Temporary contracts in Spain and their termination

It is necessary to take a closer look at articles 11 and 15 of the Workers’ Statute in order to consider the main temporary contracts in Spain.

The temporary work experience contract in Spain

The work experience contract is regulated by article 11 of the abovementioned rule and is intended for people who hold a university degree, a post-secondary or tertiary level vocational qualification, or any other kind of diploma as long as it is considered equivalent to those previously mentioned. A prerequisite for signing such a contract is that 5 years have not passed since the qualification was obtained. The duration of the work experience contract may vary depending on the relevant collective agreement. However, it may never exceed two (2) years.

The temporary contract for a project or service in Spain

Another mode of contracting used in Spain is the contract for project or service which is regulated by article 15. 1 a) of the Workers’ Statute.

As its name indicates, this mode of contracting is used for the completion of a specific project and/or service. The maximum duration will be three (3) years, with the possibility, if it is thus laid down in the collective agreement, of being extended by a further twelve (12) months.

The temporary contract depending on production circumstances in Spain

As regulated by article 15.1 b) of the Workers’ Statute, this contracting mode is used to deal with market circumstances, a backlog or an excess of orders, although it is only aimed at the company’s normal activity. The general rule is that this contract cannot exceed six (6) months within a period of twelve (12) months but, as with the cases previously mentioned, the collective agreement may determine its maximum length.

In all of these modes, we are considering fixed-term contracts, that is to say that such contracts are not considered permanent. However, as it is a fixed-term contract, can this contract be terminated before reaching the fixed-term period, be it the initial contract or its extension?

Generally, and according to Royal Decree 2720/1998 of 18 December which implements article 15 of the Workers’ Statute regarding fixed-term contracts”, these contracts can be terminated either when the project or service for which the person was contracted is finished, or when they expire. Should the company decide to terminate the initial contract or any of its extensions before the expiration date of the contract, this would qualify as a dismissal.

This does not apply to the employer’s decision not to extend the temporary contract, which is perfectly valid as long as it complies with that which is established in the applicable regulations, it only applies to the case in which the employer decides to terminate the professional relationship before the expiration date, which is a case of dismissal.

This article is not considered as legal advice

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