Temporary work agencies (TWA) in Spain

1. What is the TWA’s business?

The activity of temporary work agencies (Empresas de Trabajo Temporal) consist on the supply of temporary labour that can be hired by firms without their incurring the usual hiring and firing costs. These work agencies are specialized labour market intermediaries.

It operates particularly in certain segments of the labour market such as seasonal work, clerks;. These are required administrative approval and have guaranteed financial reserves to cover indemnities, salaries and social security contributions.

2. Relationship between the TWA and the «user firm»

There must be signed a written contract between the temporary work agency and the hirer firm (called user firm – empresa usuaria) in which the worker is to perform the services. The worker is subject to the user firm guidelines.

The duration of this temporary use contract depends on the duration of the service.

Those clauses preventing employees from joining the user firm once their temporary use contract has been terminated are null and void; unless otherwise is agreed between the user firm and the temporary work agency, in which case if the user firm decides to contract the employer directly they will have to pay an indemnity to the temporary work agency that both parties had agreed for this case.

The user company is not allowed to hire temporary workers to replace strikers, nor to the performance of dangerous activities forbidden for this special form of employment relation.

3. The employment contract. Rights of the employess

The employment contract between the temporary work agency and the worker contracted to perform services for the user firm, may be for indefinite or temporary duration.

Employees’ remuneration shall be paid by the temporary employment agency. Their minimum pay must be the remuneration set out for the position the employee is going to perform in the collective agreement applicable to the user firm. This also includes the bank holiday and holiday pay.

When the workers are employed under a temporary-term contract, they are entitled to a compensation payment on termination of the contract calculated as 12 days pay (pro rata) per year of employment.

The temporary work agency must also pay the employee’s social security contributions.

4. Duties of the user company

The user company has the following duties:

  • It must inform agency workers of the risks associated with the activity they shall perform, and the corresponding measures to be taken.
  • It must implement the necessary health and safety measures to ensure that the social insurance institutions assume the costs of any accidents or injuries occurred at work.
  • It is obliged to pay the corresponding salaries and social security contributions during the period of the employment contract, in case the work agency did not pay this.

5. Getting legal help

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