Impact of Spanish labour reform on training contracts
Last March, the new labour reform, Royal Decree-Law 32/2021, came into force in Spain, which aims to curb temporary employment and strengthen permanent contracts. After the modification of article 11 of the Workers’ Statute, this reform also affects training/ internship contracts of workers in Spain.
- Alternating training contract (the old training and apprenticeship contract).
- Training contract to acquire professional practice (the old internship contract)
What is the difference between a training contract and an internship contract?
In a training contract, the worker does not have a degree, therefore, such training is provided through courses during their training contract.
With an internship contract, the worker does have an official degree, be it university, professional training, a master’s degree, a doctorate, etc.
Remuneration and bonuses of internship contracts
Before, the company paid a percentage of the salary that corresponded to the worker’s role. That amount was 60% during the first year, and 75% during the second year.
After the labour reform, the remuneration will be in accordance with the collective agreement. In addition, it may not be less than what the remuneration of a worker would be according to his functions, group, and salary level that corresponds to them by agreement; furthermore, it can never be less than the minimum interprofessional salary.
What is the timeframe for benefiting from this contract?
After obtaining the degree, only one internship contract can be made in the following 3 years. If the worker has a disability, this period will be extended up to 5 years. Before, a company was able to hire someone initially on a training contract, and then progress to an internship. Now, this path is no longer possible.
What is the maximum duration of an internship contract?
Before the maximum time of an internship contract was 2 years, now it is a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of one year. If the worker requires sick or maternity leave, the maximum duration of the contract is suspended, therefore, it could be extended by the time in which the worker has been on leave.
As for the daily hours, it can be both full-time and part-time, and the remuneration is in proportion to the hours worked.
With this type of contract, can the worker telecommute?
In the current situation, with telecommuting on the rise, it is also possible to benefit from remote work in this type of contract.
It must be taken into account that in an internship contract there must be:
- a regular and consistent follow-up
- there must be an individual training plan
- the worker has a tutor/ mentor who provides advice
Therefore, the necessary tools can be used to facilitate teleworking and for these practices to be useful, which is why it is usually considered that 50% of the required hours are face-to-face.
Within an internship contract, can there be a trial period?
The labour reform has limited the trial period to one month.
Can an internship contract be made for someone who has studied abroad?
Yes, first you will have to request the official validation of that degree in Spain.
What does a company have to do before entering an internship contract?
Once the company has selected the candidate that meets the requirements of the position, there are a few steps to follow:
- First, it will be necessary to observe that the candidate has not carried out any internships for more than a year. This is verified by requesting a written report from the SEPE of the internships that could have been carried out and the duration.
- It is also essential to request a copy of the degree and the homologation if the degree was acquired abroad.
- Check if the candidate has a disability, since the company can be eligible for some benefits if an internship contract is made with such an individual. By transforming this internship contract into an indefinite one, the company can also obtain befits; €500 per year, in the case of hiring a man, and €700 for women.
- Once the viability of that candidate has been clarified, it is very important to specify the required hours, so that it is not presumed that they are working full-time.
- The company must have prepared an individual internship plan, in which it is established who the tutor is, the tasks that will be carried out, the objective of the internship, and the different evaluations.
- At the end of the internship, the worker must be given a certificate of completion of the internship.
Training contracts have many advantages for both companies and people who are starting their professional careers and need to gain experience to progress in the job market. But it is essential to understand and follow the regulation diligently so as not to suffer sanctions.