From Policies to Practice: Understanding Spain’s Employment Evolution in 2023

First Quarter

Organic Law 14/2022 (23/12/2022): Reform of Offences against Moral Integrity, Public Disorder, and Smuggling of Dual-Use Weapons

  • Introduces the possibility of imposing criminal sanctions on employers who establish illegal conditions for their workers through formulas outside the employment contract.

Law 28/2022 (23/12/2022): Promotion of the Start-up Ecosystem

  • Introduces an international visa for teleworkers, whether employed or self-employed.

Law 31/2022 (1/1/23): General State Budget for the Year 2023

  • Increases the maximum contribution base by 8.6%, reaching 4,495.50 euros per month or 149.85 euros per day for self-employed workers.
  • Implements an intergenerational equity mechanism with an additional 0.6% increase in the contribution base for common contingencies.
  • Adjusts contributions for self-employed individuals based on net income.

Royal Decree-Law 1/2023 (12/1/23): Urgent Measures on Employment Contracts and Enhancement of Social Protection for Artists

  • Reimburses Social Security bonuses and subsidies in cases of business relocation.
  • Introduces ex officio review in registration acts for non-compliance with legal prescriptions.
  • Empowers the Social Security General Treasury to verify contributions in the simplified settlement system.
  • Modifies the contribution base in case of reduced working hours and suspension of working time.
  • Mandates training actions for eligibility for exemptions in:
    • ERTE due to ETOP causes
    • ERTE RED cyclical mode
    • ERTE RED sectoral modality
    • Maintains partial retirement in the manufacturing industry.
  • Amends the procedure for the reimbursement of unemployment benefits improperly received.
  • Sets a maximum 6-month period to resolve settlement procedures for economic contributions in companies with benefits conducting collective redundancies affecting workers aged 50 or over.

Law 3/2023 (2/3/2023): On Employment

  • Strengthens the Labour Inspectorate in Employment Regulation Proceedings.

Law 4/2023 (2/3/2023): Real and Effective Equality for Trans People and the Guarantee of Rights for LGTBI People

  • Establishes an action protocol to address harassment or violence against LGTBI people.
  • Introduces new causes of discrimination in labour relations, including sexual identity, gender expression, or sexual characteristics.
  • Mandates the implementation of methods for the prevention and detection of situations of discrimination, along with measures for their immediate cessation.
  • Introduces new offences and sanctions in the social order, categorizing unilateral decisions by a company involving discrimination based on sexual orientation and identity, gender expression, sexual characteristics, or harassment related to these circumstances as serious. Also classified as a very serious offence is the solicitation, during selection processes, of personal data on sexual orientation and identity, gender expression, or sexual characteristics.

Second Quarter

Royal Decree-Law 1/2023 (1/4/2023): Urgent measures regarding incentives for employment contracts and improvement of the social protection of artists.

  • Amendments to the General Social Security Law about the performance of artistic activities, including the compatibility of retirement pensions with artistic activity and reduced contributions for low-income self-employed artists.

Royal Decree 1060/2022 (1/4/2023): On the management and control of temporary incapacity processes during the first three hundred and sixty-five days of their duration.

  • The obligation to present the sick leave report during the three days following the sick leave is abolished.

Organic Law 1/2023 (1/6/2023): On sexual and reproductive health and the voluntary interruption of pregnancy:

  • New incapacitating circumstances (temporary incapacity due to incapacitating menstruation).
  • New temporary incapacity due to voluntary or involuntary interruption of pregnancy.
  • New temporary incapacity for advanced gestation from the 39th week.

RDL 5/2023 (30/6/2023): New Developments in Work-Life Balance for Parents and Carers

  • Prohibits discrimination for exercising rights of reconciliation or co-responsibility for family and work life.
  • Introduces a new regulation on workers’ rights to adapt the length and distribution of working hours.
  • Expands the cases provided for in Articles 53.4 and 55.5 of the Workers’ Statute due to objective nullity.
  • Extends leave for reconciling personal, work, and family life (Art. 37.3 and 37.9 of the E.T.).
  • Extends planned reductions in working hours for caregiving, including for spouses or unmarried partners.
  • Extends leave of absence for childcare, including for spouses or unmarried partners, as well as blood relatives of unmarried partners.
  • Introduces new leave for single-parent families in cases of disability of the child born, adopted, or in foster care for adoption or fostering purposes.
  • Regulates parental leave as a cause for the suspension of the employment contract (Art. 45.1 of the E.T.), without the right to remuneration (Art. 45.2 of the E.T.), for the care of a son, daughter, or foster child for a period exceeding one year, until the child reaches the age of eight.

Third Quarter

Organic Law 1/2023 (1/9/2023): Incentives for Employment Contracts and Improvement of Social Protection for Artists

  • Provides allowances to hire individuals with limited intellectual capacity or those readmitted after leaving the company due to permanent disability.
  • Offers allowances for hiring women who are victims of gender violence, sexual violence, trafficking, and sexual or labour exploitation.
  • Includes allowances for reconciliation measures (e.g., contributions for individuals replaced during childbirth and childcare, risk during pregnancy, etc.).
  • Encourages the hiring of socially excluded individuals, long-term unemployed individuals, and victims of terrorism.
  • Grants bonuses for training contracts and the transformation into open-ended contracts.

Royal Decree-Law 2/2023 (1/10/2023): Extending Pensioners’ Rights, Reducing the Gender Gap, and Establishing a New Framework for the Sustainability of the Public Pension System

  • Delays the entry into force of trainees’ contributions to 1 January 2024.
  • Increases the Intergenerational Mechanism to 1.2 points in 2029.
  • Implements an increase in contribution bases and additional solidarity contributions in 2023.
  • Introduces a new method for calculating the regulatory base of the retirement pension.

Royal Decree 608/2023 (13/7/2023): RED Mechanism for Employment Flexibility and Stabilisation of Employment

  • Functioning of the RED Mechanism established in Article 47 bis of the Workers’ Statute (ET)
  • Obligation to notify, at least six months in advance, the labour authority and the Ministry of Labour of the intention to close one or more workplaces when this involves:
    • The definitive cessation of activity, and
    • The dismissal of fifty or more employees.

Management criterion 19/2023 (25/7/2023): Abolition of the assimilation of COVID-19 infections as occupational accidents.

  • End of considering COVID-19 infections as an accident at work or occupational disease.

Framework Agreement on Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 (01/07/2023): Regular cross-border teleworking

  • A worker who teleworks across borders may request the application of the legislation of the State where his employer has its premises or domicile concerning social security regulations.

Fourth Quarter

Law 2/2023 (1/12/2023) Protection of persons reporting regulatory and anti-corruption breaches (Whistleblowing Channel)

  • Obligation to have an Internal Reporting System:
    • Companies with more than 250 employees: by 13 June 2023
    • Companies with between 50 and 249 employees: by 1 December 2023

See our Infographic

If you need additional information regarding Spain’s employment laws in 2023,

Please note that this article is not intended to provide legal advice.

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