Interim contract: What does it consist of?

The interim contract is one of the temporary hiring modalities. It is also known as a substitution contract since, who subscribes it, temporarily supplies the cancellation of the seat holder, what’s wrong with it job reservation.

One of the peculiarities of this type of contract is that The name of the person being replaced and the reason for the replacement must be stated (paternity, leave…). In this way, there is a clear reference on the limits of the contract and other aspects such as functions, salary or the reason for the termination of the contract.

It is quite common for a replacement or interim contract to be proposed when the company has started a selection process for that position and there is still no candidate to fill it. In this case, the duration of the contract cannot be longer than three months.

It is also very common for the Public Administration to use it at times when there is still no definitive award of a place.

Holidays in interim contracts

The Rights in interim contracts are the same as for other workers. As stated in the Workers’ Statute, all employees they are entitled to paid vacations that in no case will be less than 30 days. If the interim contract has a duration of less than one year, the right to enjoy vacation days would be the proportional part. Therefore, in a general way they correspond two and a half days of vacation per month worked.

These are, so to speak, the basic terms. Collective agreements improve these conditions and regulate some aspects of vacations. It is recommended consult this agreement between representatives of workers and employers to find out the days of paid rest that correspond in the different cases.


Interim contract: these are the bonuses for companies

One of the most common causes for signing a replacement contract is usually due to leave due to the care of relatives. This kind of interim is subsidized for the company by 95% during the first year, 60% during the second and 50% in the third.

Some organizations could take advantage of and use an interim or replacement contract to fill the vacancy of a vacation worker in order to avoid severance pay when the employee joins after their vacation and the temporary contract ends. However, it would not be the appropriate modality since the fact of replacing does not imply the interruption of the contract (Neither is it necessary to reserve the position, one of the main characteristics of the interim contract). In these cases, the recommended type of contract is a eventual contract.

Are interns entitled to compensation?

The compensation for termination of temporary contracts, which, as has been seen, is not contemplated in the case of replacement or temporary contracts, has provoked the response of the European Court of Justice (CJEU). A few years ago ruled indicating that it was contrary to European law since he found it discriminatory compared to temporary contracts and, especially to fixed ones, because the same compensation was not contemplated.

However, in the month of May of this year he rectified the doctrine arguing that the worker who signs an interim contract is expected to end it and, for this reason, should not be compensated. Contrary to what happens with the termination of an indefinite contract or with some eventual contracts in which the expiration of the contract is not foreseen by the worker, therefore, compensation is contemplated for «frustration of legitimate expectations», as they clarify.

This has been the argument used by Spain. The government formed a commission of experts who concluded that the in-depth review of this type of contract. It seems that the CJEU, at the end of November 2018, rectified its answer and, although there is still nothing definitive, everything seems to indicate that the possibility that the Spanish courts can establish compensation of up to twelve days per year worked is left open.

When is an interim contract terminated?

The termination of this type of contract occurs in the following cases:

  • The reinstatement of the worker which has been replaced.
  • When more than three months have passed when it comes to a selection or promotion process for a definitive position.
  • When deadline expires for reinstatement.
  • The extinction of the cause that motivated the substitution. For example, the termination of the substituted worker’s maternity leave.

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