sick leave in SpainIn Spanish companies, workers may sometimes be given sick leave due to illness or an accident (sick leave in Spain). Temporary Incapacity (known by the initials IT in Spanish) is the name given to a situation that prevents a person from working for a certain period of time.

A worker’s period of sick leave cannot exceed one year, however the National Institute of Social Security (INSS) may extend the sick leave by 6 months if it considers that the worker can recover in that period of time.

Regarding ordinary illness in Spain, the decision on an employee’s health is made by healthcare professionals in the public health system, since this guarantees that their decisions are exclusively based on medical reasons.

During a Temporary Incapacity situation, the Spanish Social Security covers part of the worker’s salary which consists of an allowance the amount of which depends on the calculation basis of the previous month; however, for this, the worker must have paid 180 days’ worth of social security contributions in the previous 5 years except where the incapacity is due to an occupational illness, accident at work or outside of work that does not require a previous contribution period.

Ordinary illness (sick leave in Spain)

To calculate the specific amount of the daily allowance in the event of ordinary illness, four stages must be taken into account:

  • The first 3 days of the sick leave: the company does not have to pay anything.
  • From the 4th to the 15th day of the sick leave: an allowance consisting of 60% of the calculation basis is to be paid by the company.
  • From the 16th to the 20th day of the sick leave: an allowance consisting of 60% of the calculation basis is to be paid by social security.
  • From the 21st day of the sick leave: an allowance consisting of 75% of the calculation basis is to be paid by social security.

Accident at work (sick leave in Spain)

In the event of an accident at work, the amount of the daily allowance is calculated by applying 75% to the daily calculation basis from the day after the accident. This allowance is paid by the Mutua [mutual insurance company] or the INSS.

By Collective Agreement or an agreement between the company and the worker, this allowance may be supplemented at the company’s expense.

Obligations of the company in Spain during a Temporary Incapacity situation (sick leave in Spain)

  • To pay the delegated payment benefit, i.e. pay the allowance through the payroll when the payment corresponds to the INSS or the Mutua and the following month the same percentages will be compensated in the social security settlements.
  • To electronically notify the National Institute of Social Security of the sick leave, confirmation and medical discharge reports within a maximum of 3 working days of receipt.
  • To electronically notify the mutual insurance company of any accidents at work using the Delt@ System within 5 working days of receipt and, in the event of assistance, but without leading to any form of sick leave, the company must report this within the first 5 days of the following month.

Obligations of the worker in Spain during a Temporary Incapacity situation (sick leave in Spain)

  • To submit the sick leave and confirmation reports to the company within a maximum of three calendar days from the start of the Temporary Incapacity situation.
  • To submit the discharge report within 24 hours of it being issued.
  • To go back to work the day after the date on the discharge report.
Processing of sick leave in Spain
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