Bank Pays Workers to Take 5-Year Vacation

Employees should go pursue 'personal projects,' bosses say
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2009 6:53 AM CDT
The ch,airman of the BBVA bank, Francisco Gonzalez gives a speech during a presentation of the bank's strategic innovation and transformation plan in Madrid, Thursday, May 24, 2007.   (AP Photo/Paul White)
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(Newser) – Spain's second-largest bank is taking the creative route to cost-cutting—offering its workers 5 years' paid vacation. Staff at BBVA who want to take time off to focus on "personal or professional projects" can receive 30% salary plus benefits, in addition to a guaranteed job when they return. The bank's HR chief tried to put a brave face on the situation: "We’re looking at offering alternatives to people," he told the Financial Times.