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Last update 18-06-2021

Working hours, leave and holidays

Introduction

The law establishes conditions and limits and the regulations apply these.

They may be specified in collective agreements(Abre en nueva ventana) .

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Working hours

These issues are regulated in Article 34 of the Workers’ Statute(Abre en nueva ventana) .

The following issues are also set out in the Labour Guide(Abre en nueva ventana) :

  • Duration established in collective agreement: Maximum of 40 hours of effective work (weekly average in one year).

  • Rest period between one working day and the next: 12 hours.

  • Maximum of normal working hours per day: 9 hours.

  • After 6 hours of continuous work, you must take a break of 15 minutes.

  • There are limits that afford greater protection for workers between 16 and 18 years of age.

  • Working hours can be distributed on an irregular basis pursuant to the collective agreement.

  • The company must keep a daily record of hours worked.

  • There are adaptations for certain activities. See Royal Decree 1561/1995 of 21 September on special working hours(Abre en nueva ventana) .

  • Adaptations are also possible to ensure a family-work life balance.

  • There are stricter rules for night work and shift work ( Article 36 of the Workers’ Statute(Abre en nueva ventana) ).

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Overtime

These issues are regulated in Article 35 of the Workers’ Statute(Abre en nueva ventana) .

They are also set out in the Labour Guide(Abre en nueva ventana) .

  • This is working time that exceeds normal working hours.

  • It is voluntary, except if a collective agreement exists.

  • It is compensated for either in the pay cheque (at least as normal working hours) or by rest periods over the next 4 months.

  • Maximum of 80 hours a year.

  • Time spent working to prevent or remedy incidents and other extraordinary and urgent damage is not considered overtime.

  • The daily record of hours worked is used to calculate it. It will be reflected in the payslip.

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Paid leave

These issues are regulated in Article 37 of the Workers’ Statute(Abre en nueva ventana) .

The following issues are also set out in the Labour Guide(Abre en nueva ventana) :

  • Weekly rest: one day and a half, which may be accumulated over a period of 14 days.

  • Public holidays: 14 a year. Paid and non-recoverable.

  • Paid leave, absence from work subject to prior notice and justification, for particular reasons.

    • Marriage: 15 days.

    • Death, accident, serious illness, hospitalisation, etc. of first-degree or second-degree relatives: 2 days. 4 days if you have to travel.

    • Moving house: 1 day.

    • Time required for discharging inexcusable, public and personal duties.

    • Performing trade union duties, in legal and conventional terms.

    • Prenatal check-ups and preparation for childbirth. Preparing for an adoption. Essential time.

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Annual holidays

These issues are regulated in Article 38 of the Workers’ Statute(Abre en nueva ventana) .

The following issues are also set out in the Labour Guide(Abre en nueva ventana) :

  • The annual paid holiday period, which may not be replaced by economic compensation, will be no less than 30 calendar days.

  • The holiday period or periods will be established based on mutual agreement between the employer and the employee.

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Temporary incapacity

This is a situation in which a worker is temporarily unable to work due to a common or occupational disease or an accident, whether or not work-related, while they receive medical care covered by the Social Security system.

Situations that are also considered determining factors in temporary incapacity include observation periods due to occupational diseases in which the worker is declared unfit to work.

Information about this benefit (beneficiaries, requirements, amount, duration, causes for cancellation, processing and documents, etc.) is set out in the Labour Guide(Abre en nueva ventana) and on the Social Security website(Abre en nueva ventana) .

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Medical examinations

Medical examinations, pursuant to Article 22 of Law 31/1995, on occupational risk prevention(Abre en nueva ventana) : Regular monitoring of workers’ health, depending on the risks involved in their jobs, is mandatory for the employer and must be performed at the employer's cost.

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Authority responsible for the information

Ministry of Labour and Social Economy
Directorate-General of Labour