the employment services of the European Eures Network, the Public Employment Services of Spain, Employment Agents or Temporary Employment Agencies. They allow you to submit job offers, seek out candidates with the right professional profile. If you wish, they can perform all or part of the selection process.

Hiring, Employment Conditions

In Spain you can hire employees in accordance with your enterprise's needs. For an unlimited period, a specific period, to work at certain times of the year, full-time or part-time, or for a specific project. Remotely. To enable apprenticeship, training or work experience. There are special contracts for athletes, senior executives and others.

Are you familiar with them? There are benefits and economic advantages to facilitate the hiring of young people, the long-term unemployed and disabled. Consult the link at the end of this section.

Employment conditions are dictated by the Workers' Statute, employment legislation, health and safety at work legislation, collective agreements and the specific employment contract. This will depend on each enterprise and job. Further information is included in the Employment Guide. The following overall features may be mentioned: working hours may not exceed 40 hours per week on average during the year, with one month of paid holiday.

The new regulatory framework grants enterprises greater flexibility for the internal organisation of employees in order to allow the enterprise to adapt better to changes in the market, to be more competitive and avoid the need to make redundancies. For example, if there are justified grounds then working hours can be reduced. A distinction must be made between cases where these modifications to working conditions affect just one employee or a limited group, and those where they affect the bulk of the workforce.

In cases of redundancy a distinction must be made between those involving objective grounds, in other words where they are legally justified, or those for other reasons. Whether the measure affects a small number of employees, or many of them. As a general rule, compensation in the event of dismissal on legally justified grounds will be 20 days per year worked, up to a maximum of 12 months' salary.

For such significant aspect as health and safety at work, Social Security and the Employment Inspectorate, you can open the following doors.

Employees are registered with Social Security, and as their employer you will need to make the relevant contributions on their behalf.

There are minimum social rules to follow, especially about non-discrimination, gender equality and health and safety.

Administrative procedures

As you will be aware, many public authority procedures can be performed as a straightforward online process. Some of them will require passwords, certificates or electronic ID. They can also be performed in person. Others cannot.

As regards Social Security, the enterprise must be registered, serve notice of the creation of employment centres, register workers, affiliate them with the corresponding Social Security schedule, make their Social Security contributions, serve notice of temporary absences, modifications to their circumstances and redundancy or resignation, as the key aspects.

With regard to the State Tax Agency you need to register your enterprise with the census of professionals and business owners, serve notice of your employees' details and deduct and then deposit personal income tax withholdings from their salary payments.

The Public Employment Services also play an important role in the search for employees, notification of new contracts, and when they come to an end, among other aspects.

To this end you can process queries and procedures online or at the Foreign Citizen Offices located nationwide: application for registration in the register of foreign citizens, residency and work permit, permit renewals...

Procedures with the Employment Inspectorate:

Resources

EURES, the European job portal, offers employers information and support on recruiting across the EU. As well as assisting jobseekers, it helps entrepreneurs find workers from across the EU. In border regions, EURES provides information on cross-border commuting and helps workers and employers with problems that may arise.

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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