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Business boss feels heat over funeral comments

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Business boss feels heat over funeral comments
José de la Cavada says the current leave entitlement for funerals of family members is excessive. Photo: Paco Calvino/Flickr
10:53 CEST+02:00
The head of labour relations for Spain's biggest employers' association, the CEOE, has come under fire after attacking the four day travel entitlement that employees receive in the event of the death of an immediate family member by saying 'people don't travel in stagecoaches'.

De la Cavada José de la Cavada levelled a serious of criticisms at Spain's Workers' Statute in a speech at Monday's presentation of a report on absenteeism by the recruitment agency Adecco. 

De la Cavada said that the statute, which affords employees four days off if they need to stay away from home overnight to attend the funeral of an immediate relative, was no longer relevant and added: "Obviously with modern vehicles we're talking about just a few hours travel time, or even just an hour."

He went on to comment that Spain's current labour legislation "is a copy of the over-protective laws of the Franco era and doesn't correspond with what people need to attend a family event of this kind."

Spain's right-wing dictator Francisco Franco ruled Spain from the end of the country's civil war in 1939 to his death in 1975.  

De la Cavada demanded an overhaul of employment laws to "ensure that there is no justification for absenteeism", according to Spanish daily El País.

Adecco figures revealed that absenteeism in Spain has actually fallen by 4.3% in the private sector in 2012 but De la Cavada pointed out that the figure was 5.06% in the public sector.

The fall has been attributed to a perceived reduction in job security as a result of the crisis.

De la Calvada continued his speech by saying, "The one who pays is the one who bears the risk, and the absenteeism controls of the Social Security Service leave much to be desired."

His comments sparked a storm of criticism on social networks such as Twitter.

Many commentators highlighted the fact that De la Calvada was fined €25,000 in 2010 for a "very serious" breach of regulations when he was found guilty by Spain's Labour Inspectorate of subjecting his employees to "humiliating practices".

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