So, you’re expanding your team to Spain. That’s great! Spanish law mandates that employers offer certain employee benefits, and you’ll need to be familiar with them to stay compliant with local labor laws.
To help you, we’ve put together this handy guide to the statutory employee benefits in Spain — plus a few optional ones you can offer to boost your employer brand image.
According to the Spanish Workers’ Statutes (Estatuto de Los Trabajadores), permanent and temporary employees are entitled to the same benefits. However, self-employed workers and independent contractors are not entitled to any benefits.
As of January 2023, Spanish full-time employees are entitled to a minimum wage of €1,080 per month. In addition to base pay, Spanish workers are also entitled to a number of benefits, including meal vouchers, medical insurance, and company vehicles (for qualifying employees), all paid for by the employer.
For temporary employees who do not exceed 120 days working for the same company in a 12-month period, the minimum wage is €51.15 per day. For domestic workers who are paid by the hour, the minimum wage is €8.45 per hour.
According to labor laws, the maximum number of hours an employee should work per week is 40 — anything above that is considered overtime, and the employee must receive additional compensation. Overtime is permitted in Spain, as long as it does not exceed the annual limit of 80 hours.
Overtime pay is calculated by adding 75% to the hourly rate, so every hour of overtime must be paid as 1.75 times the employee’s regular hourly rate. To calculate overtime for employees who work 40-hour weeks spread across five days, divide their salary by 30 (days in a month) and then divide the result by eight (hours in a day). This will give you their hourly rate, which you can multiply by 1.75 to determine their overtime pay.
Spanish employees are entitled to a 13th and 14th-month salary, known as the pagas extraordinarias (extra or special pay). These extra payments are made in addition to the base wages and are typically paid out in the summer and around the Christmas holidays.
The payments are calculated based on the employee’s salary, and each one amounts to 1/14th of the total annual salary. However, if an employee has worked for less than one year at the same company, the pagas extraordinarias will be calculated based on the number of months they have worked.
Employees in Spain are entitled to a minimum of 22 working days of paid annual leave (equivalent to 30 calendar days). The paid time off can be taken at any time of the year, as long as each holiday period lasts at least two weeks.
Employers can’t compensate employees in lieu of providing time off. However, paid leave may be rolled over and taken later (but it can’t be delayed indefinitely).
In addition to paid leave entitlements, Spanish employment laws also grant employees time off during public holidays, as well as state and local holidays, which vary by region.
Eligible employees are entitled to 16 weeks of paid maternity leave (or more in some cases). Six of these weeks must be taken by the employee immediately following the birth. The remaining ten weeks are at the employee’s discretion until the child is a year old — they can be taken consecutively or spread over the first 12 months after birth. Furthermore, all pregnant women have the right to care at National Health Service (Sistema Nacional de Salud) hospitals prior to, during, and after delivery.
In 2021, the Spanish government changed the laws around paternity leave to grant new parents the same amount of leave. The partner parent (the one who doesn’t get maternity) also gets 16 weeks of paid leave (or more in some cases), but this is not transferable between partners. Eligible employees must take the first six weeks immediately after the child's birth, then they can take the remaining ten weeks at any time during the first 12 months of the child’s life.
If an employee is sick, they must present a medical certificate within three days. Once this is received, the employer is responsible for applying for the employee’s sick leave and will pay the costs of the first fifteen days of the allowance.
Thereafter, social security (Sistema Nacional de la Seguridad Social or INSS) will bear the costs. Social security payments vary based on an employee’s salary and position, but it’s also common for employers to match an employee’s sickness benefits to equal the employee’s standard salary.
In Spain, severance pay is called the finiquito and is only applicable when the employer terminates an employment agreement. The finiquito covers any outstanding payments the employee is due to receive based on their salary, paid leave they haven’t yet taken, pagas extraordinarias, and any overtime worked.
The social security system in Spain covers many benefits, including disability, retirement, healthcare, and unemployment allowances.
Spain’s social security system (INSS) has one of the highest pension rates in the world, at 36.25%, of which the employer pays 29.9% and the employee 6.34%. The minimum contribution to be deducted from an employee’s salary varies depending on the salary, but employee contributions cannot exceed €4,139.40 per month.
For employees to access Spanish social security benefits, employers must enroll them with the General Social Security Fund (Tesorería General de la Seguridad Social [TGSS]).
Now that you’re familiar with the main mandatory benefits in Spain, let’s look at some additional benefits you can offer to position yourself as an attractive employer to Spanish and global talent.
Private health insurance in Spain — which can include health, dental, and vision — gives employees access to services they would not get (or those that would take longer to get) using the public health system. This is one of the perks employees value the most due to the favorable tax treatment.
Some employers offer life insurance to provide death coverage and personal accident cover.
Flexible work policies are one of the most crucial benefits employees consider when looking for employment. Offering flexible work options that allow employees to establish a better work-life balance can help attract and retain top talent.
In addition to time flexibility, employers can offer remote work options and even help their employees obtain digital nomad visas.
Consider offering your employees the equipment they need to do their jobs — especially if they’re remote workers. This could include laptops, printers, desks, and chairs.
Other benefits to consider offering your employees in Spain include:
Offering competitive benefits packages requires a lot of analysis, including assessing your workforce’s needs and your budget — a process that quickly becomes complex when you’re managing a distributed team across multiple countries.
Whether you want to hire employees in Spain or anywhere else in the world, an employer of record (EOR) like Remofirst can help with setting up and managing benefits, as well as any other aspect of global employment. Check out our Spain Country Guide for all things related to living, working, and hiring talent in Spain.