This scheme is the most important in the Social Security System and the LGSS gives it Title II, configuring it as the coverage ideal in respect of the special schemes, implementing its regulations as subsidiary to these special schemes.
Globally, the General Scheme includes employed workers or assimilated employees from the various branches of economic activity, over 16 years of age, irrespective of their gender, marital or professional status and also whether they are domestic, temporary, seasonal, permanent or intermittent workers. The occupational classification and the method and amount of remuneration are also irrelevant.
For the definition of employed workers we refer to Art. 1 of the Workers´ Statute, which defines them as "those persons who voluntarily provide paid services as an employee and within the scope of the organisation and management of another legal or natural person, known as an employer".
More specifically, the LGSS provides for in Art. 97 a more detailed list of the included groups of workers.
Effective as of 1 January 2012, two special systems have been created within the General Scheme:
- The Special Agricultural System, which includes paid employed workers who carry out agricultural, forestry or livestock work or who are supplementary to or assist in these tasks, on farms.
- The Special System for Domestic Employees, which includes workers who carry out services or activities for a family home, which could entail any type of domestic task, as well as manage or care for the home as a whole or any of its parts, provide care or support to family members or people who are part of its scope, as well as other additional jobs such as child care, gardening, driving vehicles, etc.
The LGSS sets out the following exclusions:
- People who occasionally carry out so-called amicable, charitable or good neighbourly work.
- The jobs that give rise to inclusion in one of the Special Schemes of the Social Security.
- Jobs that with regard to their working hours or remuneration can be considered to be marginal and not to constitute a fundamental means of earning a living, and which have been approved as such by the government.