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  • Unemployed In The UK – Should You Move To Spain For Work?: Articles
Tue 30 June 2015 | Articles

Unemployed In The UK – Should You Move To Spain For Work?

Having dealt in the Javea property sales sector for nearly three decades, we know there are three types of buyer. There are those who wish to use the home as a holiday base or for rental income; those who have a fixed income such as a pension and have no plans to work in the area; or those who are hoping to come to Spain and earn a living in the country. This article discusses your options if you need to earn a living in Spain to generate enough money to fund your new lifestyle.


There was a time when many young British people, and indeed those of other nationalities, would flock to the Spanish Costas at the beginning of the summer to look for seasonal work in bars and discotheques. Employing foreigners as summer workers was beneficial for bar owners, as most young workers were prepared to work very long hours for low wages, as they were more interested in having a good time than making money. In the vast majority of cases, workers were illegally employed without having official papers, which further saved the bar owners spending on paperwork and taxes.


However, these days things are very different, and few business owners will risk employing somebody without having all the necessary paperwork in place; fines for having an illegal worker are extremely high, and work inspectors regularly inspect all types of businesses looking out for anyone who may be employed without the required papers. This is beneficial for the worker, as she will have the right to medical treatment and receive a payment of around €430 per month in the form of “La Ayuda” if she completes a contract of at least six months and is unemployed during the low-season winter months.


The collapse of the Spanish economy and subsequent property market crash led to thousands of people losing their jobs, as not only were those in the construction industry affected, but it had a knock-on effect, as the builders and labourers could no longer afford to spend in the local bars and restaurants or use other local services, as they found themselves without jobs or income.


Therefore, if you come to Spain hoping to find a job in a shop or other small local business, it is quite likely that you will end up disappointed. For each vacancy there are many applicants for unskilled employment, and as an outsider you are unlikely to be picked over local people who have contacts in the area.


However, having said that, numerous people around the globe are now working virtually from home, and if you are in a position to offer skills online, or start your own online business, Spain is a perfect location. The great weather, lower living costs when compared to the UK or France, and the laid-back atmosphere and slower life style lends itself well to working flexible hours from home. Many of our Javea property buyers in recent years came to Spain with the intention of virtual employment and teleworking, and maintain their finances and lifestyles adequately through this means.


Alternatively, if you have a trade such as you are a qualified electrician, teacher or carpenter, you will probably find your services are in demand in towns where there are large numbers of expats, who usually prefer to deal with somebody who can speak their own language.


Another option is to teach English as a second language. Working in a school may require qualifications, but many parents and students like to hire a native to help practice speech and improve English skills, and simply speaking English as a first language is adequate to secure this type of work.


You should be aware that if you offer your services as a teacher, or a skilled contractor  you are required to register as a self-employed person, which means paying “autonomos” every month. This is a self-employed tax, and the best person to inform you about what you would legally be required to pay is a gestor. You would most likely need to retain the services of a gestor to help you with these sometimes complicated paperwork that is involved in running a small business in Spain, or when working as a self-employed individual.


For more information about moving to Spain for work, see:


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