Guide to business in Spain Guía de negocios en España


2. Contracts


2.1. General aspects

This section deals with the main aspects to be considered when hiring workers in Spain.

In general, discrimination in hiring or in the workplace on the grounds of gender, marital status, age, race, social status, religion or political ideology, membership of a labor union or otherwise, or on the basis of the different official languages in Spain is prohibited.

The minimum employment age is 16 years old and there are certain special rules applicable to the employment of persons under the age of 18 (who, for example, cannot work overtime or at night).

2.2. Types of contract

Contracts can be made verbally or in writing, unless there are express provisions that require a written contract (for example, temporary contracts, part-time contracts and training contracts). If this formal requirement is not met, the contract is understood to be permanent and full-time, unless evidence is provided to the contrary.

Companies must provide the workers' statutory representatives (if any) with a basic copy of all contracts to be made in writing (except for senior management contracts). The hiring of workers must be notified to the Public Employment Service within ten days of the contracts being made.

There are various different types of contract, including indefinite-term, temporary, fixed-term, training, distance work and part-time contracts.

The Ministry of Employment and Social Security has set up via the website of the National Public Employment Service[2], a virtual assistant for employment contracts which, based on four basic types of employment contracts (indefinite-term, temporary, training and work-experience contracts), suggests and prepares the type of employment contract that best suits the characteristics of each new hire.

The principal features of these types of contracts are explained below.

2.2.1. Fixed-term contracts

Spanish legislation sets out specific grounds for the execution of fixed-term or temporary contracts.

All temporary contracts must be made in writing and must specify the reason for their temporary nature in sufficient detail. Otherwise, or if the ground for the temporary contract does not truly correspond to one of the legally-established grounds, the contract will be deemed to be made for an indefinite term, unless evidence of its temporary nature is provided.

Guide to business in Spain

Labor and Social Security regulations


ICEX - Gobierno de España - Ministerio de Economía y competitividad
Elaborado por Garrigues - Abogados y Asesores Tributarios
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