Hire employees and contractors in Spain

Remote’s guide to employing in Spain.

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  • Capital city

    Madrid

  • Currency

    Euro
    (, EUR)

  • Population size

    47,329,981
    (2020 est.)

  • Languages spoken

    Spanish, Catalan, Basque, Galician

  • Availability

    Remote-Owned Local Entity

    We own our own entity in the countries where we operate to shield your company from risk and provide you and your employees with the signature Remote experience.

Facts & Stats

Spain (Spanish: España), officially the Kingdom of Spain (Spanish: Reino de España), is a country in Southwestern Europe with some pockets of territory across the Strait of Gibraltar and the Atlantic Ocean. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state. It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth-largest economy by nominal GDP and the sixteenth-largest by PPP.

  • Capital city

    Madrid

  • Currency

    Euro
    (, EUR)

  • Languages spoken

    Spanish, Catalan, Basque, Galician

  • Population size

    47,329,981 (2020 est.)

  • Ease of doing business

    Very easy

  • Cost of living index

    $$$ (44 of 139 nations)

  • Payroll frequency

    Monthly

  • VAT - standard rate

    21%

  • GDP - real growth rate

    2.582% (2018 est.)

Grow your team in Spain with Remote

Employing in Spain requires companies to own a local legal entity in the country or work with a global employment solutions provider like Remote. Managing payroll, benefits, taxes, and compliance in Spain is a complex challenge, especially without established local relationships. 

Through Remote’s global employment services, your team members can be employed by our local legal entities in Spain and around the world. We take on the responsibility of employing and paying your team so you can focus on hiring great talent and growing your business.

Risks
of misclassification

Spain, like many other countries, treats self-employed individuals or contractors and full-time workers differently and there are risks associated with misclassification.

Employing in Spain

Employment law in Spain is not contained under a single law. Instead it is governed by statutory regulations codified in (among other laws) the Spanish Civil Code and the Spanish Workers' Statute. The Spanish Workers' Statute regulates legal and regulatory of Spain, the will of parties intended in employment contracts, local and professional customs and practices as well as collective bargaining agreements.

Spanish employment law provides strong labor conditions and protections for employees, so employing people will generally be an important investment and commitment.

Temporary agencies are popular options for more flexible workforce arrangements. For these and many other reasons, the following are only guidelines in the broadest sense, and professional legal services are recommended when employing in Spain.

Public holidays

Below are national public holidays applicable for all regions in this country. Remote customers have access to a detailed list of regional public holidays within the Remote platform. Sign up now to access all public holiday information.

Minimum Wage

€1,125.80 per month in 12 payments.

Payroll Cycle

For customers of Remote, all employee payments will be made in equal monthly installments on or before the last working day of each calendar month, payable in arrears.

In Spain, it is also mandatory to make 14 salary payments: 12 months of work and 2 additional allowances (a holiday payment and a Christmas payment). Remote allows the employee to choose whether they would like to be paid in either 12 or 14 allotments:

  • By choosing 12 months, the employee will get two extra months worth of salary prorated throughout the year.
  • By choosing 14 months, the employee will receive the 13th payment and 14th payments in July and December

It is customary that 12 payments are chosen in Spain, however, both payment options are possible. Remote allows the employee to change this once per year.

At Remote, Spanish employees will be paid 13th and 14th extra payments between the 15th and 20th of July and December.

Note that Spanish labor law allows the employer to decide how these extra payments should be paid.

Onboarding Time

We can help you get a new employee started in Spain fast. The minimum onboarding time we need is only 7 working days.

Our team ensures your employees are onboarded and paid as quickly as possible while keeping your business compliant with all local employment legislation. The minimum onboarding time begins after the employee submits all required information onto the Remote platform. The onboarding timeline is also dependent upon registration with local authorities.

For all non-nationals of the country of employment, the Right to Work assessment (if applicable) will add three extra days to the total time to onboard. There may be extra time required if we need to follow-up on the right to work assessment.

Please note, payroll cut-off dates can impact the actual first day of employment. Remote has a payroll cut-off date of the 10th of the month unless otherwise specified.

Competitive benefits package in Spain

Remote supports our clients by offering competitive benefits packages that will help you attract and retain the best talent across the globe! Our benefits specialists have done the research on norms and requirements in each local market and have crafted packages that will allow your employees to thrive, no matter what country they live in. 

Our benefits packages in Spain are tailored to fulfil the local needs of your employees. Typically, our packages contain some or all of the following benefits:

  • Health Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Mental Health Support
  • Pension or 401(K)
  • Life and Disability Insurance

Local market insights

  • In Spain, 80%* of employers offer supplemental health insurance to their workforce. (*based on 3rd-party market research from our partners)
  • Although the country has a public health system, supplemental health insurance provides employees with access to a wider range of options for providers and specialists, as well as significantly shorter wait times. Our plans also offer global coverage (excluding the US) to protect your employees when they are traveling outside their home country.

Our core benefits (which often include things like healthcare) are required in most countries where we hire. Because Remote is the employer of record, it’s important for us to offer the same core benefits to all employees in a country to ensure fair equity and non-discriminatory hiring practices, which protects your business and ours. Note that we do not add a markup on any benefits premiums or administration costs.

If you'd like specific information about our benefits packages in Spain, start onboarding your first employee with Remote today.

For more insight into fair equity and benefits best practices, download our Global Benefits Guide and share with the rest of your hiring team.

Calculate the cost to hire an employee
in Spain

Taxes in Spain

Learn how employment taxes and statutory fees affect your payroll and your employees’ paychecks in Spain.

  • Employer Social Security Contributions (31.55%)

    • Employer Social Security contributions are capped monthly on a base of EUR 4139.40

    • 23.60% - Common Contingencies

    • 5.5% - Unemployment for permanent employees (or 6.70% for temporary employees)

    • 1.65% - Occupational accident and professional disease contribution

    • 0.6% - Professional Training

    • 0.2% - Wage Guarantee Fund

  • Employee

    • 6.35% - Social Security

    • 1.55% - Unemployment

    • 0.1% - Professional Training

  • Employee Income taxes

    • 19% - Up to 12,450

    • 24% - 12,451 - 20,200

    • 30% - 20,201 - 35,200

    • 37% - 35,201 - 60,000

    • 45% - Above 60,000

Types of leave

Statutory leave

All full-time workers are legally entitled to 23 days paid holiday leave a year. In addition, full-time workers have 14 paid public holidays a year.

Maternity leave

Maternity leave is 16 weeks for Spanish employees. At least six uninterrupted weeks must be taken immediately following the birth. Four of these weeks can be taken leading up to the birth. During the maternity period, workers are not paid a salary but instead a maternity benefit. This contribution is paid directly from the Social Security Administration to the employee. Women have the right to one hour of absence from work each day to breastfeed an infant of less than nine months. The employee can also choose to accumulate these hours, and take off 15 consecutive natural days after the maternity leave instead.

Parental and paternal leave

In Spain, 16 weeks of paternity leave is also available. The first six weeks have to be taken immediately without interruption (starting on the day of birth of the child). The other 10 weeks must be taken before the child is one year old. This leave must be taken in batches of one week as a minimum, but the weeks can be split over time if desired. The employee receives 100% pay during this time (as long as payment does not exceed 4070.10 EUR). The father is also entitled to take unpaid childcare leave until the child is three years old.

Breastfeeding leave

Parents can take an additional breastfeeding leave after parental leave. This breastfeeding leave can be enjoyed in two ways:

  • take one hour off during the day, until the child is nine months old (it can either be one hour, or half an hour at the beginning and at the end of the working day)
  • take 15 consecutive natural days after the parental leave

The breastfeeding leave is considered as working time, meaning that the employee doesn't receive anything from Social Security and is paid by the company at 100%.

Other leave

  • Adoption: upon adoption of a child or have taken in a foster child, employees are entitled to the same entitles apply as for maternity and paternity rights. Applies to both parents.
  • Emergency and short absence leave: intended for unforeseen personal circumstances for which an employee has to take time off immediately. Examples include making arrangements for the care of a sick family member or in the event of a death in the family. Up to two calendar days or four if travel is required.
  • Time off work for public duties: intended for allowing employees to fulfill certain public duties related to roles such as local councillors, school governors, trade union member, etc.
  • Long-term care leave: when a child, partner or parent of the employee is seriously (i.e. life threateningly) ill and requires care, the employee can request long-term care leave.
  • Unpaid leave: the employee may take unpaid leave in consultation with the employer on a full-time or part-time basis. Granted at the discretion of the employer, but must always be set in an individual or collective agreement. Unpaid leave periods are not regulated by law.

Employment termination

Termination process

Spanish employers in general can provide any fair reasons for termination of an employee. Any dismissal from the end of the employer for an employee that has been employed longer than six months has to be "socially justified" by the following:

  • Dismissal of the employee without notice for disciplinary reasons, for example in case of theft or any other serious misconduct;
  • Ordinary dismissal with notice based on economic factors related to production, the organisation of work, the proper functioning of the business and redundancy; or

Notice period

The statutory notice period for an employer depends on the reason for dismissal and the collective bargaining agreement the employment contract is subject to. For dismissals due to economic factors related to production, the organisation of work, the proper functioning of the business and structural, the company has to provide 15 days prior notice. Employees are generally required to provide 2-3 weeks of prior notice when resigning, depending on the collective bargaining agreements.

Probation periods

The establishment of a probationary period is not mandatory under Spanish labor legislation. The applicable CBA includes the maximum probationary periods to be agreed with the employees. It is feasible that for the same professional category, you agree different probationary periods with employees if there is justified reason (as a matter of example: experience, training, languages, etc.) and provided that you respect the probationary periods limits established in the CBA.

Visa & Immigration

Visa Options

Depending on your employee's situation, we may be able to sponsor their visa application. Talk with our team today.

If Remote visa sponsorship isn't the best route for your employee, below are other possible visas they could apply for. We can also help with the visa application process.

These visa options should not be considered legal advice and are subject to change. The estimated time will vary per case.

Other visa options
  • Intra-Company Transfer (Entrepreneurs’ Law) Application in Country

    This is the process for temporary residence authorisation for intra-company transfers (ICT), according to the Entrepreneurs’ Law. Note that this route may only be used if the applicant does not qualify for the Intra-Company Transfer Permit (EU Directive 2014/66), e.g. is a service provider or will be in Spain for more than three years. This process describes application procedures for obtaining residence authorisation from within Spain.

    Time until employee can start work: 1 to 4 months

  • Highly Qualified Employees (Entrepreneurs’ Law) Application in Country

    This is the process for temporary residence authorization for highly qualified employees (local hires and self-employed applicants) according to the Entrepreneurs’ Law. This process describes application procedures for obtaining temporary residence authorisation from within Spain, holding a visitor status within the country; however note that this is also possible with a different legal immigration status (resident/student). It is also possible to obtain temporary residence authorization from outside Spain and then enter with a long-term type D visa.

    Time until employee can start work: 1 to 5 months

  • Intra-Company Transfer (Entrepreneurs’ Law)

    • This is the process for temporary residence authorisation for intra-company transfers (ICT), according to the Entrepreneurs’ Law. Note that this route may only be used if the applicant does not qualify for the Intra Company Transfer Permit (EU Directive 2014/66) - e.g. is a service provider or will be in Spain for more than three years. This process describes application procedures when the applicant is residing outside Spain; however note that it is possible to obtain residence authorisation from within Spain, as long as the applicant holds a legal immigration status (visitor/resident) within the country. Currently, the authorities are experiencing ongoing delays in processing of residence authorisations, which is currently taking up to two months, rather than the usual 20 working days.

    Time until employee can start work: 2 to 5 months

  • Highly Qualified Employees (Entrepreneurs’ Law)

    This is the process for temporary residence authorisation for Highly Qualified employees (local hires and self-employed applicants) according to the Entrepreneurs’ Law. Note that it is possible to obtain residence authorisation from within Spain, as long as the applicant holds a legal immigration status (visitor/resident) within Spain. 

    Time until employee can start work: 2 to 8 months

  • Van der Elst Visa (Assignment from Within the EEA)

    A type of visa or work permit available to non-EEA/EFTA citizens employed by and working for a company in an EU/EEA/EFTA country, that allows them to work for that company in another EEA/EFTA member state, subject to meeting certain eligibility conditions.

    Time until employee can start work: 2 to 6 months

  • Local Hire Work Permit (Smaller Companies) to Madrid

    This immigration process is for non-EU nationals employed in Madrid. This route should be followed when the company/employee assigned to Madrid does not meet the criteria for the Unidad de Grandes Empresas (UGE) routes, and so the work permit has to be processed through the local immigration office (Delegación del Gobierno).

    Time until employee can start work: 4 to 10 months

  • Intra-Company Transfer Permit (EU Directive 2014/66)

    This process is the temporary residence authorisation for intra-company transfers (ICT) according to Directive 2014/66/EU. It is only applicable to assignees sent to Spain for over 90 days from outside the EU and has a maximum total duration of stay of three years. It is important to note that if an applicant meets the qualifying criteria for this process, they may not apply under an alternative route (i.e. may not use the Intra-Company Transfer Entrepreneur's Law route). This process describes application procedures when the applicant is residing outside Spain; however note that it is possible to obtain residence authorisation from within Spain, as long as the applicant holds a legal immigration status (visitor/resident) within Spain.

    Time until employee can start work: 2 to 5 months

  • Intra-Company Transfer Permit (EU Directive 2014/66) Application in Country

    This process is the temporary residence authorisation for intra-company transfers (ICT), according to Directive 2014/66/EU. It is only applicable to assignees sent to Spain for over 90 days from outside the EU and has a maximum total duration of stay of three years. It is important to note that if an applicant meets the qualifying criteria for this process, they may not apply under an alternative route (i.e. may not use the Intra-Company Transfer Entrepreneurs' Law route). This process describes application procedures for obtaining residence authorization from within Spain.

    Time until employee can start work: 1 to 4 months

Net Migration

In 2020, Spain experienced a net migration of +498,800.

Best Destinations for Remote Work

From our Best Destinations for Remote Work report, the following made the top 100 list:

  • Madrid
  • Barcelona
  • Valencia
  • Granada

Discover the rest of highly ranked cities for remote working and create your own custom list. Report

Tax Treaties

Spain has a tax treaty with Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, States of the former USSR (except Russia), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this site is for general guidance on matters of interest only. The application and impact of laws can vary widely based on the specific facts involved. Given the changing nature of laws, rules and regulations, and the inherent hazards of electronic communication, there may be delays, omissions or inaccuracies in information contained in this site. Accordingly, the information on this site is provided with the understanding that the authors and publishers are not herein engaged in rendering legal, accounting, tax, or other professional advice and services. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting, tax, legal or other competent advisors.

While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this site has been obtained from reliable sources, Remote is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. All information in this site is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including, but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. In no event will Remote or employees thereof be liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken in reliance on the information in this site or for any consequential, special or similar damages, even if advised on the possibility of such damages.

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