Quote from Susana Sola in the 3 June, 2009, edition of the New York Times. See full article
... Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, based in Madrid, said Wednesday that it was adopting new measures to reduce labor costs, including reduced hours and unpaid family leave. Banco Bilbao is also giving some employees an option to take three- to five-year leave at 30 percent of their pretax compensation to pursue personal or professional opportunities, with a guarantee that they can return to their jobs at the end. They would also receive health insurance.
"Spanish labor law is very strict," said Susana Sola, a partner at Strong Abogados, a law firm in Barcelona. The downturn is compelling companies to devise innovative ways of cutting costs, she said.
"If you fire an employee in Spain, you must pay 45 days' salary for each year they've worked," she said. "That's a lot of money. So it's very hard to fire people when a company is in difficulties."