martes, 17 de diciembre de 2019

Labor laws in the European Union

Labor laws in the European Union

 If you have been enjoying your time here in Spain you may have considered moving here and finding work for an extender period of time. If that is the case, there are a few things you should know before making the decision.

If you are currently a citizen of a country that is a member of the European Union, you are in luck.  That expedites this process immensely. Moving countries for work in the European Union is similar to moving from California to Nevada for work. However, if you don't have citizenship in the European Union you have to go through a more extensive process. On top of getting the correct visas, and permits, every employer is legally required to publicize a job in order to offer it to current residents of the European Union.

There is a Spanish saying related to how difficult it can be to get hired as a non member of the EU. This saying is "La pescadilla que se muerde la cola" Which translates to "The whiting (type of fish) that bites its tail". This is in reference to some companies tell prospect employees that they need a work permit, and when the prospect employee goes to get the permit, they tell them he needs a working ID from the employer so it's essentially a never ending cycle.

Requirements for Employment
You must present a work contract or binding job offer in an EU country for at least one year; You must have the necessary travel documents and health insurance; You must prove that you fulfill the legal requirements to practice your profession, where this profession is regulated

Every EU worker has certain minimum rights relating to:

Health and safety at work: General rights and obligations, workplaces, work equipment, specific risks and vulnerable workers.

Equal opportunities for women and men: Equal treatment at work, pregnancy, maternity leave, parental leave.

Protection against discrimination: Based on sex, race, religion, age, disability and sexual orientation.

Labor law: Part-time work, fixed-term contracts, working hours, employment of young people, informing and consulting employees.

jueves, 12 de diciembre de 2019

Tax Free shopping in Madrid!

Tax Free Shopping in Madrid

    If you have been shopping around Madrid, you may have noticed that the prices of clothing and other non-consumable goods are exceptionally lower than those in other places. Here in Spain you can take advantage of a tax refund prior to leaving the country. This is an easy way to save money on expensive goods. The sales tax is almost always going to be 21%. You must make sure to keep all recipes in order to get a partial refund. 

     This means if you buy a 100€ jacket, and the sales tax is 21% you can keep your receipt and take it with you to the airport for the 21€ refund. If you keep your receipt for everything that you purchase (other than food) these tax refunds can add up and save you a large amount of money. 

     It's quite popular for people from neighboring countries to come to Spain just to shop, as the prices are so attractive its hard to pass up. If you plan on making larger purchases like a Rolex or some jewelry, the 21% refund still applies to this too. This makes it much more logical to make these big ticket purchases in Madrid.

    Another possibility for refunding is at the Corte Ingles. The rules surrounding this partial refund are slightly different that for the general tax return from the airport.

It's important to understand that you cant exploit the system. You may only buy products for yourself, if you buy multiple with the purpose of reselling, you will have to pay taxes upon arriving to your home country. You may also only get a partial refund on products that you have purchased in 90 days prior to your departure. If you are staying in Spain for a year, you may only get a partial refund for the items you have bought after your first 9 months. 

If you reside in any country that is not a member of the European Union, the Canary Islands, Ceuta or in Melilla, you can obtain a refund of the VAT for purchases over 90.15 euros.

If you go to El Corte Ingles and you bring your passport to the customer service desk after a Purchase, they will issue you a 10€ discount coupon which you can use on your next purchase. This does not apply to consumable goods sold at El Corte de Ingles. This may not seem like a lot of money for the amount of work, but it will definitely start to add up and could save you hundreds of euros!

The DIVA is a system developed by the Spanish Agency for Tax Administration for the digitalization of Tax Free refunds at the Madrid airport. In order to use the DIVA system for a Tax refund, you must present proof of identification as well as proof of departure in the form of a boarding pass. The DIVA system only works when traveller's depart via a Spanish port or airport. For this reason, it is convenient to print the traveller refund document out, since if it is stamped in a different European country, the process will have to be manual.

These are the requirements in order to receive a refund for non consumable goods:

  • The habitual residence must be outside the  European Union (or in the Canary Islands, Ceuta or Melilla)..

    • Purchases must be for personal use, that is to say, not for commercial purposes.
    • The European Union must be left within three months after the date of the purchase.
    • When shopping ask for the tax free online form (called “reimbursement electronic document” ).
    • When leaving Spain and always before checking in your luggage, you must validate electronically  all the purchases' reimbursement electronic documents. To do so, you must  go to the DIVA screens located in the airport check in areas.
    • Remember to always carry:
      1. Passport.
      2. Purchases receipts and the DIVA form.
      3. Purchases for which you ask for the reimbursement. Without goods there will be no stamping.
      4. Boarding card or travel ticket.
    Locations for the refund are in the Madrid Airport:

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    jueves, 5 de diciembre de 2019

    Ways To Enjoy Madrid

    Ways to enjoy Madrid  
    Now that you are in Madrid, you may be asking yourself what some things are that you can do to enjoy your time here, as well as meet new people. The nightlife here in Madrid is probably the best in the world. If you are staying in the center of Madrid, near Puerta del Sol one solid option would be Kapital. This seven-floor nightclub is great place to meet new people and dance. Each of the seven floors offers a different type of music which will ensure you have a good time. The only downside to this nightclub is that it is quite commercial. Entry with two mixed drinks will set you back 20¢; however, what is most common for people to do is to go to a bar or a terrace café and drink there with friends prior to going to the clubs.
    Shoko is another alternative to Kapital. The general age of clubgoers is 18-28 with more emphasis on the older end of that spectrum. Nonetheless this is still a great club and I am confident that it will make for a great night out.

    If you are looking for a club that is more popular with 18-24-year old’s I would highly suggest Teatro Barcelo. This club is maybe a 20-minute walk from Puerta del Sol and is always a great time. Barcelo is infamous for throwing the best parties on Thursday nights. If you can make it, I would highly suggest going.

    One restaurant that you need to check out while you are here is “La Buha”. They are known for selling the best Spanish omelets. These omelets are absolutely massive and made of eggs and potatoes. You can get these omelets stuffed with all kinds of stuff. In my opinion the best one to get would be the goat cheese and caramelized onions. This will set you back around 12¢-15¢ but is definitely enough food for 4 hungry people.

    For younger travelers that are trying to conserve their money, there are many restaurants and bars that are accommodating of this. There is are two very popular chains here called 100 Montaditos, and La Sureña. Both of these restaurants offer one-hundred different options when it comes to small sandwiches. In my opinion, about four is enough to make a meal. On every Sunday and Wednesday, 100 Montaditos and La Sureña offer discounted food. Every sandwich and beer is only 1¢. This is one of my favorite restaurants to go to, and I only spend about ¢6 total.

    Another great option here in Madrid are the many Kebab restaurants scattered around the city. You can get a Dürüm for 3¢-4¢, which is a great deal considering how much food that actually is.

    There is a really good reasonably priced food court located in Lavapies which offers food from all walks of life. I highly suggest you take the metro one stop from sol to see this part of town. 

    For those who are looking for a great place for a beer, there is a bar named “The Beer Station” which is located about a five-minute walk from Puerta del Sol. The crowd here ranges from graduate students to adults, but nonetheless it’s a great place for a drink.