Youth Employment

Opportunities and regulations for work for teenagers in Spain...

The minimum working age in Spain is 16, although permission from parents or guardians is usually required up to 18 years of age. Any work contract with a child under 16 is invalid although an employer must pay for any services provided. Employers who breach the rules governing child employment in Spain are liable to legal action.

Various contract types exist including: indefinite contracts, fixed duration contracts, contracts for specific tasks or services, temporary contracts, training contracts and work experience contracts. The contracts used in youth employment are collectively known as los contratos formativos.

  1. Young people may be given training/trainee contract (Contrato para la formación) – these are designed for workers over 16 but under 21 years of age. They can run for between six months and two years
  2. If the teenager has recent relevant qualifications they may instead have a work experience contract (Contrato en prácticas). These contracts also last for between six months and two years

Children under 18 years of aged are prohibited from working at night (between 22:00 and 06:00) or more than eight hours per working day. Employers must ensure that young employees receive an adequate rest period - a minimum of 12 hours between shifts. Workers under 18 years of age must also be allowed 30 minutes rest period for every 4.5 hours work.

Seasonal work and part-time work for young people is available but depends to a large extent on location.

  • Find more information on Spanish employment law see the European job mobility portal, EURES
  • Further information is available in Spanish from the website of the Ministry of Economy (Ministerio de Economía y Hacienda)

Finding Work

Many companies publicise vacation jobs in local media and online. EEA (European Economic Area) nationals have free access to the services of the Spanish employment service, INEM or Oficina de Empleo. All cities and most towns have an office and staff can assist in finding temporary and permanent jobs.

  • For private temping agencies see the Yellow Pages for "Empresas de Trabajo Temporal"