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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-2020-12/603 – measures in Spain

Interruption of the calculation of the maximum duration of temporary contracts

Interrupción del cómputo de la duración máxima de los contratos temporales

Country Spain , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 20 March 2020 – 30 June 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Employment protection and retention
– Income support for people in employment (e.g., short-time work)
Author Carlos Molina (UAB)
Measure added 14 April 2020 (updated 22 July 2020)

Background information

With this measure, the government urges companies also include temporary workers in temporary collective dismissal procedures, without the need to terminate these contracts. For this, the Executive has approved that, in the event that a company suspends its activity due to the health crisis, the temporary contracts that its workers have (including training, relief and interim contracts) are also suspended. After this crisis, the duration of these eventual contracts will be prolonged for the time they have been suspended.

Content of measure

The suspension of temporary contracts, including training, relief and interim contracts, for the causes provided for in articles 22 and 23 of Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, of March 17, will mean the computation will be interrupted, both for the duration of these contracts, as well as the reference periods equivalent to the suspended period, in each of these contractual modalities, with respect to the workers affected by them.

Article 5 of RDL 9/2020 provides that the suspension of temporary contracts for the causes provided for in articles 22 and 23 of RDL 8/2020, including training, relief and interim contracts, means the interruption of the computation of both the duration of such contracts as of the reference periods equivalent to the suspended period.

Thus, RDL 9/2020 does not indicate that the causes of force majeure, or the economic, technical, organizational or production related to the COVID-19 constitute an enabling budget so that the parties can proceed directly to the suspension of the temporary employment contracts. On the contrary, RDL 8/2020 refers to the suspensions of contracts decided by the company, after confirmation of the force majeure by the competent Labor Authority, or after processing the consultative and negotiating period. Therefore, the paralysis of the effects of the reciprocal obligations of the parties to the temporary contract requires that the causes concur and that the expressed procedural rules have been followed. It is for these assumptions and conditions that it is established that the suspension also has the additional, and exceptional, effect of interrupting the calculation of the term of life or duration of the temporary contract.

The norm refers to temporary contracts in general, although it is specified that training, relief and interim contracts are included.

The interruption of the calculation means that the period of suspension of the contract does not count for the purposes of determining neither the agreed term of validity nor the maximum duration.

Use of measure

No data available yet.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Workers in non-standard forms of employment
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
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


There was no involvement in the design, implementation or monitoring of this policy. Peak-level social partners organisations were informed.

Views and reactions

Even though social partners were not involved, they were supportive of this measure.



Eurofound (2020), Interruption of the calculation of the maximum duration of temporary contracts, measure ES-2020-12/603 (measures in Spain), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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