On March 8th, a new Law 8/2018 was approved in Spain. This comes into force on the 12th May 2019. As of this date, all companies must keep and retain a record of the hours that their employees do. This is signing in to work and signing out when they leave.
This will now be a serious infraction if an employer does not fulfil the requirements of the new law for businesses. For instance, with penalties from € 626 to € 6,250.
According to the new law, all companies, without exception, are obliged to do keep records as from May 12, 2019. No set way of keeping track of hours has been established. You should refer to your labour office or accountant for the best practice.
They will advise what you need to do, but basically a record of the exact time of entry and leaving for each employee needs keeping. It makes no difference if the employee works in an office or on the road. It is when they start work and finish work. The law does not say that employees need to sign. However, this is in the employer’s best interests if they do and confirm those hours.
These schedules must be kept for four years and be readily available if the Social Security make an inspection or if your employees or their lawyer request them. Previously this only had to be undertaken for part-time workers.
The Labour office of Social Security is well aware that in Spain there are many contracts for shorter hours than people actually work. This means that the company does not pay social security for all of those hours. There is also a lot of unpaid over-time. The intention is to stop this practice, particularly in bars, restaurants, construction companies etc. where contracts with less hours are quite common.
If you are a business with employees and are unaware of this, we advise you contact your laboral office as soon as possible. It is important that all businesses are made aware of this, whether one employee or one hundred.
In addition, please bear in mind that if you pay “autonomo” (self-employed social security) for a worker, instead of them being on contract and paying their social security, this is illegal. For many years Spain has seen this as a way to avoid contracts and social security. If caught a business may have to pay retrospective social security and other costs. If you are not sure if you are doing things right, talk to your asesor or labour advisers.