Accountancy in Spain

>> Employment in Spain

Work permits


Thanks to the free movement of labour in the treaty of the EU, citizens of the EU do not need a work permit.

Non-EU-passport holders

To enter the Spanish territory, foreigners should

  • carry their passport and the corresponding visa
  • have sufficient economic resources for the time that they wish to remain in Spain.

Those who would like to live and work in the Spanish territory must obtain two permissions:

  • A temporary residence permit, which authorizes one to stay in Spain for a period between 90 days and 5 years.
  • A work permit which lasts at most 5 years.

Both permits are valid for the same period of time and are issued as a sole document. For any labour activity under six months a special stay visa should be obtained.

 Engagement and dismissal

Dismissal compensation depends on the circumstances of the discharge.

  • Proper or duly decided: not compensated
  • Unfounded dismissal: the compensation totals 33 days per year in service (up to a maximum of 24 monthly payments)
  • Objective dismissal: the compensation totals 20 days per year in service (up to a maximum of 12 monthly payments).

To stimulate the labour market, the

Government approved a Labour Reform Bill in February 2012 with several measures including a reduction in compensation for unfounded dismissal from the previous 45 days per year in service (up to a maximum of 42th monthly payments) to the current figures detailed above.

In cases where the seniority of the employee is before 12th February 2012, the unfounded dismissal will have to be calculated in two parts:

Seniority before 12th February 2012: The compensation totals 45 days per year in service (up to a maximum of 42 monthly payments).

Seniority after 12th February 2012: The compensation totals 33 days per year in service (up to a maximum of 24 monthly payments).

Trade unions and worker council

The participation of the employees in the Company is considered a basic labour right, which can be exercised through their “unionist representation” and/or council.

Depending on the size of the company it is possible there could be a “joint committee” or a “European works committee”.

Social security contributions

First, the Company should be registered  at the Spanish Social Security System. Once the Company obtains its own quotation number it will be able to insure its employees.

The company and the employees have to pay a National Insurance contribution. Contributions to be paid to Spanish Social Security are determined by the monthly wage received by the employee.

For 2017, the estimated contribution  to Social Security is the following:

  • Employer 29,9 %
  • Employee 6,35 %

The following thresholds apply to these percentages:

  • The minimum level is € 825,60
  • The maximum level is € 3.751,20


Although the salary can be agreed by both the employee and the employer, there are two conditions: the salary must be higher than the figure settled in the collective agreement, and it always must be higher than the Official Minimum Annual Wage which, for 2017, is € 9.907,80

In Spain, the annual salary is usually paid in 12 monthly payments and two extra payments. The employee receives one of the extra payments at December and the other in June (or in some cases in July).


There is a minimum of 30 calendar days per year, although the number of days can be increased by the company if they have other policies.

Working day duration

This issue is normally settled by the applicable Collective bargaining agreement. Nevertheless, the annual average must be a maximum of 40 hours per week.

Latest version updated 11th October 2017

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