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Working from home in Spain: These are the most in-demand freelance jobs

Spain isn’t a country famed for its entrepreneurship, a factor that can actually prove to be an advantage for foreigners in the country who know how to capitalise on ‘autónomo’ shortages.

Working from home in Spain: These are the most in-demand freelance jobs
Photos: Bench accounting, Nelly Antoniadou /Unsplash

One in ten self-employed workers in Spain is foreign – roughly 175,000 of the “autónomo” total – according to 2019 data from Spain’s National Statistics Institute. 

Foreign residents in Spain are in fact registering as self-employed at five times the rate of Spaniards, which shows the tendency among “extranjeros” to do their own thing and be self-sufficent.

But for many foreigners who are thinking of starting up in Spain, the prospect of lower than average wages might put them off from moving.

Fortunately, with the advent and acceptance of remote working in Spain’s work market, and a trend towards outsourcing work as in other countries, new well-paid job opportunities are opening up for freelancers.

A 2019 study by self-employment website Freelancer.com has helped to shed light on where the demand lies in Spain when it comes to freelancing in 2020, listing the “autónomo” jobs that can get freelancers up to €40,000 a year for working from home.

Big data analyst

Big data analysts are responsible for using data analytics to evaluate an organisation's performance and providing recommendations on system enhancements.

Freelance analysts with a knowledge of maths, statistics and programming can expect to earn around 24 euros an hour as a freelancer in Spain, averaging just under €200 for an 8-hour day and at least €40,000 a year before tax.

Demand for big data analysts grew by 58 percent globally in 2019.

Virtual advisor

Spain is still a country where most business and shopping is done in person but with coronavirus lockdown and restrictions remote customer service and consulting is becoming much more common.

Virtual advisor is actually a very broad job description which can go from marketing consultant to after-sales assistant. An ability to learn to use new tech is a plus but more importantly for foreigners communication skills and languages are highly valued. 

It’s difficult to offer a salary bracket as freelance wages for this can vary greatly depending on the position, but virtual assistant jobs do have the advantage of being more flexible generally and have the possibility of working remotely. 

Microsoft Excel consultants

Believe or not, the upsurge in computer work has also meant that more company workers need more training in how to use Word, Excel and the other Microsoft Office programmes that have been around for a long time.

A seasoned Excel user will be happy to hear that they are among 20 most sought-after freelance workers in Spain and can get very well paid to automate company tasks using Excel, train employees to do so or set up other Office programmes into the company system.

Transcription 

While advances in automatic text transcription continue, the human factor is still decisive when it comes to transcribing texts, writing up transcripts of live events, and transcriptions where different accents make it impossible for any software to understand what’s being said.

Even though its fairly mundane work, it was the fifth most sought-after freelance job in 2019 and in Spain it usually pays  €20 for an hour and a half of work.

Linguists again may have the upper hand in this regard.

Languages

Although the Freelancer.com’s study doesn’t specify what kind of language work is sought after, Russian, English, Spanish and French are among the 25 most demanded skills from freelancers.

There continues to be plenty of English teaching work in Spain – a lot of which is now being carried out online due to the coronavirus lockdown – as Spaniards use this period of uncertainty and restriction to improve their language skills.

Average hourly teaching rates in Spain range from €15 to €23 depending on experience.  

READ ALSO:

If you are looking for freelance work with a Spanish company or for an international company whilst being based in Spain, the following websites are a good place to start:

The Local Spain Jobs

 Fiver

Domestika

99 designs

Twago

Freelancer
 

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Do I have to take most of my annual leave in August in Spain?

Many Spanish companies still expect their workers to take their holidays at specific times of the year, primarily in August, right in the height of summer when many hotels are fully booked. So what are your rights, are you obliged to take your vacation in one particular month?

Do I have to take most of my annual leave in August in Spain?

While it’s your right as an employee to be able to take holiday days, do you have to take them when your company wants you to take them, or are you able to choose and have more flexibility?

Despite August being one of the hottest months in Spain and the one month of the year when many official companies and offices shut up shop, not everyone necessarily wants to take their break at the same time as everyone else.

Taking your holidays in August means less availability in hotels, overcrowding and more expensive transport and accommodation. If you don’t have children who are off from school during the summer months, then you may wish to take your vacation days at another time of the year, when it’s less busy and cheaper.

To answer the question it’s important to know the details about what the law says about how paid time off is taken, requested, imposed, or granted.

What laws or regulations dictate the rules about paid holiday time?

There are three different sets of rules and regulations, which are responsible for regulating the laws on vacation time in Spain. 

Firstly, you need to look at the Spanish Workers’ Statute, which includes rights, duties and obligations applicable to all salaried workers in Spain.

Secondly, you need to be aware of the collective sector and/or company agreements, which may dictate the rules for a particular industry for example.

Thirdly, you need to look at the contract, which you signed with your employer when you started working for them. This sets out your individual circumstances and the rules you must abide by.   

Workers Statute

As a general rule, all employees are subject to the Workers’ Statute. Holidays are part of this and are the subject of article 38. These conditions can never be contradicted by individual companies and are set as a guaranteed minimum. 

The minimum number of holidays in Spain is 30 calendar days per year. This equals two and a half days per month worked, in the case of temporary contracts. The statute states that vacations must be taken between January 1st and December 31st in separate periods, but one of them must be for at least two weeks. They are always paid and cannot be exchanged for financial compensation.

The period when you can take them is set by a common agreement between the employer and the worker, in accordance with what is established in the collective agreements on annual vacation planning. If there is disagreement, the social jurisdiction is resorted to.

At a minimum, the company must offer vacation days at least two months before the beginning of the holiday period, so that the employee has time to organise and book.   

When the planned time to take vacations coincides with a temporary disability, pregnancy, or childbirth, you have the right to enjoy the vacations at another time, even after the calendar year is over.

Collective agreements on vacations  

Your sector’s collective agreements may also help to answer this question. These aim to improve upon the basic and general rights that are included in the Workers’ Statute. They seek to adapt the rules to each type of industry or company. They could, for example, set out extra vacation days, which are greater than the standard 30 calendar days. 

You will need to find out what your specific sector or company’s collective agreement is. There is a possibility that your sector or company has mandatory summer vacations for the month of August and in that case, you can choose vacation dates, but only within this month.

Your work contract 

Lastly, you will need to consult your individual contract which you signed with the company when you were hired.  As well as the minimum conditions set out in the Workers’ Statute, your contract sets out your particular agreement with your employer in terms of holiday duration, the work calendar and other details.

Therefore, you should state in your contract whether you have to take your holidays during August, or if you’re free to take them at other times of the year.

If after consulting these three sets of regulations and there are still in doubt or in disagreement with your company about vacations, such as having to take them during the month of August, you should consult a lawyer specialising in labor law. They should be able to give you an answer specific to your situation.  

Can I appeal or disagree and what are the consequences? 

To appeal or express disagreement with what is proposed by the company, there is a period of 20 business days from when the vacation schedule is sent out, after which time you don’t have the right to show that you disagree.  

Companies can proceed to disciplinary dismissals due to abandonment of the job if you decide to take vacations that have not been granted or agreed upon with your employer. To avoid this type of problem, always make sure you have a record in writing of your request for vacation time and subsequent approval by the company.

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