European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure ES-2020-12/503 – measures in Spain

Preference for remote work

Carácter preferente del trabajo a distancia

Country Spain , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 18 March 2020 – 30 May 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Teleworking arrangements, remote working
Author Carlos Molina (UAB)
Measure added 12 April 2020 (updated 27 November 2020)

Background information

In order to protect workers and ensure business continuity, new work arrangements will be established that allow the activity to be maintained by alternative mechanisms, particularly through remote work, and the company must adopt the appropriate measures if this is technically and reasonably possible and if the necessary adaptation effort is proportionate. These alternative measures, particularly remote work, should be a priority over the temporary cessation or reduction of activity. This is regulated in Royal Decree 8/2020 of 17 March.

Content of measure

With the aim of facilitating the exercise of the remote work in those sectors, companies or jobs where it has not been foreseen until now, a risk assessment will be made, in the terms provided in Article 16 of Law 31/1995, of November 8, on Occupational Risk Prevention, exceptionally, through a self-evaluation carried out voluntarily by the worker himself. There is no monetary support involved in this measure. The measures established in this regulation have as priority objectives to guarantee that business activity and employment relations resume as normal after the exceptional health situation. There is no specific sector / company targeted, not a specific eligibility criteria, but all companies must show they've done all what is possible to allow remote work.

Moreover, the regulation does not specify any aspect related to work organization, the equipment necessary in order to perform remote work etc.

Use of measure

There is no estimation as to the number of workers / companies involved.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Social partners jointly
Company / Companies
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Informed Informed
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


Social partners were informed - and not formally consulted - on the content of this policy measure. Since the very beginning, social partners made clear to the government the need to regulate telework in order to make sure that it is carried out with guarantees.

Views and reactions

Social partners were positive about the measure.


  • 18 March 2020: Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, of March 17, on extraordinary and urgent measures to face the economic and social impact of COVID-19. (


Eurofound (2020), Preference for remote work, measure ES-2020-12/503 (measures in Spain), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


Eurofound publications based on EU PolicyWatch

30 January 2023


Measures to lessen the impact of the inflation and energy crisis on citizens

Governments across the EU continue to implement policies to support citizens and businesses in the face of rising food and energy prices caused by the COVID-19 crisis and intensified by the war in Ukraine. This article summarises the policy responses as reported in Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch database from January to September 2022.


12 September 2022


First responses to cushion the impact of inflation on citizens

Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


12 September 2022


Policies to support EU companies affected by the war in Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.


5 July 2022


Policies to support refugees from Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses of EU Member States, including those of the social partners and other civil society actors, enabling refugees to exercise their rights under the Temporary Protection Directive.


Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.