Assuming that you are a citizen from another eu country, then you are legally entitled to work in spain without a work permit. It is recommended that you first visit spain and spend some time to see if you are suited to the lifestyle and assessing your options before starting to look for work. Only when you are successful in finding employment should you plan your move to Spain.
When you are here on your initial visit you can do a number of things that will make employment easier – such as obtaining an NIE number, if you haven’t already got one, and register with the INEM (Institito Nacional de Empleo), which are the Spanish equivalent of job centres - to be found in most towns throughout Spain. Vacancies are also listed in local newspapers and on some websites.
Citizens from outside the eu will need to apply for a work permit, as well as applying for a visa before they come to Spain. This can be done at a Spanish consulate in your home country or, but if you are already in Spain on a visa, you can apply for the required work permit at your local Oficina de Extranjeros or the provincial delegacion provincial del minsterio de trabajo, the ministry of work.
Once you have been successful in finding work here, have the required visas or permits, and have been offered a legal Spanish contract of employment, then you will be entitled to exactly the same legal employees rights as any spaniard.
You should make sure that your contract of employment contains all of the following details :
a.)Your personal details
b.)Your employers details
c.)The type of contract that you have been awarded – temporary, permanent etc...
d.)The contract period and date when employment is to start
f.)Location of work
g.)Hours of work
h.)Details of any qualifying trial period
j.)Rates of pay, including overtime
k.)Details of when and how you will be paid, when pay is reviewed.
Without these details being included correctly, your contract is unlikely to be legal, and as such you will not have any protected rights, or entitlement to state pensions and benefits. Your employer should also ensure that you are fully registered for tax and social security – you should check that they have done this as your contributions directly affect your entitlements.
’Standard’ working conditions for a ‘Standard’ working contract as follows :
• A normal working week comprises 40 hours.
• A working day should not exceed 9 hours.
• 12 hours rest should be taken between working shifts.
• There should be a maximum limit of 80 hours overtime in any 1 year.
• Holiday entitlement is a minimum of 30 days per year, of which are included 14 public holidays per year.
• Salaries are usually paid in 14 instalments per year ( 2 in june and december)
• Deductions will be made for tax and social security contributions.
• Dismissal of an employee can be due to : non-attendance; alcohol or drug problems; disciplinary reasons; verbal or physical abuse; breaking of trust or confidence. The employer must also pay compensation of 20 days' salary for each year that the employee has worked for the - up to a maximum of a year's salary.
• Leave – An employee is entitled to leave such as maternity leave (4 months) and time off for moving house, death of a family member, marriage etc...
If you should find yourself dismissed from a job in spain where you hold a legal spanish contract, you have up to 20 days to apply for a conciliation and, if this is not successful, you can take your employer to court.
Working conditions in spain are on the whole very similar to those of other european countries, with the exception that some lines of work may still take the ‘siesta’ whereby business stops for around 3 hours in the middle of the day. If this is observed by your employer you may find that it takes some getting used to, but will soon see how and why it is a tradition that is commonplace and often necessary in the warmer months of the year.
# A Royal Decree was passed in Parliament on 10.02.2012, which effectively changed the bias from being in the favour of the employee to the employer, in a bid to stimulate the economy and create much-needed jobs. As such a number of reforms will be made to the current laws - which can be read about in more detail by clicking HERE.