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Temper your temping in Spain

Spain has tightened the rules on the temporary agency worker market.

Real Decreto-ley 32/2021 came into effect in March/2022, providing many changes to Spain’s labour laws, including new rules on the use of temporary workers following recent EU statistics which revealed that Spain has the highest number, in the EU, of temporary workers as a proportion of total employees.

To afford those workers greater protection the law now says:

· Temporary contracts for a project or service have been abolished.

This means: You are not allowed to hire temporary workers simply to fulfil an assignment for a specific project.

· Temporary workers are allowed for an occasional and unforeseeable increase in the fluctuations of work in a company

This means: If there is a temporary mismatch between the stable and available employment for your company - and what’s unexpectedly needed – you may hire temporary workers.

· Temporary workers are allowed for short, predictable, times of production fluctuation but with a time limitation.

This means: You can hire as many temporary workers as you need to cover key times of increased production, but for no more than 90 days in a calendar year.

What this means for your business:

1. You must use a reputable and compliant temporary work agency.

Using a non-licensed company – or using workers that have been provided incorrectly by a licenced company - is considered a serious breach of the law: ‘infracción muy grave’.

It’s currently punishable with a fine of up to EUR 187,515. This may be imposed on either or both companies. In most cases, the end-user is also liable for any irregularities or illegalities caused by the temporary work agency.

In a recent case, Adecco and Norwegian Airlines were together fined a total of EUR 70,000 for Adecco’s violation of the law when providing temporary workers to Norwegian Airlines.

2. Make sure you cover key indemnifications with your temporary work agency

Since we’re talking about joint liability, which means that both parties are fully responsible for a breach of the law in this case - even if it is solely caused by your local temporary work agency - it is important that you have robust provisions in your contract with the agency to recover any potential damage and costs that you may have to pay.

Want to know more about cross-border employment law?

At PEO Legal, we provide legal and compliance advice for professional employer organisations and staffing companies around the world. If you want advice about Real Decreto-ley 32/2021 - or any other point of cross-border employment law - contact us, today.


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