Anybody who has worked under contract or run a business in Spain, will no doubt be familiar with the laws regarding employees’ rights and how it seems to always sway in the latter’s favour.
This is of course excellent for the employees, however, it can be seen as a painful thorn in the side of proprietors, management and company administrators wishing to sever ties with unwanted and often troublesome members of their staff.
Laws put in place to protect employees from unfair dismissals and exploitation in the workplace have often been abused, with employers having to pay out high and at times unfair amounts of compensation to the aforementioned.
This is currently the case at Marbella’s Town Hall as the heads of the powers-that-be are reeling after suggestions have been made that Juan Antonio Roca, municipal real estate assessor thought to have masterminded the largest corruption scam in Spain’s history, may be entitled to compensation for being sacked from his post.
If he is found to be guilty at his pending trial he will have succeeded in defrauding the town hall and its municipality of hundreds of millions of euros. Roca has been in prison for more than 3 years and on the 24th August, Marbella’s administration was finally able to have him sacked from his post.
The seemingly unreasonable delay has been due to Spain’s previously mentioned employment law and because of this, the town hall was only prepared to act after receiving court clearance to do so.
The final grounds for his dismissal was for “repeatedly failing to present himself for work since March 31, 2006”, this reflecting the date when Roca was first jailed for his part in the Malaya scam.
Soon after the announcement was made regarding his dismissal, a matter of days in fact, Roca challenged the decision on the basis of being innocent until proven guilty and will seek to either regain his post or be compensated.
"We'll go to court" is the angry response from Marbella town hall.