Topic 1 Introduction to the labour market of Spain, employment contracts and rights

In this topic we will define what the labour market is and we will look at the current labour market situation in general terms.

We will see the types of contracts existing in the Spanish labour market and the labour rights of workers.

The labour market is responsible for establishing a legal framework that effectively manages labour relations and facilitates job creation, employment stability and the promotion of entrepreneurship.

Current status:

The Spanish labour market currently has more than 20.4 million employed people, with an unemployment rate of 12.45%, or slightly more than 2.9 million unemployed.

Unemployment affects women (14.15%) and young people (28.52%) to a greater extent.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the context of the energy crisis generate uncertainty about the development of the labour market.
  • Indefinite-term Contract
  • Temporary contract
  • Training Contract For Work-linked Training
  • Training Contract for Professional Practice
  • It is a contract that is concluded without establishing time limits for the provision of services, in terms of the duration of the contract.
  • An open-ended employment contract may be verbal or written.
  • An open-ended employment contract may be concluded on a full-time or part-time basis or for the provision of discontinuous fixed services.
  • A temporary contract is one whose purpose is to establish an employment relationship between employer and employee for a specific period of time.
  • In order for it to be understood that there is a justified cause for temporary employment, the contract must specify precisely the reason for the temporary contract, the specific circumstances that justify it and its connection with the foreseen duration.
  • The temporary employment contract may be concluded on a full-time or part-time basis.
  • The temporary employment contract shall be formalised in writing; it may be verbal when the duration of the contract is less than four weeks and full-time.
  • Its aim is to make paid work activity compatible with the corresponding training processes in the field of vocational training, university studies or the Catalogue of training specialities of the National Employment System.
  • In order to comply with the objective of professional qualification, the work activity carried out on an alternating basis must complement, coordinate and integrate with the training activity in a common programme, within the framework of the cooperation agreements and conventions signed by the university or vocational training centres and the accredited or registered training entities with the collaborating companies and entities.
  • To this end, the job must allow for the complementary training envisaged and the work activity carried out in the company must be directly related to the training activity that justifies the employment contract.

In accordance with the provisions of Article 11.3 of the Workers’ Statute, the purpose of the contract shall be to obtain the professional practice appropriate to the level of studies or training that is the object of the contract, through the acquisition of the skills and abilities necessary for the development of the work activity corresponding to the qualification obtained by the worker beforehand.

  • Spanish Labour Law or Labour and Social Security Law is the branch of Spanish law that regulates the relationship between employers and workers as well as the activity of trade unions and the actions of the State, especially in the field of Social Security in Spain.
  • Work is understood to be any activity carried out by human beings, whether through physical or intellectual effort, aimed at the production, modification or transformation of goods and services, which meets the following four characteristics: voluntary (it must be freely provided), outside (the fruits of the work are for another), dependent (for others) and paid (in exchange for a salary).


  • Spanish Constitution (legal framework)
  • International Treaties (International Labour Organisation, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, etc.).
  • Community Law (EU regulations)
  • State law (Workers’ Statute, Law 31/1995 of 8 November 1995 on the Prevention of Occupational Risks, Royal Legislative Decree 1/1994 of 20 June 1994 on Social Security, etc.).
  • Work and free choice of profession or trade
  • Freedom of association
  • Collective bargaining
  • Collective action
  • Strike
  • Meeting
  • Participation in the company
  • To effective employment
  • To promotion and professional training at work
  • Not to be discriminated against for reasons of sex, marital status, age, race, social status, religious or political ideas, membership or not of a trade union, or language, within the Spanish State. As well as on the grounds of physical, mental or sensory disabilities, provided that they are fit to perform the work or job in question.
  • To their physical integrity and to an adequate health and safety policy.
  • to respect for their privacy and dignity
  • To the timely receipt of agreed or legally established remuneration
  • To the individual exercise of the remedies arising from their employment contract
  • To any other rights arising specifically from the employment contract
  • Comply with the specific duties of their job, in accordance with the rules of good faith and diligence.
  • To observe the health and safety measures adopted.
  • Comply with the orders and instructions of the employer in the regular exercise of their managerial powers.
  • Not to compete with the activity of the company.
  • Contribute to the improvement of productivity
  • Those derived from the respective employment contracts.