Working in Spain

Posted by: Amy Cottrell about 17 years ago

Spain offers work to new residents from foreign countries, although it can be challenging to find a position in an off-season. Seasonal work, particularly on the coastline, is a new residents best bet. Those planning to stay in Spain for only a short time can easily find some seasonal, temporary work in a tourist-attracting establishment (ex: bar, nightclub, hotel). In towns that are away from big cities and resorts, jobs are scarce year-round for outsiders. However, with conversational Spanish skills and some help from employment services, working in Spain can offer many benefits to those seeking a new life in the country.

There are very strict employment laws in Spain and everyone must sign a contract to work for an employer. For those seeking permanent work in Spain, it is best to sign at least a six-month contract with a company. This contract protects the employee and allows him or her to enjoy the full benefits of a Spanish citizen. After this short-term contract is up, a long-term one must be signed if the employee plans on staying. One cannot continue to sign temporary contracts for the same position. However, before any contracts are signed, one must first obtain a Social Security number from a local office. Once employed, Social Security will be deducted from the employee’s paycheck, giving the employee the right to enjoy free public healthcare and other benefits.

Spain is recognized as a member of the European Union. As such, all currency is in the form of the Euro and any citizen of a European Union country has the right to work in Spain. If one moves to Spain from another European country, they merely have to prove their citizenship with the proper paperwork to enjoy the full benefits of a Spanish citizen. If planning to take permanent residency and employment, however, a Spanish Social Security card should be obtained. (Anyone who accepts work for cash without a contract will be penalized, including deportation for foreigners.)

Job placement is offered by Spanish employment services. These services are free to Spanish citizens and members of the European Union. An office can be found in most major cities and towns. There are also private companies that offer job placement, much like a staffing firm found in the US or UK. Employment companies aren’t a requirement for finding a job, however. All major newspapers in Spain have classified ads, as do any Spanish Web sites devoted to employment.

The jobs available in Spain are plentiful for those with certain skills. Speaking the national language, Spanish, is naturally a major preference for employers. However, those working in the tourism and real estate industries can find work if they speak English. Becoming an English language instructor to Spanish citizens is a job that is always in big demand. Also, manual labor positions in the construction industry often need to be filled. However, those who are new to the area need to be careful about working in the Spanish heat.

Generally, the Spanish workplace is a fair one that is cordial to outsiders. A traditional siesta is taken during each workday, lasting for two to three hours during the hottest part of the day. Also, Spanish law sees to it that all employees are protected from mismanagement. Due to the austere requirements of work contracts, all legal employees are offered due process. If one finds they are mistreated by an employer or unfairly terminated, a council will meet with the employee and employer in the hopes that an agreement can be met. Thankfully, the strict work guidelines in Spain are there to protect all working citizens, in the hopes that there won’t be any unpleasant conditions to deal with.

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