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Back to In this crisis, also 'Spain is different'.

Ángel Baguer Alcalá, Professor of Economics and Personnel Management Service at Tecnun, Universidad de Navarra

In this crisis, also 'Spain is different'.

Wed, 13 Jan 2010 08:44:16 +0000 Published in Navarra Newspaper

Spain is suffering from the world crisis aggravated by a competitiveness crisis, whose origin lies in the speed of destruction of employment, an obsolete labor framework , one of the lowest productivity rates in Europe, one of the highest absenteeism fees and a system educational that is failing.

The crisis in Spain is not only economic. It is also essential to reform the labor framework . The social policy should have as goal that there are no unemployed, not to protect the unemployed. The framework of the 1980 Workers' Statute corrects the 1944 contract law, which in turn was based on that of 1931. Is today's economic policy comparable to that of 80 years ago? Collective bargaining is not an agile instrument and it is unfair because coffee for all discourages the good worker and rewards the bad one.

The solution lies in the consensus of the government, companies and unions in a reform that prevents business fraud in work contracts and allows flexibility in them. This, together with an effective management of the job listings, that looks for the unemployed worker employment quickly, gives him training and that, on the other hand, he accepts the proposed jobs even with the condition of relocation.

Spain is one of the countries with the longest conference and the lowest output per hour worked.
We are at the bottom of the productivity ranking in Europe, where in the period 2001-2007 the increase was 8%, while in Spain it was only 5.8%. In 2006 our country increased 0.8%, half of the European average (1.5%) and in 2005, while Europe grew by 1%, we fell by 1.3%.

The leave productivity is due to framework labor without flexibility, poor management of managers, poor employee behavior, deficit in the use of new technologies and increase of jobs with leave qualification.

The solutions to increase productivity are, on the part of the bosses, to place employee in the right position, delegation of work, a good working environment, programs of training, proper planning and moving from a culture of presence to a culture of results. On the part of employees, rationalizing inactive time (coffee breaks, personal phone calls, Internet), eliminating unjustified absences, organizing work and greater commitment to change. And on the part of the State and trade unions, a more flexible framework .

In 2008 the cost of absenteeism was 12.8 billion euros. According to the INE, 1,300,000 employed people did not go to work every day, with a average of 4.7 hours per worker per week in the fourth quarter, a figure more than 10% higher than the time agreed in collective bargaining agreements. According to Adecco, absenteeism has doubled in the last 4 years, from 3% to 6%, well above the European average of 4.6%.

The causes of unjustified absenteeism are: deficient Personnel Management Service, dishonest attitude of certain employees, obsolete legislation that favors absenteeism and lack of supervision by the inspection of work.

The solution to these problems lies in leadership in organizations instead of toxic and mediocre bosses, reform of legislation to prevent shirking and supervision of sick leave to avoid the current frauds.

According to data of the high school of Youth, young people represent 20% of the population, with a drop in the last decade of about 5%. Eighteen years old is the age average of withdrawal of the programs of study and 75% of young people between 21 and 24 years old are no longer studying.

In 2007, People-Matters conducted a survey of 1,800 young people between the ages of 18 and 30. They were concerned about work , salary, work environment, commuting time and schedule. The training, the business and the content of their work were secondary.

Young people with few programs of study, with no interest in learning and trying to live with the least commitment and effort, is the opposite of what is necessary for the progress of a country. The solution lies in the Education, of families and schools, where there must be a revulsive in the scale of values, especially those linked to work and honesty.

The Economist has pointed out that Spain is the "new European sick man" and the IMF and the European Central Bank are criticizing us. Should we be pessimistic? Absolutely not! We have to be realistic and face reforms as soon as possible. When a storm breaks out on the high seas, the realist ties up the sails, the only valid attitude, not the pessimist or the unconscious optimist, who thinks that the wind will stop.