Working in Spain – Check the Cost of Living, quality of life and the benefits of working in Spain


If you work in Spain, you will benefit from the strict protection of your rights. All your rights are in your contract. So you have to make sure you have a legal contract (working without it is actually illegal, and those who are supported will be sent back to their home country). The employment contract will be submitted in Spanish and translation is recommended.

The two main contracts are:

  • Permanent contract
  • Fixed-term contract

Generally speaking, most employment contracts are different because they depend on the type of work you perform for each job. Most contracts provide a nap between 14:00. 17:00.

A one-year contract is usually provided, with 14 or 15 payments per month, including extra compensation for Easter and Christmas. A common practice is to pay for extra holidays in August.

At the end of the contract, based on working hours, employees can generally receive compensation related to working hours and wages after termination of employment.

If you are not satisfied and believe that your contract has been terminated in error, you have the right to submit a settlement request within 20 days. The result depends on the agreement between the two parties. If no agreement is reached, you can file a complaint with the Labor Court (Juzgado de lo Social) within 20 days. If the court is in your favor, you will be compensated for working 45 days a year. If you are still not satisfied, you have five days to appeal.


Cost of living and quality of life

You must remember that wages in Spain tend to be lower, but compared to the UK, where the cost of living and standard of living are higher, the cost of living is related to your income. Spain has a minimum wage, which has been set at 15.35 euros per day or 490 euros per month since July 2014.

Business hours and holidays

Spaniards work 40 hours a week and work overtime as long as 43 hours. A normal working day includes two or three hours of afternoon snacks and a later end time. In summer, opening hours may change. There is no coffee or tea break, but the staff will follow their schedule.

Overtime is not mandatory in Spain, but it must not exceed 80 hours per year. Overtime must be paid at the standard price plus at least 75% of the hourly rate. You can take vacations instead of overtime, but you must have a written agreement in advance.

If you are a full-time employee, you are entitled to annual (20 days) paid vacation and at least one and a half months of vacation each month. Spain has 14 national and local paid holidays each year. If your vacation is on the weekend, other days are generally not allowed unless the number of vacations is less than a certain number. It is recommended to check with your employer what benefits your workplace provides.

Benefits of working in Spain

The employer deducts all labor tax and social security contributions and pays them directly to the official office. The discount is approximately 8.4%, divided into 2% IRPF (tax) and 6.4% social security contributions. Workersí benefits covered by medical insurance contracts include social security, workersí compensation, unemployment and pensions.

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