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Young Spanish employees 'more likely to have accidents at work'

Fri 18th Mar 2011

Critics of Spain's economic system over last three decades, which brought high rates of growth and job creation, was based largely around the exploitation of young employees according to a recent report.

The University of Madrid published the report, and it's author Pablo Lopez Calle, studied the effects of labor reforms over the last three decades, together with the living conditions of younger generations. As well as analyzing the data, the researchers conducted 30 case studies of young people from Madrid with that represented the typical demographic.

In 1984 Spain's first significant labor reform introduced "external flexibility" into the labor market - basically enabling temporary contracts and relaxing rules on firing employees - the study says.

A decade later a second reform focused on the "internal flexibilization" of human resources, which saw employees being able to negotiate salaries and working conditions.

The number of work-related accidents - typically one indicator used to measure how work intensity changes over the years - has increased over the last 15 years and has also been more prevalent in companies with fewer than 50 employees. Accident have been more likely to effect younger employees who are still in their first 12 months of work and are on temporary contracts, the report concludes.

A Spanish employee under the age of 25 is currently four times more likely to suffer an accident at work, than an older colleague, according to the European Agency for Health and Safety at Work.

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