With Palma airport handling millions of passengers each year and all the thousands of businesses on Mallorca, you would think that finding a job in Mallorca would be easy. Just hop on a plane, choose your location, find a fabulous apartment overlooking the beach and a well paying job with plenty of leisure time. Perfect. Mmmmm! Let’s look a little closer shall we?
Job agencies, newspapers and the Internet would be the normal places to look for a job in Mallorca. The newspapers have a limited number of job offers advertised and I could find no Job Agencies only Temp Agencies. The Internet search can begin from your own country. Tap in the search words and see what comes up. My first click took me to a luxury shopping and wealth management site? Things didn’t improve much from there. An hour of searching produced a handful of Spanish language only sites for Temp Agencies and one English only site looking for yacht crew.
I then searched in Spanish and have provided a list of the sites I found at the end of this article. I did find 2 teaching positions and I found one site with a small selection of jobs in Mallorca all based in Palma. (There are other areas you know!) I also found an interesting site called abc-mallorca. com. Seriously – The only multilingual site with job offers listed and I did find a helpful contact list. Time to change tactics I think. It would seem that job hunting is not quite the same here in the Med as it is in ‘Old Blighty’. What next? Ask the locals.
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My chats to residents of varying nationalities produced the same result. When asked “where do I go if I am looking for work?” the first reaction was a blank stare as if I had asked for a mission impossible. “I don’t know” was the general response and then after some thought the unanimous suggestion “ask around”. “What”? Yes you heard correctly. Knocking on business doors, in a land you do not know and possibly not knowing the language either, is how people generally find work here in Mallorca. Now the light goes on and realisation dawns that this is not going to be, as easy as we thought. Lets try another angle.
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Have a C.V. prepared with a photo. Make a list of business areas and jobs and then choose the ones where you have a better chance of being successful. Some businesses e.g. Tour Operators, employ many of their staff from their home country. This is good for those who want to find work in Mallorca and have everything organised before they arrive. If you are already here, then these companies do employ a few people locally. From my experience the smaller companies do this more often than the large conglomerates.
For “extranjeros” jobs with tour operators can be the easiest work to obtain. You can speak your own language, work all summer with your own nationality, have your accommodation arranged and provided for you, with no choice in the selection or its quality and oh yes! you will be sharing with several other people who you do not know. Aghhh! This would be my worst nightmare. Does anyone else shudder at the thought of making the effort to move to Mallorca, only to spend the whole time with his or her own nationality?
Although this is a convenient way to arrive and work in Mallorca the pay back is: Long working hours, possibly on 24 hour call, heavy responsibilities and little opportunity to discover what this beautiful island is all about. Most tour operators employ you with your own nation’s working contract not a Spanish one. Should you want to live here all year round you will have no Spanish entitlement to financial assistance through the winter. Another thing to consider is that at least once in the season, tour operators have a habit of moving their staff from resort to resort and sometimes to different countries, ooh and not forgetting the verbal abuse regularly received from your ‘guests’.
Office work requires the usual skills plus excellent Spanish and sometimes Mallorquin. So many people arrive here and think it is not important to learn the language. Please take it from me, I learned the hard way. Finding suitable employment, with full contract and a decent wage will be much easier if you learn Spanish before you arrive. Also if you have :- A good knowledge of English and German, strong arms, legs and feet – the patience of Jobe, be prepared to work morning, noon and night, possibly 7 days a week this will help in the job hunt. Be prepared for a 3 month renewable contract. Few companies now will offer a contract for longer than 3 months at a time, especially if they do not know you. Spanish Law lies heavily in favour of the employee which can make longer contracts too risky for employers.
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Most jobs related to tourism are of course seasonal. The summer season is from 1st May to 31st October. Businesses do open earlier and close later though but these jobs for the extended season would usually be offered to long time employees first. As a newcomer if you manage 6 months you are doing well. This 6 months contract is important if you require financial assistance in the winter. The working week is usually 6 days, compared to the northern European general of 5 days and the pay for comparative work is less. It would seem that the coveted all year round contract also has its price.
Wages for us mere mortals are on the whole not high in Mallorca and sadly for those of us who live here, the cost of living has risen incredibly over the last years. The wages have not. This tends to make people who work in tourism and only during the season totally dependent on left over tips and unemployment benefit to survive the winter. More and more seasonal workers leave (many reluctantly) in the winter to work elsewhere.
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What ever work you find, be prepared for longer hours and less money than you are used to. Most important of all is to look at the up side to all this, not only the lifestyle and the weather. People actually smile as they walk down the street, they smile while chatting to friends in cafes and at the waiters who are serving them. Imagine that! They say “Hola” even when they don’t know you. Pick up the shopping that you dropped to save you dropping more and run after you with the sunglasses you left on the restaurant table. Best of all, we live on the wonderful island of Mallorca with 300 days sunshine and good quality of life which truly makes it worth the downsize in career possibilities.
Useful Advice for finding a job in Mallorca
Not wanting to give false information I went along to my friendly Gestoria (Business Administration Provider) and asked for help. As always I was given the time and patience I required and lots of information including official web sites to visit and yes I must admit he speaks my language. The biggest present he gave me was the Government Social Security website and to my delight I discovered it is in different languages. I am sorry but it is not in German, however, it is more or less in English and French and there are enough pages to help you. You can find everything you need to know for working in Mallorca, including details for self-employment, contract work, your sick pay entitlements, unemployment and pensions.
Other official sites
The Balearic website had a list of job offers in Mallorca and not just in Palma. Surely though, this cannot be all the jobs available on the island at the present time. The list of contract and self employed workers information bases its calculations on a general worker with no dependants, e.g. children.
Useful links for finding a job in Mallorca
It quickly becomes apparent that there is a need for more resources and information to help people find work in Mallorca. The temp agencies are organised, however for general employment, everyone I spoke to knew only one method of finding work, knocking on peoples doors. This is demoralising and not constructive to finding the right job or, for the employer, the right person. Although there must be a wealth of jobs to choose from, our choices are realistically limited because there is no central point for searching and offering jobs.
The key, therefore, for constantly being employed is to be flexible, innovative, network like mad and when all else fails start your own business. If finance is a problem or you are not willing to take the risk of a year’s rental contract then you could consider home based work or setting up a market stall. I have 2 friends who started their respective businesses in the market and now have their own shops while still attending selected markets. If this interests you there is a marvellous organisation for market stallholders called A.M.B.V. Assoc. Ambulente Vendedores, email: email@example.com or Tel: +34 971 248 910 .
They will help and advise you with everything related to setting up a stall at one of the many markets on Mallorca.
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Another option is several part time jobs. This can make life more interesting and if one job ends you still have others. You could also work part time so that you are earning while setting up your own business, and you thought you came here for an easier life! Well, it may not be easy to earn a living here, however the warmth and kindness I have experienced from Mallorquin and other acquaintances and friends makes my life far richer in other ways.
Going the self employed route (Autónomos in Spanish)
1. N.I.E. number – you cannot work without this.
2. A license must be obtained for the intended work activity.
3. Monthly Social Security payments – depends on how much you earn:
Minimum – maximum: Earned per month 770.40€ – 2,813.40€
– Rate 1 @26.5 204.16€ – 745.55€
– Rate 2 @29.8 229.58€ – 838.39€
– Rate 3 @ calculated individually
4. Rate1 – means you will receive no sick pay from Social Security.
5. Rate 2 – you do receive sick pay from Social Security.
6. Rate 3 – you receive sick pay and for time off due to a work accident. This rate varies according to your job and therefore is calculated individually.
7. Value added tax (IVA in Spain) payments are made quarterly with 20% of your quarterly declared profit in advance of the final year-end profit (IRPF).
8. End of year accounts and tax returns.
9. Keep ALL documents related to your work safe and in a separate file. ALL these documents will be required for any queries regarding tax or unemployment claims.
Getting a job in a company – Contract Work
You will need:
1. N.I.E. number
A NIE number must be obtained before you can work. Be warned they can take a long time to come through. Especially at the beginning of the season.
2. There are many different types of contracts depending on the job description.
3. Read the contract and understand its duration expectations and rates of pay. This is important information.
4. Keep ALL documents related to your work safe and in a separate file. ALL these documents will be required for any queries regarding tax or unemployment claims.
5. Unemployment Entitlements: must be applied for within 15 days of the end of your contract.
6. Subsidio or Ayuda – as it is more commonly known is assistance for seasonal workers. A minimum of 6 months and less than 12 months work at one time is required to claim Ayuda.
7. Paro – Unemployment benefit. A minimum of 360 days must be worked before any entitlement to benefit. Entitlements are individually calculated, the following figures are only a guide.
Payment can be:
a. 70% of the last months pay.
b. 60% for the time remaining.
Duration of the Benefit
Period of contributory work duration of the benefit in the past 6 years
360 — 390 days 120 days
540 — 719 days 180 days
720 — 899 days 240 days
900 — 1079 days 300 days
080 — 1259 days 360 days
1260 — 1439 days 420 days
1440 — 1619 days 480 days
1620 — 1799 days 540 days
1800 — 1979 days 600 days
1980 — 2159 days 660 days
From 2160 days 720 days
8. Unemployment benefit and Ayuda cannot be claimed in the same winter. So if you only have a small number of benefit days due, they will be used first. No more benefit will be paid until a further 6 months has been worked at least, unless you qualify for other benefits.
(Source: Gebal Assessors, Rafel Borràs Rotger, Atili Boveri, 8º1er, 07470 Port de Pollença. Tel:+34 971 868 195)
Find out all about living on Mallorca.
Best of luck finding a job!