Explore the essential guide on how to work and live successfully in Spain
If you work in Spain, you will benefit from the strict protection of your rights, and all of your rights are detailed in your contract. So you have to make sure you have a legal contract (in fact, it is illegal to work without a contract, and those who do will be deported to their home country).
In general, most employment contracts differ because they depend on the type of work that you do for each company. Most agreements provide for a nap period between 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM.
Most one-year contracts come with 14 or 15 monthly payments, including overtime pay on Easter and Christmas. The common practice is to pay an extra payment for a vacation in August.
At the end of the contract, depending on the length of employment, employees can usually receive termination compensation, which is related to the duration of work and salary.
If you are not satisfied and believe that your contract has been wrongly terminated, you have the right to submit a request for reconciliation within 20 days. The result depends on the agreement between the two parties. If no agreement is reached, you can file a claim in the Labor Court (Juzgado de lo Social) within 20 days. If the court finds you right, you will receive 45 days’ compensation for each year of your employment. If you are not satisfied, you have five days to file an appeal.
Cost of living and quality of life
You have to bear in mind that wages tend to be lower in Spain, but the cost of living is tied to what you earn, compared to the UK where the cost of living and standard of living is much higher. Spain applies the minimum wage, which, as of July 2019, is set at 15.35 euros per day, or 490 euros per month.
Working hours and holidays
Spaniards have 40 hours of work per week, with overtime working up to 43 hours. A normal workday includes a two or three-hour nap in the afternoon and later end time. During the summer months, business hours may change. There are no scheduled coffee or tea breaks, but the staff take them according to their work schedule.
Overtime is not mandatory in Spain but cannot exceed 80 hours per year. Overtime must be paid at the regular rate plus a minimum of 75% of the daily hourly rate. Leave may be granted instead of overtime, but there must be a prior written agreement.
If you are a full-time employee, you are entitled to paid annual leave of one month (20 days) and at least one and a half days per month. Spain has 14 paid national and local public holidays a year. If your vacation is on the weekend, usually another day is granted only if the number of public holidays is less than a certain amount. It is advisable to check with your employer for allowances at your workplace.
Benefits of working in Spain
The employer deducts all labour taxes and social security contributions and pays them directly to the official offices. Deductions are around 8.4%, which is divided into 2% IRPF (tax) and 6.4% social contributions. Social benefits for contract employees include social security health coverage, workers’ compensation, unemployment benefits, and retirement benefits.