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Estatuto de los Trabajadores (Employment Contracts)

Estatuto de los Trabajadores (Article 8.2: Employment Contracts)

In general, Spanish employment law allows for employment contracts to be either written or verbal, however, this does not prevent either party from requesting that the employment relationship be established in writing. In some cases, this freedom of form does not apply as certain types of employment contracts must be in writing, such as temporary employment contracts, part-time contracts, and those relating to special labor relations like lawyers and executives.

Regardless of whether the employment contract is verbal or in writing, if the duration of employment is greater than four weeks, the employer must provide the employee with certain information in writing within two months of their start date. This includes the following:

  • Identity of the parties to the employment
  • Date of commencement and for temporary contracts, an estimation of the duration
  • Job group or category
  • Work location
  • Base salary and any other compensation or benefits
  • Working hours and schedule
  • Total number of holidays
  • Notice period upon termination of employment contract
  • Applicable collective bargaining agreement

If there are any changes to the above conditions the employee must also be informed in writing.

Employment contracts in Spain are presumed to be for an indefinite time period and are, therefore, open-ended in term unless there is sufficient cause to justify a fixed or definite term contract. Such causes are prescribed by law and must be real, otherwise, they will be considered fraudulent. Fixed or definite term contracts may only be entered into in certain situations, such as when an employee is temporarily covering for an absent employee, when the job or service is by its nature limited in duration or involves a special labor contract, for example in the case of artists or sportsmen.

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