Human Resource Management In Spain

Human Resource Management In Spain

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The story of Spain's economy did not take off until 1975 where they eventually turned into a democracy when General Franco and his regime died. The Spaniards once again looked to their king to take them into the unknown territory of democracy and brought them closer to the European Union.
Through out the 20th century just 1/3 of the population either had a job or was looking for one. In 1965 it touched record levels where unemployment was hovering at about 38.5%. However this number decreased in the 80s to about 33%-34%.
Compared to other European countries in the 1970s Spain had the lowest participation by women, which was at 18% of all women in Spain. This is to be compared to Italy, which was at about 26% and in northern Europe, which was about 30% to 40 %. However with benefits, incentives, government policies, and legislation this value was raised to about 30% to 40% of the population of women working in the labour force.
In the late 1980s Spain's economy was growing. This was mainly due to the rise in the employment, improved equipments, rise in industrial production and mainly government policies. However the figures might be false to a certain extent because it was believed that the underground economy had also contributed to the booming economy (

The Spanish labour market is affected by tradition and culture, so there are two principal reasons that could represent the labor market in Spain. Firstly, there is a very high rate of unemployment besides the economic growth. Secondly, an individual tends to be unemployed for long time. Looking at the period from 1987 to 1991, there is 57.4%, unemployment in Spain. So in twentieth century, it was around 52.7% probably because the labor market was rigid.
After the government allowed the extensive use of temporary labour contracts, the employment in Spain had grown and they represent more than 90% of new hires. Beside that, throughout the nineties, Spanish labour market included young workers, women and others in lower qualification levels were affected by labour turnover.

Source: ILO: 2003-2004 Key Indicators of the Labor Market (Geneva, 2003) (

According to the above table, total employment, which includes employees, employers, own-account workers and so on in Spain from 1997 to 2002 base on female with the highest level, continue with male and female.

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Moreover, the general age group is 15 years and over.

Source: ILO: 2003-2004 Key Indicators of the Labor Market (Geneva, 2003)

In part time chart, there is a big difference between female rate and male rate. These tables give higher education in women labor market than man. Young labor market also show young people start working from 15 years and lower education.

Source: (
In 2004, the Spanish economy had growth of 2.7% which is 2% more than the previous year and 7% greater than 2002. Spanish GDP grew higher than European neighbors by 1.6%. According to this table, the highest rate in unemployment was 2000. In 2004, unemployment rate dropped down to 10.8%. Moreover, the industry saw there is a drop 3.5% in unemployment and 1.6% growth of employment.

Spain is committed to promote employment as a member of European Union. All employment legislation in Spain is based on EU Employment Directive. However, EU Employment Directive does not offer the maximum protection of employees and promotion of equality in the work place. Therefore, Local legislation that already exists is on the basis of legal aspect for both employees and employers in Spain.
Legal requirement:
EU nationalities do not need work permit, once they get a job, the employment contract will be necessary to apply for the residence card.
Non-EU nationalities present a job offer or contract, which is necessary to enter Spain. Then they will need to apply for the work and residence permit.
Working hours:
l The standard work is 40 hours per week.
l The standard weekly, uninterrupted rest is one and half days.
l Daily maximum working hours is 9 per day.
l A minimum of 12 hours rest between working days.
l Overtime is 80 hours per year
l National holidays are 14 days and the vacation period is 30 calendar days

These legal limits have been lowered and have also been greatly improved on by collective bargaining. The legal maximum has gradually been shortened from an initial 48 hours per week (1919) to 44 hours (1976), to 40 hours (1983), which is the current figure, though this is usually reduced by collective agreements, which now tend towards a working week of 36-38 hours (

Equal treatment:
l Nationals
As long as they are in paid employment they all have the same priority as national employees.
l Gender
Equal Treatment Directive states that there should be no discrimination on grounds of sex, either directly or indirectly, nor by reference to marital or family status, in access to employment, training, working conditions.

Spain has a constitutional monarchy and 17 autonomous communities and 2 autonomous cities form Spain. The literacy rate of Spain as of 2003 was 98.1%, which had the literate men with 98.8% and the women with 97.4%. These numbers show that Spain encourages education and this is proved, as the State Education is free and compulsory from 6-16 years. Spain has a wide range of local schools, international schools as well as schools providing higher education in the fields of science, arts etc. Taking this into consideration, the authors conclude that the Spanish workforce is well educated and skilled henceforth not much money is invested in training programs for the staff of the upcoming hotel.
Spain received 53.6 million tourists in 2004 which is the second highest amongst all the countries in the world along with 66,772,794 hotels which shows that the government encourages tourism and locals to be a part of the hotel and tourism industry as they generate employment (
The goal of the Spanish labour minister is to reduce the number of the temporary job contracts as this poses a great threat as employees with reduced severance costs and longer working hours exploit most of the workers. A law was passed which made it compulsory for employers to give permanent contracts for workers who were working for longer than 30 months and incentives were provided to employers with lower firing costs and reduction in social security contributions (

Spaniards are very cultural and into tradition and due to their location are influenced by their neighboring countries. Spain's unique regions are not only geographically different but form a vital part of the Spaniard's personality and identity.
Spaniards place great emphasis on personal pride therefore; embarrassment should be avoided at all times. Capability and control form the two most important elements of a Spaniard's work ethics. Individualism is highly valued in Spain so personal attributes and character is as valued as technical ability and experience. Therefore, a Spaniard manager favors fewer group decision-making and team work. Punctuality is expected from foreign visitors. The Spaniards prefer establishing personal contacts as it hastens the negotiating process.
Maintaining a friendly and personal atmosphere during negotiations is important. Spanish business culture also requires a sense of self-dignity, consideration and international relations. Courtesy titles like Mr, Mrs, Miss or Dr should be used along with correct surnames.
Business discussions at the start of a meeting should be avoided, as Spaniards will want to establish a familiar environment on which to build new business relationships. This may include asking personal questions regarding family life and background. Signs of over assertiveness or superiority should be avoided, as Spaniards prefer a more modest approach (

Since the authors


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