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Work Abroad

Jun 23, 2010
Working in Spain
- Carmela Bignotia Email this article


Spain is one European nation that welcomes non-resident workers. To guide aspiring workers, the following is a brief overview of Spainís employment rules for foreign workers.


Basic Information


Capital: Madrid

Government Type: Parliamentary Monarchy

Languages: Castilian Spanish 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2%

Religion: Roman Catholic 94%, other 6%

Climate: Mediterranean climate in the southern and eastern coastal areas as well as a temperate climate further inland.

Currency: Euro (EURO)

GDP per capita): 25,500

Industries: textiles and apparel (including footwear), food and beverages, metals and metal manufactures, chemicals, shipbuilding, automobiles, machine tools, tourism

Exports: machinery, motor vehicles; foodstuffs, other consumer goods

Major Industries: Agriculture, Cement, Chemicals, Engineering, Fishing, Food Processing, Forestry and Timber Products, Iron and Steel, Mining Manufactures, Metal Processing, Petroleum Refining, Transport Equipment, Wine Making, Yarns and Textiles.

Minimum Wage: 631 Euro per month or Php 41,480 per month  

Job Opportunities:

Many rich families in Spain are looking for household help such as housekeepers, cooks, and drivers.

Hotels, bars, and restaurants are in need of hotel staff from hotel managers to kitchen helpers.

Other job openings are for English teachers and health care workers.


Employment Concerns:


Discrimination of foreigners is uncommon. Majority of Spanish employees accepts the presence of foreign workers and works with them peacefully.

Learning a little conversational Spanish will greatly help in communicating with the locals. Proficiency in the Spanish language is definitely an advantage because most high-paying occupations require fluency in Spanish.

Among members of the European nation, Spain has the lowest percentage (less than one percent) of workers receiving minimum wage.

The Spanish Ministry of Labour (Ministerio de Trabajo) must approve employment of foreigners who are not from countries belonging to the European nation states. A working visa must also be obtained prior to entering Spain.


Make sure you get an official work contract from your employer.

Read and fully understand the provisions stated in your employment contract. Request a copy translated in English if it happens to be written in a foreign language.


A temporary contract in Spain lasts from three to nine months. Working beyond the specified period obliges an employer to offer a long-term contract.


Employment regulations in Spain ensure the well-being of laborers as many provisions are geared to the advantage of the workers. For example, employing a person without issuing working contacts are prohibited. Employer who fails to comply with this requirement have to pay a certain fee.

Workers cannot be fired without a valid reason. A worker who believes he is unjustly dismiss from a job may present a demand for conciliation within 20 days after receiving the dismissal letter.


National insurance and tax are deducted from the salary of a foreign worker.

Working hours in Spain includes a 2-3 hour break between 2 to 5 pm. This is what they call siesta. During this time when the sun is at its hottest, companies and establishments closes and reopens in the evening.

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Reader Comments (Most recent of 15 reader comments.)
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