Friday 1/21/22
WORKERS 'RIGHTS

Who pays for your sick leave due to Covid-19 in Spain and how much?

The Spanish Social Security institution is the body in charge of paying sick leave
21 December 2021, Spain, Madrid: People queue for an antigen test outside a public health centre in Madrid. With the rise in Corona infections in recent weeks, and with family gatherings during the Christmas holidays, many people are opting for the antigen tests to prevent the spread of the virus. Photo: Cézaro De Luca/EUROPA PRESS/dpa.
People queue for an antigen test outside a public health centre in Madrid. Photo: Cézaro De Luca/dpa.

In Spain, according to the current regulations, workers who test positive for coronavirus and are not in a position to telecommute have the right to sick leave.

Currently, the government has reduced the duration of quarantines from 10 to 7 days from 30 December, in light of the massive spread of the Omicron variant.

Regarding teleworking, it is necessary to clarify that once the sick leave has been notified and processed for having tested positive by the relevant Health authority, the employer cannot request the worker to telework, even if it is the kind work that can be done from home.

But employees can, by their own choice, waive sick leave if they believe they can continue working from home and wish to do so. That way, they will not suffer any reduction in salary.

In the case of workers who decide to take sick leave after testing positive for Covid-19, the Spanish Social Security institution is the body in charge of paying sick leave. 

How much can you earn while on leave?

Of course, the amount paid by Social Security does not equal the employee's full salary, but the law is more generous than in other cases: according to the regulations in force, workers have the right to receive 75% of their regulatory base (the amount of this can be checked on the payroll) from the first day.

Therefore, in cases of Covid-19 infections, employees do not stop collecting their salary for the first three days, as happens with other sick leave due to any other common illness (non-Covid-19 cases). Employing companies can supplement sick leave up to 100% of salary, if they so wish, depending on the collective agreement.

The Spanish Social Security also recognizes the right to sick leave for parents who have to stay home to care for a child infected by Covid-19.

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