The new regulation of temporary contracts in Spain

On 31st December 2021, Royal Decree-Law 32/2021 of 28th December, on urgent measures for the Labour Reform came into force in Spain. The purpose is to generalize indefinite contracts and limit temporary contracts through a new regulation. Hence, the modification of Article 15 of the Workers Statute eliminates the following contracts:

  • Work and service contracts
  • Zero-hours contracts
  • Provisional contracts

There will only be two types of temporary contracts, structural and training, with specific requirements and causes in each case.

Structural contracts

Two circumstances allow structural contracts:

Contract for production circumstances

  • For occasional and unpredictable increases and fluctuations (including annual vacations), causing a temporary imbalance between the stable employment available and the one needed. The maximum legal duration of the contract is six months, although the sectoral collective agreement can extend it to 1 year.
  • To deal with unusual and foreseeable situations of reduced and delimited duration. The company may conclude as many discontinuous contracts as necessary, with a maximum of 90 days in the calendar year, with a maximum of 90 days in the calendar year.

On termination of these contracts, workers qualify for a compensation of 12 days of salary per year of service.

Contract for replacement of a worker

  • When the replaced person has a job reservation: the contract must specify the name of the person covered and the reason for the substitution. The provision of services can begin 15 days before the absence occurs and until reincorporation.
  • To complete the reduced working day of a working person: the contract must specify the name of the person replaced and the reason for the substitution.
  • For the temporary replacement of a job until its permanent filling through a fixed contract: the contract cannot exceed three months or the shorter duration established by the collective agreement. Once the maximum duration has been exceeded, a new contract of the same type cannot be concluded.

At the end of the substitution contract, the worker will not receive any compensation.

Training contracts

There are two types of training contracts:

Work-linked training contract

It will allow for the coordination of paid work activity with training processes in vocational training and university studies.


  • For people under 30 years of age
  • No trial period
  • Duration: cannot be less than three months (previously one year, reducible to six months through collective bargaining), nor over two years (previously three years).

Contract to secure a professional internship (previously an internship contract)

For anyone who has a university degree, a vocational training or higher education diploma, a specialist degree, a master’s degree, or a certificate of the professional training system. Now also for those with a degree in art or sports education through the education system.


  • Maximum trial period of one month, extendable under collective bargaining
  • The contract may not exceed one year (before two years) unless engaged with people with disabilities or in a situation of social exclusion

Once the three-month transition period granted from the entry into force of this reform (31st December 2021) has passed, companies must adjust the contracts of their current workers before 30th March 2022 and define the hiring strategies of their future workers through the anticipation, planning and organization of its staffing templates.

Carlos Rivero

See infographic

If you need additional information about the new regulation of temporary contracts,

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

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