Why employ in Spain?

A friendly work culture and prime trade opportunities

Whether sharing small plates of food at the dinner table or quick steps on the dance floor, Spanish culture is driven by connecting with friends and colleagues. For businesses, the friendly culture in Spain translates into a prime regulatory environment for trading across borders. In fact, Spain is ranked No. 1 for ease of international trade in The World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report—making this European country an especially attractive option for global expansion. 

If expanding to and employing workers in Spain is on your radar, it’s important to consider how labor laws and cultural norms can affect your growth and workforce strategy. Here are a few factors to weigh:

  • Working hours: Collective agreements or employment contracts establish the maximum allowable working hours for employees, but the Statute of Workers has set an absolute limit of 40 hours per week with a maximum workday of nine hours. 
  • Mandatory bonuses: Employees are entitled to two extra payments a year—in addition to their annual salary—one at Christmas and another on a month that is agreed upon in their collective bargaining agreement or employment contract. Agreements can be made for an employee’s two extra payments to be issued on a pro rata basis throughout the year.  
  • Vacation: Employees are entitled to a minimum of 30 days annual paid leave, which can be increased by collective agreements or individual employment contracts. If an employee’s holiday period coincides with a temporary disability—like pregnancy, childbirth or breast-feeding—the employee is entitled to take paid vacation at another time within the same year.
  • Holidays: Employees are entitled to 14 national holidays, as well as four regional and two local holidays. The Spanish government may elect to observe holidays that fall on a weekend the following Monday.
  • Benefits: Pregnant employees are entitled to 16 weeks of maternity leave and two extra weeks per child if there are multiple births. The social security system pays 100% of the employee’s social security contribution base during maternity leave. Employees can request a suspension of their employment contract for up to 15 months to provide child care, and employers must reserve their position until they return.
  • Culture: Oftentimes, business meetings are held in restaurants or other social settings outside of the office over food and drink. Small plates or appetizers—called tapas—are popular in Spain and are much more than a style of dish. They are considered a cultural experience and are even included in the Spanish language as a verb, tapear, meaning “to have tapas.”

Whether you’re just beginning to explore growing your workforce in Spain, or you already have in-country contractors and are looking to expand their roles compliantly, we can help you navigate the employment laws and cultural considerations that come into play. 

To date, Safeguard Global has helped 29 companies employ almost 74 people in Spain. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our global solutions experts.


Haley Campbell-Gross
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