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What are the types of work contracts in Spain and which one is the best?

Esme Fox
Esme Fox - [email protected]
What are the types of work contracts in Spain and which one is the best?
Types of contracts in Spain. Photo: ymane jdidi / Pixabay

We take look at some of the most common types of work contracts you may be offered in Spain, analyse some of the benefits and negatives and find out which is the best and which is the worst.


The Spanish government states that there are four main types of work contracts in Spain. These include permanent, temporary, training, and work experience. 

However, there are various categories within these contracts, such as indefinite, fixed-term, training, working experience, remote working, and part-time contracts.

Here we’ll look at some of the most common types of work contracts in Spain. 

Permanent contracts

If you’re looking for job security and benefits, then permanent or indefinite contracts are definitely the best you can be offered in Spain.

Legal permanent contracts can be either in writing or verbal, and if there is no written contract to state that the contract is temporary or part-time, then it can be considered permanent.

For permanent contracts, the Spanish government states there are usually specific trial periods built-in. These trial periods are six months for college graduates (except at companies with fewer than 25 employees, then this cannot exceed three months) and two months for all other employees.

With permanent contracts, you will also be entitled to severance pay for improper dismissal.

Your employer will also pay your full social security contributions so that you will be entitled to public health care and other social benefits.


Temporary contracts

In June of this year, Spain’s Labour Ministry has presented a draft proposal to the unions and business associations which aims to give temporary workers better working rights and job stability. The standout feature of the draft bill proposed that the maximum new length of temporary contracts be six months or one year at the most, before changing to an indefinite contract. 

This is to stop employers from giving employees several temporary contracts and avoid giving them a permanent contract. 

READ ALSO - Fixed contract after six months: How Spain plans to solve job instability for its temporary workers 

Also referred to as fixed-term contracts, temporary contracts in Spain must be made in writing and must specify a reason as to why it’s temporary, otherwise, it will be deemed to be an indefinite contract in the eyes of the law. If the temporary contract is for a period greater than one year, the employer or the employee, whoever decides to terminate the contract, must give 15 days' notice in advance.

They may be either full or part-time and social security contributions will also be deducted for the length of the contract. 

Temporary contracts are good if you are working on specific projects, but they don't offer as much security as permanent or part-time contracts. Things are improving though after the draft bill was proposed earlier this year. 

Find out about the different types of work contracts in Spain. Photo: Free-Photos / Pixabay

Part-time contracts

Other than permanent contracts, part-time contracts are one of the best types of contracts you can get in Spain with the best security. This is because, according to the Spanish government, part-time workers enjoy the same rights as full-time workers.

Part-time contracts in Spain are defined as performing similar or identical jobs to permanent workers, just for a set number of days or period of time during the working week.

Workers on part-time contracts by law are not allowed to work overtime, unless in an emergency or under exceptional circumstances. They are however allowed to work supplementary hours, agreed upon in advance, which cannot exceed 30 percent of their normal working hours (except where they are increased up to 60 percent in a collective labor agreement).

Usually, with part-time contracts, a proportional amount of social security will be paid by your employer. 


Remote working contracts

Royal Decree-Law 28/2020 defines regular remote work where, within a reference period of three months, as something which takes up at least 30 percent of the working day or the equivalent proportional percentage depending on the duration of the employment contract.

Remote working contracts must be in writing, but can be reversed by either the employer or employee. 

Some of the things that remote working contracts should include, but don't always, are: 

  • Equipment and tools provided
  • Expenses that remote working may cause, as well as monetary compensation
  • Work hours and availability period
  • Designated remote working place
  • Length of the remote working agreement

If your remote job is full-time, then it should offer the same benefits and conditions as a permanent contract, so is a good option for those wanting to continue to work from home. 

Remote working contracts are being more common since the pandemic hit. According to the latest study by human resource company Adecco, from May 2020 to April 2021, the number of jobs advertised online in Spain which included the option of remote working increased by 214 percent. 

READ ALSO: Remote working: the jobs in Spain you’ll be able to do from home after the pandemic

Training and work experience contracts

Training and work experience contracts are reserved for the hiring of university graduates or workers with higher or advanced vocational training qualifications, as well as young people who lack occupational qualifications. 

Work experience contracts can be carried out for a minimum of six months and a maximum of two years, while trainee or apprenticeship contracts are for a minimum of one year and a maximum of three years. The latter is aimed at those between ages 16 and 25. 

These types of contracts often offer lower salaries than normal, however still sometimes ask for quite a bit of experience, which can be unfair. 



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