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Overview of Spain

Spain is the second largest country in the Europe Union and has a population of 46.94 million. Madrid as the capital claims 6.5 million of those people and Barcelona claims 5.5 million people living in the greater area. Spain is a constitutional monarchy with King Felipe VI taking the throne in 2014. Spain was the second most popular tourist destination in 2018 in the world. Creating good relationships is key when working with Spanish people – being friendly and meeting people face to face are keys to success. Humour is appreciated in the right moments.

Currency of Spain

  • Euro

Health Insurance and the Social Security system of Spain

If one is working in Spain, one has to insured via the social security system. Through this, one gains access to coverage of illnesses, injuries, and accidents at work, unemployment, and maternity and paternity leave. This includes free Spanish healthcare (hospitalization and subsidized prescriptions), sick pay, disability benefits as well as access to a state pension and other retirement benefits.

The contribution rate will depend on the type of work one does and the qualifications one holds. There is a minimum and a maximum wage, on which the contribution rate is calculated. In 2020, the minimum wage was 1050€ and the maximum wage was 4070,10€. The employer will pay about 80% of the social security contribution, while the employee pays the remaining 20% out of his pay check.

Employer cost of Spain

The cost for an employer to hire someone in Spain is a plus of 29.90% to the gross salary.

Salary and bonuses of Spain

Regular employees are paid once a month.

Most companies pay an extra wage in June and December (13th and 14th month salary).

Public Holidays in Spain

In Spain there are 14 public holidays, 2 of them depend on the municipality one lives in.

  • January 1st – New Years Day
  • January 6th – Epiphany
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • May 1st – Labour Day
  • August 15th – Assumption of Mary
  • October 12th – National Day
  • November 1st – All Saints Day
  • December 6th – Constitution Day
  • December 8th – Immaculate Conception
  • December 25th – Christmas

Working Hours in Spain

The work hours in Spain are slightly different to the regular European work day. The day starts around 8:30/9:00 and goes until around 1:30pm at which the famous siesta is taken. The day continues from 4:30 until 8pm. The siesta is starting to decline in major cities due to globalisation pressure but is still seen as a major part of the day in rural areas.

One is not allowed to work more than 80 hours overtime in a year.

Vacation in Spain

In Spain one receives a minimum of 22 days of vacation a year.

Sick Leave in Spain

When one becomes sick in Spain, it has to be verified by a medical doctor. For the first 3 days of an illness, the company does not have to pay the employee anything. From the 4th to the 15th day of sick leave, one receives an allowance of 60% of one’s salary. This is paid by the company. From the 16th to the 20th day, one receives 60% of one’s wage from social security. From the 21st day onwards up to 1 year, one receives 75% of one’s wage from social security.

Termination/Severance in Spain

In Spain, there are several reasons for the ending of an employment relationship: the employee resigns, the temporary contract expires, an objective dismissal for economic reasons (layoff) or a disciplinary dismissal. Under Spanish law, employees who have been granted reduced hours for childcare, pregnant women and employees on maternal/paternal leave have more protection.

In the case of a termination, the employer delivers a letter of termination to the employee. In the case of an objective dismissal, the employee can continue to work for 15 days if desired. If not, the termination takes immediate effect. Legislation requires that the employee be paid a minimum compensation of 20 days pay for every year of service, up to a maximum of 12 months pay.