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Requirements for hiring foreign workers in Spain

Spain is on the top 4 countries with the highest proportion of foreigners, following Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. These figures represent a record 2.8 million foreign workers in the country, as reported by the Bank of Spain.

Hiring foreign talent is also a business strategy that can bring unique perspectives and diversity to the work environment, so Spanish companies opt for this option. This is why it is essential to have regulations in place when hiring foreign workers, especially non-EU workers.

From the publication of different job offers to the registration of the worker with the Social Security, compliance with labor regulations is mandatory for any company that wants to avoid sanctions.

Here is what you need to know about hiring a non-EU worker.

What is the difference between EU and non-EU workers?

First, it is necessary to differentiate between EU and non-EU workers since foreign EU workers have certain rights.

EU citizens can work in any EU country without a work permit, while non-EU citizens cannot. The latter group includes citizens whose nationality does not belong to the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA), as well as stateless persons and refugees. They all need permits and visas to carry out any work in Spain.

What requirements must a company follow?

Hiring a worker can be complex, so it is necessary to be familiar with the specific procedures and general requirements that each company must comply with:

  1. Availability check: Some sectors must prioritize local candidates and EU citizens over non-EU nationals.
  2. Authorisations: The company is responsible for applying for a residence and work permit.
  3. Contract and conditions: An employment contract that complies with labor laws and ensures that the salary is in accordance with the collective agreement applicable must be presented.
  4. Registration with Social Security: The worker must be registered in order to receive the corresponding social benefits.

Failure to comply with this series of requirements, such as not having a work permit, would be considered a serious offence, and this would lead to fines of between 10,000 and 100,000 euros.

If you want to go deeper into this section, we recommend you read this post on the obligations of the company when hiring foreigners in Spain. In it, you can even find the requirements that the worker must meet.

What are the benefits for a company?

In addition to the benefit of cultural diversity and increased competitiveness, there are several grants and subsidies for more specific companies, such as:

  1. Immigrant Integration Programme (PII): This aid is granted by some autonomous communities to encourage the hiring of immigrants in a regular situation.
  2. Social Security bonuses: There are bonuses; depending on the type of contract, if it is indefinite, they can range between 1,200 and 1,800 euros per year for the first three years.
  3. Regional and local subsidies: Some autonomous communities and city councils offer additional aid, especially in sectors with high unemployment.

Each company should consult with the State Public Employment Service (SEPE) and with the different regional councils or specific information to be able to obtain an extra benefit by having a foreign talent.

At LEIALTA, we are committed to plurality and labor diversity in order to promote economic and business growth. For this reason, we have a team of experts in labor issues that will help you with any queries you may have.

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