The Legal Regime of Vacations in Spain

The Workers’ Statute (E.T.) in Spain regulates vacation days, one of the principle rights of workers.

Duration of Vacation Days

The annual paid vacation period must be agreed to in the Collective Bargaining Agreement or the individual contract. In no case will the duration of vacation days be less than 30 natural days, meaning 2.5 days per month worked.

Vacations may be divided, provided that one of the periods is greater than two weeks

Payment Versus Use of Vacation Days

As a general rule, unused vacation days will not be paid, unless there was an extinguishing of the contract, in which case the unused vacation days will be compensated economically and fairly.

In the case of formalized part-time contracts lasting less than a year formed with businesses, the general rule is to pay the unused vacation days at the end of the period of work.

Workers with part-time contracts have the right to the same vacation days as workers with full-time employment.

Determination of Vacation Days

Vacation days are determined by a common agreement between the employer and the worker.

Unless the Collective Bargaining Agreement says otherwise, the vacation days must be used within a year of when they are generated, if not, they are lost.

The calendar of vacation days will be fixed by each business. The worker should know the dates at least two months prior to the beginning of their enjoyment/use, unless the Collective Bargaining Agreement establishes a longer period.

It is advised that the vacation days be granted in writing.

Vacation Days During Disability or Sick Leave

When the annual planning of the vacation days coincides with disability leave, maternity leave, pregnancy or the suspension of the contract for various causes, the vacation days can be used in a different period, even though the natural year has ended.

In the event that the vacation period coincides with a temporary disability for different reasons than those previously agreed-upon that make it impossible for the worker to use the vacation days at all or partially during the natural year in which they correspond, the worker will be able to use them once he is discharged, provided that 18 months have not passed since the end of the year in which they originated.

Expiration Date of  Vacations

Vacation days expire.

As a general rule, vacation days should be used within the natural year in which they are generated given that the right to use them expires on December 31 of each year. From then on, unless it was otherwise stipulated, the worker loses the right to use the pending days and the business is not obligated to compensate the worker financially for the unused days.

Payment of Vacation Days

Labor standards in Spain stipulate that annual vacation days must be paid according to the worker’s regular salary, as long as it is a full-time contract.

In those contracts of a fixed-duration, the amount to pay for the duration of the vacation days will be proportional to the period worked.

In part-time contracts, workers will have the right to a minimum of 30 natural days, although the amount the worker receives will be proportional to the hours worked.

If the worker’s salary is dependent on fixed and changing variables, the employer should include on the vacation pay sheet an average of changing variables that have been paid.

In the case of the insolvency of the business, with regard to wages, the Wage Fund Guarantee will be responsible for the payment of owed vacation days, within the limits established by the law.

This article is not considered as legal advice

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