“You’re fired!”

Times of uncertainty sharpen the wits. Most employees are clinging to their jobs more than ever, but the crisis has also led to a curious phenomenon in Spain, widespread among top executives who are seeking the most lucrative exit routes possible from their companies.

Real Madrid’s coach, José Mourinho, could be said to exemplify a high-flyer who, by his conduct, is looking to be laid off or to reach an agreement to go, with a pay-out in his sights. This is how Spain’s most important financial newspaper, ‘Expansión’, sees it, in a report published on the practice.

Those seeking dismissals, according to the report, have a clearly defined profile: top-level employees and executives who, given the instability of the business world and the difficulty of the times, choose to leave their companies with the cushion of astronomical redundancy or severance pay-outs.

The other side of the coin, however, is that the company is not always in the best economic position to pay millions in compensation, leading to the process taking longer than desired. Given this, many executives put the proceedings in the hands of labour law specialists, who advise them to force their exit.

The basic strategy is to adopt odd, unexpected behaviour which creates internal conflict and is detrimental to the company in question, until the situation becomes untenable and the path of firing and paying severance is chosen as the lesser of the two evils.

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