Spain Leave Laws

In this page, we’ll break down all you need to know about leave laws in Spain.

Read on to learn about employees’ rights in regards to paid time off/annual leave, sick leave, parental leave, national/public holidays, and more.

This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.


Full-time employees in Spain are entitled to a minimum of 30 calendar days (22 working days) of paid annual leave. At least one period of the 22 days must be two weeks long, and the rest can be split into multiple periods.

This time off cannot be replaced by economic compensation (i.e. paid out instead of provided as a day off).

PTO Payout & Use It or Lose It

Use It or Lose It and payout upon separation are not mentioned by law, suggesting employers in Spain can enact policies where PTO expires after a certain time, as long as they provide the minimum yearly requirement for annual leave.

Learn more about Use It or Lose It policies here.

Sick Leave in Spain

Employees in Spain are entitled to sick leave. For the first three days of sickness, this leave is unpaid. From the fourth day of sickness until the 20th day, they are entitled to 60% of their regular pay, and from the 21st day of sickness, they are entitled to 75% of their regular pay.

For occupational diseases and work accidents, the employee is entitled to 75% of their regular pay from the day after being discharged from work.

From the fourth to the 15th day off work, sick leave is paid for by the employer. From the 16th day onwards, it is paid by national Social Security.

Spain Public Holidays

Spain has the following national public holidays:

January 6Epiphany
April 7Good Friday
May 1Labor Day/May Day
August 15Assumption of Mary
October 12National Day
November 1All Saints’ Day
December 6Constitution Day
December 8Immaculate Conception
December 25Christmas Day

In addition, New Year’s Day (January 1) is not considered a national holiday, but is observed in all Spanish cities and regions.

Certain cities and regions have their own public holidays which are observed alongside these national public holidays.

Holiday Pay

Employees in Spain get a paid day off for public holidays. Employees are entitled to 14 paid public holidays per year (covering national + regional holidays).

Parental Leave in Spain (Maternity Leave & Paternity Leave)

Employees in Spain are entitled to 16 weeks of maternity leave. This is not required to be paid by the employer, but is compensated via Social Security, assuming the employee has met the necessary quotas for Social Security contributions.

Mothers are also entitled to a maximum of three years’ unpaid leave to care for their child, up until the child is 12 years old.

Fathers get the same entitlement to 16 weeks of paternity leave, also compensated via Social Security.

Adopted parents get the same 16 week parental leave entitlement when adopting a child under the age of six years old.

Parents are also entitled to paid leave for prenatal check-ups and preparation for childbirth or preparing for an adoption.

Bereavement Leave in Spain

Employees in Spain are entitled to paid leave for the death, accident, serious illness or hospitalisation of first or second-degree relatives, of two days (increased to four days if you have to travel).

What is Bereavement Leave? Click here to learn more.

Other Leave Types

Marriage Leave

Employees are entitled to 15 calendar days of paid leave when getting married.

Moving House

Employees are entitled to one day of paid leave when moving house.

Jury Duty Leave

Employees are entitled to paid leave (as long as necessary) to cover their obligations in court, which includes jury duty.

Official Resources

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