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Extraordinary payments in Spain: when are they paid?

In the world of work, special payments play an important role in the remuneration of workers, so if you are in charge of a work team or you have been hired and do not know about this regulation, here is what you need to know!

What are special payments?

According to the Workers’ Statute, special payments, also known as extraordinary bonuses, are an employee’s right and must be paid at least twice a year.

In this way, Article 31 explains that employees must receive two bonuses: one for the Christmas holidays, and another in the month established by collective bargaining agreement or by agreement between the employer and the legal representatives of the employees.

In addition, the amount corresponding to the extraordinary payments will be fixed by collective bargaining agreement, and if authorized, they may be distributed in twelve monthly installments without any inconvenience.

When are special payments paid?

As mentioned above, one of the special payments must be made at Christmas, so companies usually pay them between December 20 and 25.

In this sense, the Christmas bonus originated in 1945, and was established to solemnize the date in question, as explained in the Official State Gazette.

The other payment, although it must be paid upon agreement between both parties, is usually known as “summer pay”, since it is generally paid at the end of June or July, before the start of the vacation period.

In this summer pay, it is said that its precedent dates back to 1947, during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco and, according to the Official State Gazette, it was initiated with the aim of commemorating the anniversary of the coup d’état against the Second Republic.

On the other hand, it is also common that the collective bargaining agreement establishes the delivery of the extraordinary payments pro rata, during the 12 months of the year. In these cases, the decision must be specified in the employee’s payroll.

In this way, if the extra payments are not paid twice a year (Christmas and summer), but rather the collective bargaining agreement agrees that they be paid on a pro rata basis, companies will no longer be obliged to grant 14 payments a year.

On the contrary, they must maintain only 12 payments (one for each month of the year), but with a monthly percentage increase.


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How to calculate extraordinary payments?

Although in the beginning the extraordinary payments corresponded to an extra week’s salary, currently, it is established in the Workers’ Statute that the agreed amount should never be less than 30 days of base salary or the minimum interprofessional salary (SMI), and in some cases a bonus is added to the workers.

It should be recalled that, for 2022, the Spanish Government agreed with the trade unions to raise the SMI in Spain to 1,000 euros per month.

However, there are two ways of calculating the accrual of payments:

Annual accrual

When the payment is calculated on an annual basis, it begins to accrue in the same way as the bonus payment has been collected previously. In other words, if the Christmas bonus is paid on December 20, it must be paid in the same way the following year, with the waiting period being exactly one year.

Pay to pay accrual

In this case, the accrual is stipulated based on the previous payment. Therefore, if we have two special payments, the December payment begins to accrue in July and the July payment in December.


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Do I have to pay social security contributions for extraordinary payments?

Extraordinary payments represent a remuneration of a salary nature like any other labor income and, therefore, are subject to Personal Income Tax, as well as to Social Security contributions, as is the case with any other salary concept.

All workers in Spain are required to make social security contributions, based on their salary, and these are deducted from their paycheck every month.

In this way, deductions are made based on the prorated monthly salary and an amount is withheld for common contingencies, unemployment, among other causes.

On the other hand, the IRPF withholding is applied as appropriate, as a percentage of the effective payroll for a month, without taking into account the prorated salary.


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Keeping up to date with tax and legal regulations in the Spanish territory is essential to ensure the welfare of companies, so if you do not know about the subject, our experts at TAS Consulting will advise you and resolve your doubts in less than 24 hours. Enter our website and contact us today!


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