For members


How self-employed workers in Spain can request sick leave

In many countries in Europe, including the UK, if you’re a self-employed, you simply won’t get paid if you get ill, but in Spain you can be.

How self-employed workers in Spain can request sick leave
How self employed people can get sick leave in Spain. Photo: Bermix Studio / Unsplash

This is good news for autónomos or freelancers in Spain, one of the toughest countries in Europe to be self-employed. 

This is mainly because, from the first euro you earn, you must pay taxes, plus a monthly social security fee. The fee now depends on how much you earn, but roughly it ranges from €230 for low earners, €320 for mid-earners, and €500 for high earners. 

READ ALSO: Self-employed in Spain: How to calculate your monthly social security fee 

Yes, freelancers in Spain pay a lot out, but there are several benefits they get in return, one of these is sick pay, if you fall ill or have an accident for example.

Whether you have multiple clients, own your own business or just freelance for one main company you will be entitled to paid sick leave in Spain if you’re self-employed. 

Spain’s Social Security office explains that, if due to illness or an accident, someone cannot temporarily carry out their own work, both the necessary health care and an economic benefit may be requested.

READ ALSO: Everything that changes for self-employed people in Spain this year 

How does it work?

If you get ill or have an accident that is not work-related, you will only be entitled to receive pay from the fourth day of leave.  

In order to benefit, certain requirements must be met:

  • You must be registered with the Régimen Especial de Trabajadores Autónomos or RETA. This is the Special Regime for Self-Employed Workers that you will have signed up for when you first became freelance in Spain. 
  • You must also be up to date with all Social your Security payments. 
  • You must have contributed to Social Security for a minimum of 180 days in the 5 years prior to the illness or accident.

The maximum period that you can benefit from temporary leave is 12 months, with periodic medical check-ups. However, an additional extension can be given for a maximum of six months.

READ ALSO: How to hire someone if you’re self-employed in Spain 

How to request sick leave?  

  1. The first step is to go to your doctor and request a ‘baja’ or leave from work. If they feel it’s justified or necessary, they will give you an official sick leave form. 
  2. You will also need to inform your Mutua or Mutual Society, which covers you in these types of events. You can find out which Mutua you belong to by looking at your original RETA confirmation document when you signed up to be autónomo
  3. Next, you must fill out an official Social Security document. Here, will have to specify why you are on leave and explain the situation. While you can download this form online, unfortunately, you will have to physically go to the Social Security or Mutual Insurance offices to present it with your corresponding documentation. In the event that your illness prevents you from doing so, you can authorise another person to do it for you, however, they must take a certified photocopy of your ID card such as your TIE.  

How much sick pay will I receive?

In the case of leave due to a common illness or an accident that wasn’t at work, you will be paid 60 percent of the self-employed regulatory base (the average amount you earn per month). You will receive this from the fourth to the twentieth day of leave. If your illness lasts longer than 20 days, this will go up to 75 percent of the same base.

If you are ill for a long time, remember, however, you must still keep paying your social security fee during the first two months of leave. This means that you will receive even less sick pay because you have to pay your contribution fee from it too. The fee will not have to be paid after the first 60 days. 

Work-related accident or illness 

If the disability is due to an accident at work or a disease derived from your job, no prior Social Security contribution period is required. You will be entitled to sick pay on your first day of leave.

Again, you must visit the doctor and contact your Mutua, and fill out the necessary forms from Social Security.  

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For members


EXPLAINED: Andalusia’s new €5,000 aid package for self-employed workers

The government of Andalusia has introduced a new aid package for self-employed workers in the region, enabling them to benefit from financial aid up to €5,500.

EXPLAINED: Andalusia’s new €5,000 aid package for self-employed workers

Being self-employed in Spain is particularly tough, particularly given the high social security fees, high taxes and extra payments made to gestors to handle your accounts. 

Thankfully, those who want to set up their own business in Andalusia are being given a helping hand, with a generous aid package to set themselves up. 

The handout will be issued by the Department of Employment, Business and Self-Employment of the Government of Andalusia, which estimates that 16,600 self-employed workers in the region will be able to benefit from it.

READ ALSO: Self-employed in Spain: The many ways to save money on your income tax return

Who is eligible to apply?

You must meet a certain set of criteria in order to receive the benefit. These are:

  • You must already be registered as self-employed (autónomo) on the date you submit your application.
  • Your business must be carried out in Andalusia.
  • You must have started your company in 2023 and be covered by the state flat rate of social security.
  • You must have a business plan and projections of how much you will make.

To access the subsidy, self-employed workers must keep their business running for a total of 12 months, counting from the day after the application.

The regional government has also confirmed the aid will be compatible with the recently approved ‘Cuota Cero‘ whereby those who are self-employed in Andalusia will get a rebate of 100 percent of their social security contributions for the first two years of business.

When can I apply?

New self-employed workers have one month from when they register in order to apply. 

For those who registered from January 1st, 2023, a transitional period of two months from August 1st has been granted. This means that those who registered as self-employed from the beginning of the year can apply up until October 1st 2023. 

For everyone else, you can apply up to September 30th, 2024. 

How much will I get?

The amounts vary between €3,800 and €5,500 and will depend on your circumstances and who you are.

The objective of the aid is to particularly benefit women, young people and entrepreneurs who start their businesses in small municipalities.  

For women:

  • Self-employed workers under 35 years of age can earn subsidy amounts up to €5,000.
  • Those over 35 years of age will receive aid of €3,800.  

For men:

  • Those under 30 years of age will receive €5,000.
  • Those over 30 will get €3,800.

If you set up your business in a municipality of less than 10,000 inhabitants, you could get even more. Women under 35 and men under 30 in this category will receive up to €5,500. 

How to apply?

Your application can be sent electronically via the general electronic headquarters of the Administration of the Junta de Andalucía.

Your application will be reviewed by the administration to make sure you meet all the requirements and you should receive an answer within a period of four months.