Technical criteria for employment contracts

The Spanish Labor and Social Security Inspectorate has seen fit to make available to all companies the technical criteria regulating and clarifying the interpretation of employment contracts.


Spanish Labor Law has a clear preference for permanent employment over fixed-term employment, as this type of employment means stability for the employee, and only allows for fixed-term employment when all requirements and/or legal conditions are met.

By way of example, project-specific employment requires, among others, that the project or service is clearly and accurately specified in the contract. Likewise, casual employment due to production circumstances requires that there is a production overload.

However, most employment agreements signed in Spain are fixed-term. In fact, it is quite common to use mainly the following types: casual employment for production circumstances, project-specific, substitution and training employment.


Fixed-term employment in Spain

Due to this and in order to inform about and clarify certain interpretations carried out by the General Directorate of the Spanish Labor and Social Security Inspectorate, Inspección de Trabajo y Seguridad Social (ITSS), technical criterion no. 95/2015 on employment contracts was issued on 8 April 2015 and included the following points:

  1. Contract for a specific project or service

  2. Casual contract for production circumstances

  3. Substitution contract

  4. Common rules

  5. Conversion of fixed-term contracts into permanent contracts

  6. Most frequent administrative irregularities

  7. Relief contract

  8. First job fixed-term contract

  9. Fixed-term contracts to promote employment of persons with disability

  10. Measures arising from the inspection

Currently it is crucial that executives and entrepreneurs consider these technical criteria for employment contracts, as they establish the guidelines to be followed by inspectors when assessing whether the agreements between employees and employers comply with the law.

Additionally, full compliance with the criteria will prevent companies from being sanctioned. It should be noted that the failure to observe the regulations on employment types is considered a serious contravention to labor legislation and can be fined up to €6,250 per fraudulent contract.

Remember that these points allow to ascertain the organization’s degree of compliance with labor legislation. Therefore, if your company is signing more fixed-term contracts than permanent ones, you should be particularly careful with this type of employment.

If you have more doubts or wish to broaden your knowledge about Talent Management and Payroll download our Executive Summary where the key aspects of labor relationships are summarized:

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