How to hire and pay employees in Spain

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Before hiring


Before hiring employees in Spain, there are a few important things you’ll need to know. For starters, Spain groups jobs into different categories and tightly regulates salary ranges, working hours, and yearly vacation days within each of those groups.

Both indefinite and fixed-term contracts for employment can be provided in Spain, but employees typically prefer indefinite contracts because they call for higher compensation packages and provide better job security.

We know this might sound overwhelming—but it doesn’t have to be. A solution like Oyster eliminates the barriers for you. With Oyster, you can automate compliance across 180+ countries, easily managing HR and payroll—all in one, easy-to-use platform.

Get an overview of what you need to know when hiring in Spain below.

At a glance









(based on region;
see here



of gross salary

13th / 14th SALARY

13th (June) & 14th (December) but can be prorated to 12 monthly salaries per year (More information on vacation bonuses and 13th/14th month salaries here)

Good to know

  • The statutory notice period for contracts in Spain is a maximum of 15 working days (three weeks). It can not be higher than this. Even if a higher number is stated in the Employment Agreement, it is not legally binding.
  • In 2021, Spain implemented a working from home allowance for all remote workers who spend the majority of their time working from home. The allowance is 100 EUR per month gross.
  • At the end of an employee’s contract, they may be entitled to receive compensation. The severance payment amount depends on different factors like the type of contract, reason for dismissal, and length of employment.

Labor laws in


Working hours and overtime

Full-time employees in Spain must average a maximum of 40 hours per week of work, which is calculated on an annual basis. Unless an agreement is in place, employees can’t work for more than nine hours a day. Anyone who is under 18 years of age can only work for a total of eight hours each day. Employees can work a maximum of 80 hours overtime per year, which does not include overtime compensated with rest time.

Minimum wage

Employment contracts

Both indefinite and fixed term contracts for employment can be provided in Spain. A fixed term employment contract must have a justification for its finite length.

Probationary period

In Spain, the probation period is based on the employee's seniority. “Qualified” technical employees can have a probationary period of six months, whereas “unqualified” employees have a probation period of two months.


Spanish state pension calls for significant contributions from the employer (23.6% of an employee’s salary) while a Spanish employee contributes 4.7% of their salary. Occupational and private pension arrangements exist, but aren’t seen as necessary because of Spain’s generous state pension.

Calculate costs to hire internationally

Benefits and leave in


Vacation time

Employees in Spain are entitled to have a minimum of 23 business days of paid leave per year. The leave can be divided, as long as one of the periods is at least two weeks.

Sick leave

During the first three days of leave, the employer normally bears the costs of the employee’s full salary. From the fourth day, employees in Spain are entitled to receive payment from the social security system. The maximum sick leave in Spain is 18 months.

Maternity and paternity leave

Parental leave

Maternity leave in Spain consists of 16 weeks’ paid leave at 100% full pay, funded by the social security system. Six of those weeks must be taken after the birth. In order to be eligible for the state paid leave, any employee over 26 years old must have worked over 180 days in the last seven years at any employer. Paternity leave in Spain consists of 16 weeks’ paid leave at 100% full pay, also funded by the social security system.


View a list of recognized public holidays in Spain here.

Employer tax

Employer taxation in Spain totals 31.95% of an employee’s salary and includes social security, unemployment, salary guarantee fund, professional training, and mutual/accident insurance. This applies to a salary cap of EUR 4,720.50 per month. Spanish VAT may apply depending on your specific circumstances.

Individual tax

Employees in Spain are taxed federally from 19% to 45% depending on their income bracket. Social contributions total 6.4% and include common contingencies, unemployment, and professional training. 

Termination in


In cases of termination due to objective economic or agreed performance issues, employees in Spain should receive 20 days’ salary per year of service with their employer. In cases of termination due to mutual agreement, the employee and employer can reach a separate arrangement.

Termination requirements
Notice period

The statutory notice period for contracts in Spain is a maximum of 15 working days or 3 weeks. Longer notice periods in the Employment Agreement are not legally binding.

Severance pay

Start hiring employees in


Setting up a business entity everywhere you want to hire a new employee isn’t scalable—it takes too long and the legal fees are high. At the same time, understanding and adhering to the local labor laws and employee expectations can be complex and time consuming. And it’s hard to find reliable information on up-to-date employment information for all the countries where you’re considering hiring. Not to mention tracking down invoices and managing employee contracts over email and spreadsheets—that gets messy fast.

We can’t afford to take risks when it comes to compliance—we need to make sure we follow the local guidelines, especially when it comes to taxes and legalities.

With Oyster, you can manage HR and payroll, and automate compliance across 180+ countries—all in one, easy-to-use platform.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this resource is for general educational purposes only and shall not be construed as legal advice. While Oyster strives to provide current and accurate information, Oyster makes no warranties or representations as to the correctness of the content provided and accepts no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content provided. By using this resource you acknowledge and agree that you do so at your own risk. The content of this resource is subject to change without notice.

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