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Sickness Benefit in Spain

A worker, being registered with the Social Security office may receive subsidised pay if they are unable to work for reasons of sickness. There are a number of scenarios that revolve around how the illness arose and the length of time necessary before the worker can return to his place of employment:

Reason for Sickness Time Who Pays
Common illness 0 - 3 days No payment
Common illness 4 - 16 days Employer
Common illness 17 days + Social Security
Work induced Injury 2 days + Social Security

So the employer is liable to pay the subsidised rate of pay only in the scenario where the illness was a common illness unrelated to work and then only as between the 4th and 15th days of the illness from when the Social Security will pay.

The Social Security will pay the subsidised rate of pay until the worker is healthy enough to work again up to a maximum of one year though this may be extended by 6 months if the doctor feels that the worker will recuperate after this time.

At the end of 18 months typically the doctor will either consider the patient to be permanently incapable of working or will approve discharge from sickness benefit.

A worker is protected during absence for reasons of sickness and any attempt to terminate the employee contract of employment while having been upheld as valid, will be considered an unfair dismissal and trigger an indemnity payment of 45 days per year worked.