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

COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

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

Factsheet for case ES-2020-14/838 – measures in Spain

Recoverable paid leave

Permiso retribuido recuperable

Country Spain , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 30 March 2020 – 09 April 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Employment protection and retention
– Working time and working time flexibility
Author Oscar Molina (UAB) and Eurofound
Case created 11 May 2020 (updated 22 July 2020)

Background information

In order to reduce mobility of the population in the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Royal Decree 10/2020, of 29 March 2020, regulates a recoverable paid leave for employed persons who do not provide essential services.

This recoverable paid leave is mandatory and limited in time between 30 March and 9 April (both included), for all employed personnel who provide services in companies or entities in the public or private sector that carry out qualified non-essential activities.

Workers who have their contracts suspended during the indicated period and those who may continue to provide remote services are exempt from the application of this royal decree.

Content of measure

This royal decree-law will apply to all employed persons who provide services in companies or entities of the public or private sector and whose activity has not been halted as a result of the declaration of state of alarm established by Royal Decree 463 / 2020, of 14 March 2020.

However, the following are exempt from the scope of application:

  • Workers who provide services in sectors classified as essential in the annex to this royal decree-law.
  • Workers who provide services in the divisions or production lines whose activity corresponds to the sectors classified as essential in the annex to this royal decree-law.
  • Workers hired by (i) those companies that have requested or are applying a temporary suspension employment regulation file and (ii) those who have been authorized a temporary suspension employment regulation file during the term of the permission provided for in this royal decree-law.
  • Workers who are on sick leave due to temporary disability or whose contract is suspended for other legally established causes.
  • Workers who can continue to carry out their activity normally by teleworking or any of the non-contact modalities of service provision.

The recovery of working hours can be made effective from the day following the end of the alarm state until 31 December 2020.

This recovery must be negotiated in a consultation period open for this purpose between the company and the legal representation of the working people, which will have a maximum duration of seven days.

Use of measure

Not availabe.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Other groups of workers
Workers in essential services
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 Consulted Consulted
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

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

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


Social partners were informed and consulted on this measure, though no formal negotiations were carried out.

Views and reactions

Trade unions were supportive of this measure, while employers organisations were dissatisfied.



Eurofound (2020), Recoverable paid leave, case ES-2020-14/838 (measures in Spain), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

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