Thursday, December 13, 2007

Working in Barcelona

The City
Spain is the newest labor market for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) due to the recently signed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Philippine and Spanish government that offers 100,000 job opportunities for Filipino health care workers.

Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain and has experienced economic boom during the past years. It is in very accessible in every city in Europe due to networks of road, rail, air and sea connections.

The city is a major cultural center; its theaters, museums architectures, design and music play the most important part of the city’s everyday life. Barcelona’s cultural activity is one of the key components to its development strategy.

Job Concerns
Foreign workers from the Third World country who want to work in Barcelona and other parts of Spain are required to possess a work permit to legally work here. While those from First World countries, except from the 8 countries that joined the EU on 1st May 2004, need not to possess a work permits to be able to work in Spain.

  • The standard working hours is 40 hours per week, with a maximum of 9 hours working hours per day.
  • Overtime should not exceed to 80 hours per year. And workers should not be forced to work in overtime.
  • Overtime should be compensated either cash or vacation.
  • Workers are entitled to 14 paid public holidays, which is 12 national and two local holidays.
  • Maternity leave is 16 weeks and newly weds have 15 days leave.

The minimum wage is regulated yearly by the government of Spain according to standard cost of living and inflation. And this year, 2006, the minimum wage is set to 540,90€/month.

Sectors with collective labor agreements are authorized to implement their own minimum wage provided that it would not be less than the minimum salary set by the government.

Workers in Spain receive bonus salary twice a year, one in summer the other one in Christmas.

Cost of living
Cost of living in Barcelona is relatively cheap than other European countries from transportation to house expenses.

Living expenses in Barcelona depend on the type of accommodation, whether you choose to live in a luxurious or simple one. The cost of apartment depends on its type, fully furnished studio type apartments, range from €350 to €700€ per month, two bedroom apartments range from €600 to €1200 per month, three bedroom family style apartment range from €1000€ to €1500 or more per month and room for rent range from 200€ to 400€ per month or more.

Barcelona Metro comprehensively covers most of the city and is affordable. There are different types of ticket that to choose from; Single ticket cost €1.20, T10 Ticket, with 10 journeys cost €6.65, T-DIA cost €5.00, Travel Card, which is good for two and three days, two day cost €9.20, three days cost €13.20 and T-MES cost €42.75€, unlimited ticket good for one month.

Taxi ride for 10 minutes cost €5.

Recreation: Give Yourself a Break
After a long week of working, it’s just right to give yourself a break and enjoy your new environment. Try to explore some places in Barcelona, visit some of its shopping centers or treat yourself in some bars and clubs.

There are various types of shopping centers for all tastes and budget that can be found in Barcelona. You can also buy some stuff at the city market and street fairs at very reasonable prices. The shops are open between 9 a.m and 10 a.m, closes at lunch time at around 1:30 or 2:00. Then it generally opens again at 4:00 and 5:00 until 8p.m to 8:30p.m. If you want to spend nightlife, you can also enjoy some of the city’s bars and clubs as well as catch live concerts.
Person/authority to contact in case of emergency
In case of any labor disputes or misunderstanding between you and your employer or disaster, you can contact the Philippine Embassy located in Barcelona. You can find the embassy at:

Consulate General of Philippines in Barcelona, Spain
C/ Corcega n 284-1 08008 Barcelona
Spain, Barcelona
Phone: (+34) 93 362 43 03
Fax: (+34) 93 362 43 00

This article was first published in on January 19, 2007

No comments:

Blog Archive

Subscribe Now-RSS feed

Display this banner in your blog! Copy the code below and paste it in your editor