Employees of BBVA, Spain's second biggest bank, are being offered 30 per cent of their usual salary in return for staying away from work for between three and five years.
The reason? Spanish labor laws require banks to give fired workers large payoffs.
"We're looking at offering alternatives to people," Juan Ignacio Apoita, BBVA's head of human resources, told the Financial Times.
"It's obvious as well that it has an impact on costs."
While the global recession hasn’t affected Spain as much as other countries, offering the lengthy vacations obviously makes financial sense for BBVA.
Other options the bank is reported to be considering include offering its 30,000 Spanish employees a shorter working week on reduced pay, or time off arrangements that let staff help family members relatives or return to school.
Takers are guaranteed a job when their extended leave comes to an end and will have their healthcare costs covered for the length of their sabbatical.
The offer is targeted at long-term employees of the company who have "personal or professional projects" they wish to undertake during their time off.
In what he called “a bold and historic move to help rejuvenate the American economy,” Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Orlando)recently introduced a bill that would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to require that employers with at least 100 workers provide a minimum of one week of paid vacation each year.
“The bill will dramatically improve productivity at American companies and provide a much-needed spark for the U.S. travel and tourism industries,” Grayson told Aspen Publishers.
Grayson’s district includes the Walt Disney theme parks in Florida.
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