Spain is made up of 17 regions or “autonomous communities”. While some powers are decentralised to the regions, employment legislation is primarily national in scope, though there are regional differences in areas such as public holidays and some social security benefits.

The most important item of employment legislation is the Workers’ Statute (Estatuto de los Trabajadores), which regulates many aspects of individual and collective employment relations. Other laws, decree-laws and decrees deal with a number of related matters, such as health and safety, trade unions, strikes, special types of employment contract/relationship, social security, training and temporary agency work. The Workers’ Statute does not apply to certain categories of worker, who are instead covered by specific legislation: as well as groups such as domestic servants, professional sportspeople, actors and certain doctors and lawyers, these include senior managers.


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