If you decide to employ staff, as in any relationship, you will need to learn how to best manage both the good and bad times. The dismissal procedure in Spain is simple but it is best to ensure that you know how to avoid any potential litigation.

Dismissal in Spain

There are 3 redundancy procedures in Spain that must be respected to avoid litigation dismissal:

  • Disciplinary dismissal occurs when an employee does not meet the terms of the contract or his behaviour is not acceptable i.e. unexcused absences, verbal or physical abuse, drunkenness, harassment etc.
  • Dismissal on objective grounds: as the name suggests, this does not come about from wilful misconduct of the employee. The reasons for this type of firing can be inability of the employee, technical or economic problems within the company etc.
  • Collective dismissal: this concerns companies in economic difficulty who collectively let go a large number of employees at one time.

Avoiding Litigation Dismissal

Termination is effective only when the employer issues a letter to the employee in which he explains the reasoning behind the dismissal and the date appears very clearly. Verbal dismissal is not legal, even if it is often practiced. Otherwise, the employee can reject your decision and contest it. In case of dismissal, the employee will have a period of 20 working days to appeal regarding a disciplinary dismissal and can launch the litigation procedure in Spain. The judge may qualify this regulatory measure (procedente in Spanish) in the event that the offense committed by the employee is in fact proven. The dismissal can be considered unfair (or improcedente in Spanish) if the evidence of the office is inadequate. The null status is valid if there is a violation of fundamental rights or if the dismissal is taken out on a pregnant woman on maternity leave or on woman protected under the regulations applicable to victims of violence or on those on paid leave for adoption.

Consequences of Unfair Dismissal

If the dismissal is deemed unfair by the judge, the employer must choose between reinstatement of the employee in the company or a termination of the employment contract upon payment of a severance compensation corresponding to 45 days of salary per year worked with a maximum of 42 monthly payments: periods less than one year are calculated in proportion to the months worked.

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