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Employment contracts in Spain.

Learn about employment contracts in Spain thanks to Horizons’ up-to-date guide.

Horizons is where real, local hiring expertise meets world-class customer service. Quickly and compliantly hire employees in more than 150 countries worldwide, without the need to open a local entity.

Standard employment contract: open-ended (indefinite-term) contracts

In Spain, indefinite-term contracts are the most common type of employment contract. These are ongoing contracts with no end date and can be full-time or part-time.

Another category—fixed discontinuous—covers work that is cyclical in nature. This is legally defined as “when a need arises for intermittent or cyclical work, at separate time intervals, but reiterated in time and somewhat similar or homogeneous in nature”.

Alternative employment contract: fixed-term (temporary) contracts

Fixed-term contracts are far less common than indefinite-term contracts in Spain. In December 2021, the Spanish government passed new legislation severely limiting the use of fixed-term contracts. Now, their use is strictly regulated, so in practice it is generally far simpler to provide all employees with indefinite-term contracts.

Fixed-term contracts are now only allowed in two specific situations: production circumstances, and substitution of an employee.

Are there other types of employment contracts in Spain?

Spain has reduced and consolidated the different types of employment contracts available. Today, there are four types of employment contracts. For the purposes of hiring in Spain, only the above two are relevant.

The four types of employment contracts in Spain are:

  1. Indefinite
  2. Temporary
  3. Training and apprenticeship
  4. Internship

Frequently asked questions

The open-ended (indefinite-term) contracts in Spain include:

  • The ability to use this contract type for part time or full time work for any length of time 
  • Clear guidelines for the probationary period (max. 6 months)

Fixed-term (temporary) contracts in Spain:

  • Can only be used on clear temporary grounds such a production circumstances or replacement of an employee
  • Can only be implemented for a maximum of 6 months – 1 year, depending on circumstances
  • Limit the probationary period of 20% of the contract duration
  • Require minimal notice period required for employees to resign
  • Cannot be easily terminated before the end of the contract

This will depend on your exact situation; in most cases in Spain, the standard contract (open-ended, indefinite-term contract) will apply. 

If there is any question for your hiring project, you can contact us for a quote.

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