Spain Has A Free Market Economy

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Spain has a free market economy like a great number of developed countries, however, its employment laws and regulations have caused its economy to sputter and remain weak when compared to its European and American counterparts. Most Spanish companies will have written employment contracts, even though not required, for its workers. Working hours within Spain are closely monitored and must not exceed an annual average of 40 hours per week, with 80 maximum hours of overtime per year. Holiday and leave time in Spain is considered very generous; maternity leave is a minimum of 16 weeks and there cannot be less than 30 calendar holidays per year. Minimum wage in Spain is just above the European average of 712 euro per month. However, Spain has struggled with unemployment over the past several decades and has hovered around 20-25 percent over the last 5 years. A great deal of Spain’s economic and employment issues can be traced back to its dictatorship which ended in 1975, the country is still feeling the effects of the strict workforce regulations, such as a ban on unions, that were in place at the time. Expatriates are welcome to work in Spain but will face difficult work permit procedures and fierce competition from Spaniards who are out of work. A positive aspect of employment law in Spain is the comprehensive anti-discriminatory regulations that apply to both Spanish and foreign nationals.

INTRODUCTION As globalization continues to tighten its grasp on the business
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