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Estatuto de los Trabajadores (Work Hours)

Estatuto de los Trabajadores (Article 34-38: Work Hours)

Full-time work in Spain is based on a maximum of 40 hours per week, calculated on an annual basis. According to Spain labor laws, at least 12 hours must elapse between the end of one working day and the start of the next. Once you’ve worked continuously for six hours in a working day, you can take a 15-minute break.

Your employer in Spain should give you a minimum weekly rest time of one and a half uninterrupted days. This usually includes Saturday afternoon or Monday morning, and all of Sunday.

Generally speaking, if your employer wants you to work more than nine hours a day you will need to agree to the extra hours. However, you cannot work more than 80 hours of overtime per year. This does not include overtime compensated with rest time, or work carried out to prevent or repair extraordinary and urgent damage. Overtime at night is illegal with very few exceptions. Your employer can compensate you for your overtime with paid rest time.

The collective bargaining agreement applicable to your company stipulates the conditions regarding working hours. Moreover, the concrete working hours and their weekly distribution must be incorporated into the work contract.

Working hours for employees under age 18

Special rules apply to workers who are between the minimum employment age of 16 and 18 years old. These regulations include:

  • Only allowed to work for eight hours a day across employers, including training.
  • Require a 30-minute break after four and a half hours of continuous work.
  • Minimum of two consecutive days in weekly rest time.
  • Cannot perform work at night or activities that are unhealthy, dangerous, or distressing.

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