Royal Decree Law 6/2019, of March 1, establishes various measures to guarantee workplace gender equality between men and women in employment and occupation.
The fundamental measures in this area are the following:
a. Equality Plans
Said law defines the Equality Plans as “an ordered set of evaluable measures aimed at removing obstacles that hinder or impede the attainment of equality between men and women”.
Likewise, the law indicates that, for the purposes of drawing up the Equality Plans, all companies will be obliged to
” draw up a prior assessment of the situation with the workers` legal representatives, which will address the following areas at least “.
- Selection and contracting process.
- Professional categories.
- Professional promotion and career advancement.
- Working conditions, including wage audits for women and men.
- Shared co-responsibility for the exercise of the rights of private life, family and work.
- Underrepresentation of women.
- Prevention of sexual harassment.
Consequently, the aforementioned obligatory prior assessment which will be tailored to each company, will determine the configuration of the specific measures that will be reasonably adequate and effective for each individual case in order to eradicate or eliminate any employment discrimination based on gender.
Apart from the aforementioned conceptual definition of Equality Plan, as well as the definition of its obligatory prior assessment and the scope of its content, this law implements a fundamental change in relation to the nature of application of such Equality Plans, since it substantially increases the number of companies required to prepare them and follow up.
Effectively, prior to the entry into force of this norm, the Equality Plan was obligatory only in companies with a staff equal to or greater than 250 employees. However, the new law, in addition to continuing with this already operational obligation, sets out the following schedule which is applicable to companies with a smaller workforce:
- Companies between 50 and 100 workers must prepare and apply their Equality Plan within three years.
- Companies with more than 100 employees and up to 150 must develop and apply their Equality Plan within two years.
- Companies with more than 150 employees and up to 250 must prepare and apply their Equality Plan within a year.
Finally, the aforementioned regulation establishes that said Equality Plans must be registered at the specific Registry building which is authorized for this purpose.
b. Company records of salaries
The new law establishes that all companies, regardless of their workforce and activity, must keep records in an official book of the average salary values, salary supplements and extra-salary payments of their workers, according to sex and professional category or group, to guarantee equal pay.
Likewise, it is indicated that any worker has the right to access said records through the workers` legal representatives.
Finally, the aforementioned law provides that companies with more than 50 workers will have the obligation to justify in the company salary records non-discrimination when the differences in the average remuneration of one sex with respect to the other are 25% or more.
These two measures, as well as various labour developments approved by the current Government during the current pre-election period, could be repealed or modified in the event that the Government resulting from the next General Elections of April 28, 2019 is shaped by a party or coalition of different political type to the one who passed these laws during the month of March 2019.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.