Probationary period of 1 year: compliance with the Spanish Constitution



The Spanish Constitutional Court deemed compliant with the Spanish Constitution the probationary period of one year provided for the contract to support of entrepreneurs.

With its ruling dated 16 July 2014 the Spanish Supreme Court took a very significant decision on one of the most questioned and controverted measures taken in the framework of the economic crisis.

The probationary period of one year was approved by the Spanish Government by means of Law 3/2012 to support entrepreneurs and incentive permanent employment. Since then, legal practitioners and Trade Unions have expressed their doubts on the legality of establishing such a long probationary period, and even some first instance courts have decided against its legality by deeming the terminations during this notice unfair.

Nonetheless, the Constitutional Court has validated this notice period, deeming it adjusted to the Spanish Constitution and grounding its decision on the nature and rationale of the measure:

  • it is temporary, subject to the existence of an unemployment rate of 15% and
  • aimed at creating employment opportunities while reducing the inherent uncertainties of any company's investment project (as it involves tax advantages and subsidies for Social Security contributions in favor of employers).

This article is part of the Southern Europe Employment Law Update for December 2014