Spain, like most European economies, has seen a rough 2009. Profits at local banks like BBVA were down 30%+ in the first quarter and S&P took an axe to the country's sovereign rating. You figure life on the Iberian peninsula must be pretty rough these days. People who still have jobs at Spanish banks surely must be living in constant fear that some heavy handed CEO is going get rid of as many people as possible to trim the fat once and for all.
Well, suffering from extreme separation anxiety, BBVA is taking another path by offering employees up to 5 years paid leave with a guaranteed job when they return. If you're one of the 30,000 BBVA-ians with 5 years to kill and a hobby you've been itching to try, now is your time.
BBVA is offering staff three options: first, leave of three to five years for long-term employees who want to undertake "personal or professional projects", with 30 per cent pay and healthcare on top; second, a shorter working week with reduced pay; and third, special time off for up to two years for those who want to care for children or relatives or take postgraduate courses. All are voluntary and the company reserves the right to refuse those who apply.