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It's now 20 days if the firm has made a loss in the last three quarterly periods, and capped at 24 months (down from 42).
But 24 months is still a pretty generous cap - you need to work with the same company for 25 years before you reach it.

It's meaningless to compare Spain with the UK because Spain doesn't have the same unemployment benefits provided by the State.
I think Spain has more unemployment benefit provided by the state than the UK, although the UK provides other benefits as well, whereas in Spain the paro is pretty much all there is.

Yes it's dificult to compare countries, but wasn't there a thread recently about the benefits of looking to other countries to see how they do things?

I can only compare what I know, based on my experience, and based on my experience redundancy payments for indefinido contracts is still too high - in the skilled private sector you need to have a flow of skills and ideas between companies, so the sector as a whole improves. You shouldn't have people spending their entire working life behind the same desk doing the same "job", even after that job has become obsolete - it's not good for them or their employer - but that's what I see happening in Spain.
 

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However its like the working hours directive. This caused untold problems to those companies who had (there aren't many left now) continuous process working with large amounts of heavy plant (furnaces, cupolas etc) running. You just cannot shut these things off and despite running full blown shift patterns with full employment for each shift, holidays, sickness, deaths, bereavements would all wreak havoc on the planning as much of this stuff had minimum staffing levels. Hence there had to be much reliance on overtime and double shifts to even keep the jobs in place.

Like you say, one size cannot fit all. We now have the health and safety bandwagon as well to contend with. Therefore businesses and their managers look to their own and try to find ways around all of these problems which may be immoral but are not yet as such illegal.

regards
Ian
Sorry Ian, I can't quite agree with you. There was nothing wrong with the WTD, employees could opt out if they wished and most did if their job offered overtime. It also guaranteed that an employer could not make an employee give up the necessary rest periods to the danger of him/herself, other employees, members of the public, etc. Likewise the HSA, nothing wrong with it provided it is used sensibly and not as a union weapon against management, it offers employees a high degree of protection from the excesses of employers who put profit before the safety of their workers.

What is needed is more involvement from qualified and involved people in the law-making process to reduce the incidence of OTT and silly things. Having, personally, had a number of proposed laws changed for those reasons, I am aghast at some of the stuff the lawmakers (often at the behest of governments [being driven by those with vested financial interest]) try to slip through and have even been in the press and on radio about the subjects.
 

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Sorry Ian, I can't quite agree with you. There was nothing wrong with the WTD, employees could opt out if they wished and most did if their job offered overtime. It also guaranteed that an employer could not make an employee give up the necessary rest periods to the danger of him/herself, other employees, members of the public, etc. Likewise the HSA, nothing wrong with it provided it is used sensibly and not as a union weapon against management, it offers employees a high degree of protection from the excesses of employers who put profit before the safety of their workers.

What is needed is more involvement from qualified and involved people in the law-making process to reduce the incidence of OTT and silly things. Having, personally, had a number of proposed laws changed for those reasons, I am aghast at some of the stuff the lawmakers (often at the behest of governments [being driven by those with vested financial interest]) try to slip through and have even been in the press and on radio about the subjects.
I think we will have to disagree over the first paragraph but the second paragraph I have full sympathy for without qualification. However I would add that much comes from the over complication of relatively simple matters by a bureaucratic regime (along with poor quality politicians) that feels it has to justify its existence continuously. A simple example is the RFI/EMI so called directive (radio frequency interference/electro magnetic interference). I first had to deal with this in the mid 1980's and subsequently 1990/1992. The stuff we were building could easily sterilize the adult male at 3 metres if the leakages were of the correct height. Treu -- don't laugh. However the EU Technical commission in its wisdom issued a book of GUIDELINES---- note GUIDELINES. A4 size some 6mm thick. Within three weeks of its issue the British Civil Service had turned this into a 3 volume set of DIRECTIVES each the size of a large telephone directory.

When questioned I ws informed that this was necessary because of the "vagaries" of the English language.

regards
Ian
 

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It's now 20 days if the firm has made a loss in the last three quarterly periods, and capped at 24 months (down from 42).

It's meaningless to compare Spain with the UK because Spain doesn't have the same unemployment benefits provided by the State.
That may be so but the burden on the individual enterprise remains excessive in Spain. Benefits are funded by millions of taxpayers but each individual firm has to meet redundancy costs and for some PYMES already struggling to keep afloat a high redundancy bill can be a death knell.
 

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Some of this I think comes from the attempts at rationalisation of employment law across the whole of the EU. Some countries embrace the whole thing, others find ways around the ramifications. The uK is one of the worst offenders. However its like the working hours directive. This caused untold problems to those companies who had (there aren't many left now) continuous process working with large amounts of heavy plant (furnaces, cupolas etc) running. You just cannot shut these things off and despite running full blown shift patterns with full employment for each shift, holidays, sickness, deaths, bereavements would all wreak havoc on the planning as much of this stuff had minimum staffing levels. Hence there had to be much reliance on overtime and double shifts to even keep the jobs in place.

Like you say, one size cannot fit all. We now have the health and safety bandwagon as well to contend with. Therefore businesses and their managers look to their own and try to find ways around all of these problems which may be immoral but are not yet as such illegal.

regards
Ian
Two points: one, our business was a 24hour operation and we had no problems with the Working Hours Directive. Our guys signed their waiver. After that, it's up to the Manager to arrange humane shift patterns.

Second, thank goodness for Health and Safety legislation and the law that allows Company Directors to be prosecuted for any shortcomings.
Our business was one potentially fraught with dangers for employees: fumes, dangerous equipment, heavy parts and machinery, inspection pits that were traps for the unwary ....we provided our employees with all the safety gear required, industrial boots, overalls, eye shields, headgear, the lot....but some of them preferred trainers to steel capped boots and never bothered with eye protection. But then the first line of the legislation states 'The employee is primarily responsible for his/her safety' or something similar.
Chopera is right: SMES/PYMES come in all shapes and sizes, nature of business and so on, from shops selling knitting gear to big workshops and specialised engineering firms.
Sadly, very few people in politics have any experience in working in what in many countries is the sector that contributes most to the nation's prosperity.

I wouldn't say 'businesses and their managers' look to illegal or immoral ways to get round legislation they don't like. That's a sweeping generalisation. A few might, most don't. We certainly didn't.
 

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Whilst it's inevitable that people compare with what they know best, it really is difficult, and often fruitless to compare systems in different countries
But you can compare cost to employers of redundancy pay and in Spain it's still too high.
Many PYMES have a choice between the devil and the deep when facing empty order books. Keep employees on and risk the very existence of your enterprise and the jobs of the remaining employees or make surplus workers redundant ....and be bankrupted too.

The important thing with redundancies is consultation with the workforce. When we had to make redundancies at school we notified the Union that there was a redundancy situation, I think it was called a C 10 alert or similar. Then a Union rep would meet with the Senior Management Team to discuss if redundancies were needed and if so what was the fairest way of going about it.

Sometimes we did a skills audit, sometimes we proceeded on the basis of Last In, First Out. The important thing was transparency.
 

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Since when in the UK did any company have to bear the full costs of its own redundancy programme?

I don't know about the Spanish legislation. I can remember a number of major redundancy programmes, Guest Keen and Nettlefolds, British Leyland Motor Corporation being just two and Labour Exchange officers were sent out to advise workers and companies as to what and how and who would be paying what amounts. Statutory redundancy pay is mainly paid from the public purse if the business has no money and certainly IS paid from the public purse in the case of liquidation. And why would there be redundancy in the first place if the business had any money?

I would have thought that a Labour expert in everything would have known this. I have been on both sides of this from experience.

regards
 

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From ACAS Today!

Redundancy payments and notice
Redundancy payments

Employees may be entitled to redundancy payments if they have been continuously employed for at least 2 years and are dismissed due to one of the following possible reasons for redundancy:

closure of a business
closure of the employee's workplace
a diminishing need for employees to do the available work.

If you have no contractually-enhanced redundancy pay arrangements, all your employees with at least two years' continuous employment get a statutory redundancy pay entitlement of:

0.5 week's pay for each full year of service while they were under 22
1 week's pay for each full year of service while they were 22 or older, but under 41
1.5 week's pay for each full year of service while they were 41 or older.

Employees can only count a maximum of 20 years' service and the 'weekly pay' is subject to an upper limit.

The statutory redundancy payment is capped at £464 a week. From 6 April 2015 the payment cap will increase to £475 a week.

If you have cash-flow problems so serious that making the redundancy payment would put the future of your business at serious risk, the Redundancy Payments Service (RPS) can arrange to pay the employee direct from the National Insurance Fund. If you are insolvent, the RPS makes the payment and the debt is recovered from the assets of your business.
Redundancy notice

Employees who are selected for redundancy must be given a notice period before their employment ends. The statutory notice periods are:

at least one week's notice if the employee has been employed between one month and two years
one weeks notice for each year of employment between two years and 12 years
12 weeks notice for someone who has been employed for 12 or more years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
But 24 months is still a pretty generous cap - you need to work with the same company for 25 years before you reach it.



I think Spain has more unemployment benefit provided by the state than the UK, although the UK provides other benefits as well, whereas in Spain the paro is pretty much all there is.

Yes it's dificult to compare countries, but wasn't there a thread recently about the benefits of looking to other countries to see how they do things?

I can only compare what I know, based on my experience, and based on my experience redundancy payments for indefinido contracts is still too high - in the skilled private sector you need to have a flow of skills and ideas between companies, so the sector as a whole improves. You shouldn't have people spending their entire working life behind the same desk doing the same "job", even after that job has become obsolete - it's not good for them or their employer - but that's what I see happening in Spain.
I'm more concerned with the unskilled sector or specialised skills that are specific to a certain industry. You will have seen on Pesky's signature that unemployment in Cadiz is the highest in Spain. This is because several multinationals took advantage of tax breaks to set up their production plants here when Spain first joined the EU, then pulled out when they could get cheaper labour elsewhere (e.g. Eastern Europe).

This left thousands of workers effectively on the scrapheap - there is no other work here, the fishing industry has shrunk and agriculture has largely been mechanised. There is no housing benefit and if they hadn't had substantial redundancy payments to settle their mortgages they'd be on the street now (in fact some are).

This is the unacceptable face of capitalism IMO. Not all firms act as responsibly as Mary's appears to have done, especially the multinationals for whom labour is just another resource to be sacrificed in the pursuit of higher profits for shareholders and bigger bonuses for senior management. The scale has to be more evenly balanced.
 

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I'm more concerned with the unskilled sector or specialised skills that are specific to a certain industry. You will have seen on Pesky's signature that unemployment in Cadiz is the highest in Spain. This is because several multinationals took advantage of tax breaks to set up their production plants here when Spain first joined the EU, then pulled out when they could get cheaper labour elsewhere (e.g. Eastern Europe).

This left thousands of workers effectively on the scrapheap - there is no other work here, the fishing industry has shrunk and agriculture has largely been mechanised. There is no housing benefit and if they hadn't had substantial redundancy payments to settle their mortgages they'd be on the street now (in fact some are).

This is the unacceptable face of capitalism IMO. Not all firms act as responsibly as Mary's appears to have done, especially the multinationals for whom labour is just another resource to be sacrificed in the pursuit of higher profits for shareholders and bigger bonuses for senior management. The scale has to be more evenly balanced.
Does this not mirror what has happened elsewhere in the EU? For example Ireland. Dublin had a huge "technology" corridor running west until the Brussels money ran out. Wales has had LG (public purse lost about 21 million) Samsung solar panels about 13 million down the tubes, There are other examples. However I seem to remember the sales pitch for the EEC as it was in that workers and work would be protected within the trading zone from exactly this sort of thing. Edward Heath?, now who was it in Labour?

regards
 

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Does this not mirror what has happened elsewhere in the EU? For example Ireland. Dublin had a huge "technology" corridor running west until the Brussels money ran out. Wales has had LG (public purse lost about 21 million) Samsung solar panels about 13 million down the tubes, There are other examples. However I seem to remember the sales pitch for the EEC as it was in that workers and work would be protected within the trading zone from exactly this sort of thing. Edward Heath?, now who was it in Labour?

regards
Edward Heath signed up for it. Harold Wilson had a referendum on whether we should come out in 1975 - the nation voted "NO"
 

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I'm more concerned with the unskilled sector or specialised skills that are specific to a certain industry. You will have seen on Pesky's signature that unemployment in Cadiz is the highest in Spain. This is because several multinationals took advantage of tax breaks to set up their production plants here when Spain first joined the EU, then pulled out when they could get cheaper labour elsewhere (e.g. Eastern Europe).

This left thousands of workers effectively on the scrapheap - there is no other work here, the fishing industry has shrunk and agriculture has largely been mechanised. There is no housing benefit and if they hadn't had substantial redundancy payments to settle their mortgages they'd be on the street now (in fact some are).

This is the unacceptable face of capitalism IMO. Not all firms act as responsibly as Mary's appears to have done, especially the multinationals for whom labour is just another resource to be sacrificed in the pursuit of higher profits for shareholders and bigger bonuses for senior management. The scale has to be more evenly balanced.
That has happened all over the EU. Peugeot opened a plant in Trnava, Slovakia...I heard it has closed and relocated to Romania,
The question is, though, what can be done? Should these companies not have been enticed in the first place? There must have been a tremendous saving in labour costs after taking into consideration the costs of relocation plus redundancy payments. Do these multinationals get a second set of tax breaks when they relocate?
Maybe the granting of tax concessions should come with strings....like having to repay grants if you relocate within a fixed period of time..
The problem is attracting companies of any size to set up and offer employment. It's obviously not feasible for the public sector to ofer employment opportunities on a large and lasting scale.
And if Podemos/Anticapitalista Izquierda gets too much power or influence, few will want to invest in Andalucia. Look at the capital that has left Greece.
It's a depressing situation with few obvious solutions.
 

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I'm more concerned with the unskilled sector or specialised skills that are specific to a certain industry. You will have seen on Pesky's signature that unemployment in Cadiz is the highest in Spain. This is because several multinationals took advantage of tax breaks to set up their production plants here when Spain first joined the EU, then pulled out when they could get cheaper labour elsewhere (e.g. Eastern Europe).

This left thousands of workers effectively on the scrapheap - there is no other work here, the fishing industry has shrunk and agriculture has largely been mechanised. There is no housing benefit and if they hadn't had substantial redundancy payments to settle their mortgages they'd be on the street now (in fact some are).

This is the unacceptable face of capitalism IMO. Not all firms act as responsibly as Mary's appears to have done, especially the multinationals for whom labour is just another resource to be sacrificed in the pursuit of higher profits for shareholders and bigger bonuses for senior management. The scale has to be more evenly balanced.
While there certainly are unacceptable faces of capitalism, this example isn't one of them. A private company has come to an area, provided employment for a generation, and the area has improved. It then moves to another poorer area and provides employment there instead, after paying a decent redundancy to the workers it lays off.

Now unless you have some prejudice against Eastern Europeans I can't see how you can find anything wrong with this. And besides, the company has no choice - if it stays where it is, paying higher wages then it will be undercut by a competitor with factories in Eastern Europe and it will go bust anyway. It was up to the Cádiz area to use the investment it received in a wise and sustainable way, to stimulate other industries and encourage innovation, and educate the next generation so they could branch out into other industry sectors. It obviously didn't. Now the locals will have to move to find work - like most people have to. Sorry but that's what the EU is all about.
 

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Not necessarily Chopera. There are two German companies paying the price for just the sort of thing that you are describing at this very moment. These two companies used to be bitter rivals. now are owned under the same umbrella. Both produced products that were of extremely good quality, not cheap and were revered in their field across the world. Admittedly this was in the hobby industry.

One attempted a move of some its products to China. This failed. Both were bought out by venture capitalists and went through a painful period of administrations, law suits in the USA. Without further detail, they are now all manufactured in Hungary, the prices have over doubled and the quality is some of the worst I and many others have seen for over ten years (even the Chinese failures). This has virtually collapsed the whole of their market, certainly here in the UK and due to the lawsuits cannot even market their own products under their own name in the United States. Membership of specialist hobby groups that bought this stuff fell in two years by over 50%.

So hoisted on their own petard springs to mind.

regards
Ian
 

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While there certainly are unacceptable faces of capitalism, this example isn't one of them. A private company has come to an area, provided employment for a generation, and the area has improved. It then moves to another poorer area and provides employment there instead, after paying a decent redundancy to the workers it lays off.

Now unless you have some prejudice against Eastern Europeans I can't see how you can find anything wrong with this. And besides, the company has no choice - if it stays where it is, paying higher wages then it will be undercut by a competitor with factories in Eastern Europe and it will go bust anyway. It was up to the Cádiz area to use the investment it received in a wise and sustainable way, to stimulate other industries and encourage innovation, and educate the next generation so they could branch out into other industry sectors. It obviously didn't. Now the locals will have to move to find work - like most people have to. Sorry but that's what the EU is all about.
That is generally how it is.
There are some basic truths here, which are not often brought into light because they are unpalatable.
The first is that in the so-called boom years, Spain, Greece and other European countries gave themselves massive pay rises on the back of the cheap credit that was available due to the Single European Act. The result was that Spain and Greece, to take two examples, saw pay rise at a rate of three times German levels whereas productivity slumped to below German levels. This enabled expenditure not only of a personal kind, cars, tvs, second homes and so on but also enabled investment in infrastructure of all kinds.
I have been visiting Spain since the mid 1960s and the transformation of the country since the demise of Franco, the introduction of parliamentary democracy and membership of the EU has been staggering. But as PW once reminded us, even in the 'good' times, unemployment never sank below 8%. But this material progress was predicated on the neo-liberal experiment, the vacuity of which is now only too apparent.
The paradox is that in order to get people back to work we have to encourage the resumption of the kind of economy and consumer habits that many deplore - see thread on 'the simple life'. If we all go back to the kind of life that was the norm pre 1970 we will have to forego a lot of the things we take for granted. Some people won't mind....most will.
We live in a world where capital can create wealth without the need for production activity of any kind, as Piketty pointed out in 'Capital in the Twenty-First Century'.
We live in a world of global competition where as Chopera points out rivals in low-wage countries can force others in to a downward spiral.
We in the UK also live in a world of credit, of hire purchase ownership, where your house, car, tv, holiday even last night's dinner in that posh restaurant is paid on the plastic. Personal and government debt are the new norm.

Whereas in some countries, notably Germany and Austria, the use of credit cards is almost unknown. France used to be the same but is succumbing to Anglo-Saxon habits. Germans tend to buy what they can afford. They save and invest in their local and national economies.

The amount of anti-German feeling in Greece -apparently that clown Varafoukas launched into a tirade on Nazism at his first meeting with EU Ministers - would never be applied to any other nation in the world without rightly accusations of xenophobia and racism. I think it's as I said, partly envy that a thoroughly defeated nation with help but largely through its own hard work and economic prudence should eclipse the nations that defeated it. Then there's annoyance from the left that it has a social market model of capitalism that works.
Then there's the Nicolas Ridley model...remember his drunken tirade against Germany which forced Thatcher to sack him?
I can think of no other nation whose people, not government, has been subjected to so much cheap and largely ignorant abuse.
Now if Germans were black....:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
That has happened all over the EU. Peugeot opened a plant in Trnava, Slovakia...I heard it has closed and relocated to Romania,
The question is, though, what can be done? Should these companies not have been enticed in the first place? There must have been a tremendous saving in labour costs after taking into consideration the costs of relocation plus redundancy payments. Do these multinationals get a second set of tax breaks when they relocate?
Maybe the granting of tax concessions should come with strings....like having to repay grants if you relocate within a fixed period of time..
The problem is attracting companies of any size to set up and offer employment. It's obviously not feasible for the public sector to ofer employment opportunities on a large and lasting scale.
And if Podemos/Anticapitalista Izquierda gets too much power or influence, few will want to invest in Andalucia. Look at the capital that has left Greece.
It's a depressing situation with few obvious solutions.
When countries have to compete against each other to attract multinationals they will bargain down to the bottom line. The alternative isn't necessarily to create more public sector jobs, but to invest in home-grown industries whose workers have a stake in their success (as you described earlier). Give the tax breaks to them, not to the fly-by-night multinationals.
 

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When countries have to compete against each other to attract multinationals they will bargain down to the bottom line. The alternative isn't necessarily to create more public sector jobs, but to invest in home-grown industries whose workers have a stake in their success (as you described earlier). Give the tax breaks to them, not to the fly-by-night multinationals.
The trouble is the general public don't give backhanders to the politicians who make the decisions, whereas multinationals do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
While there certainly are unacceptable faces of capitalism, this example isn't one of them. A private company has come to an area, provided employment for a generation, and the area has improved. It then moves to another poorer area and provides employment there instead, after paying a decent redundancy to the workers it lays off.

Now unless you have some prejudice against Eastern Europeans I can't see how you can find anything wrong with this. And besides, the company has no choice - if it stays where it is, paying higher wages then it will be undercut by a competitor with factories in Eastern Europe and it will go bust anyway. It was up to the Cádiz area to use the investment it received in a wise and sustainable way, to stimulate other industries and encourage innovation, and educate the next generation so they could branch out into other industry sectors. It obviously didn't. Now the locals will have to move to find work - like most people have to. Sorry but that's what the EU is all about.
Firstly, the area hasn't improved. What was once a beautiful bay and nature reserve with tourist potential is now an industrial wasteland.

I don't have a prejudice against Eastern Europeans, that's not the point. The same thing is happening there. People think they have secure jobs, so they buy houses and start families - then it's all snatched away from them. They can't all move to where the work is. The young single ones do, in a brain-drain which adds to the malaise of the region.

Up until the start of the recession Spain invested heavily in educating its workforce and in R&D. We now have a million unemployed engineers and STM research funding has been slashed. If that's what the EU is all about then it's time we left. Things have to change if we are ever to get back on our feet.
 

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Not really. We rid ourselves of credit cards and loans other than a very small mortgage in 2009, including overdrafts on the business and personally. So No not all of us in the UK live off credit very far from it as I know many others who do the same. Having spent a long time as an unpaid volunteer on debt advice sites and forums helping others to get into the same position since 2006, yes I do know a lot who eschew credit.

It is a fact that credit card business fell by 75% at one stage and has never recovered to the halycon (?? for the card companies) days of 2006/2007. Part of which is the fact that many are now educating themselves with no help from either the authorities or the politicians asa to their legal rights and are prepared to fight back with the legislation put there to protect their interests and the politicians wished we didn't know about it would seem.

Fortunately the judges have woken up to it as well and realise they cannot stem the rising tide.

regards
Ian
 
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