Generally, Spanish Labour Legislation allows for freedom of form when making a contract. Employment contracts can be verbal or in writing. However, during the term of a verbal contract, either of the parties may require that the verbal contract be reduced to writing. As an exception to the freedom of form, certain employment contracts must be in writing, including, but not limited to, temporary employment contracts, contracts involving special labour relations (such as those concerning lawyers, top managers or commercial representatives) and part-time contracts.
In principle, employment contracts are presumed to be for an indefinite term. There are, however, a limited number of definite-term employment agreements. If the employee continues to work past the original term of the temporary agreement, the relationship becomes indefinite in time and the employee becomes entitled to the standard severance upon termination.
In the event that no special provision is contained in an applicable collective bargaining agreement, notice periods cannot exceed six months for workers with an academic degree and for any other employees. However, the contract for entrepreneurs has established a trial period of one year.
The Labour Law requires that a party seeking to terminate an employment agreement provide the other party to the agreement with a minimum of fifteen (15) days’ notice prior to termination. This rule does not apply to interim contracts. The parties in the contract may agree upon longer notice periods.