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Regulations to End the Gender Salary Gap

Labor News

On July 30, 2020, within the framework of the social dialogue established between unions, employers and the government, the draft Regulations regarding the application of the principle of equality between men and women were presented by the Ministries of Labor and Equality to establish a Regulation with the criteria to register wages and to implement equality plans in companies with more than 50 workers. The indicated project did not have the support of the representatives of the CEOE and CEPYME employers’ association.

With the entry into force of Royal Decree 6/2019 of March 1, a series of obligations for companies were established in relation to equal opportunities, and take down the glass ceiling, in which the obligation of equal pay was reinforced and the prohibition of maintaining salary differences based on gender. The norm obliges companies with less than 50 workers to keep a record with the average values of wages, salary supplements and extra-salary perceptions of their workforce, disaggregated by gender and distributed by professional groups, occupational categories or jobs of equal value.

As for companies with more than 50 workers, they are obliged to establish an Equality Plan, according to the timetable set depending on the number of employees, as indicated below.

Companies with more than 250 workers Before 06/03/2020
Companies between 151 and 250 workers As of 07/03/2020
Companies between 101 and 150 workers As of 07/03/2021
Companies between 50 and 100 workers As of 07/03/2022.

To this end, the following regulations have been approved for the development of the regulations that are indicated below:

REGULATION FOR EQUAL PAYMENT BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN

Aims to establish specific measures to make effective the right to equal treatment and non-discrimination between women and men in matters of remuneration. It establishes the obligation of REMUNERATION TRANSPARENCY as an element that allows obtaining sufficient and significant information on the value attributed to the remuneration, which will allow to identify discrimination, direct or indirect. All this is intended to be achieved with the following instruments:

  1. The REMUNERATION REGISTRY, which attempts to establish an instrument that will allow companies to execute the obligation of remuneration transparency. The register must collect, disaggregated by sex: Average values of salaries, salary supplements and extra-salary perceptions, which will allow identifying possible situations of direct or indirect remuneration discrimination.
  2. The REMUNERATION AUDIT, establishes the obligation to carry out an audit and the need to establish an action plan to correct the pay gap, determining specific objectives and actions with dates and those responsible for their implementation and monitoring.
  3. The JOB VALUATION SYSTEM of Collective Agreements should be revised to prevent direct or indirect discrimination arising from them. To this end, a computerized job evaluation procedure, managed by the Institute for Women and Equal Opportunities, will be approved.
  4. The RIGHT TO INFORMATION is constituted as a key element of the regulations to act on potential cases of discrimination.

REGULATION OF EQUALITY PLANS AND ITS REGISTRATION

Companies with more than 50 workers which must establish an equality plan also have to carry out a REMUNERATION AUDIT prior to its implementation, with the same aim of obtaining information that allows the identification of discriminatory situations. The necessary actions must be taken to avoid such discrimination and the plan aims to:

  • Define obligated companies and the way to quantify workers, according to the organization.
  • Set deadlines for its negotiation and procedure, and the members of the negotiating committee.
  • Define the content of the plan and its validity, monitoring, evaluation and review.
  • Set the extension and registration of equality plans.

In relation to the REGISTRATION OF EQUALITY PLANS, derived from RD 6/2019 establishes the regulations regarding the following aspects:

  • The procedure for negotiating an equality plan for businesses that lack workers representatives corresponds to the most representative union in the sector.
  • The process has a minimum content, like what is established in collective agreements.
  • In addition, a register of equality plans is established, which is the same as for the register of agreements.

This way, on the one hand, a series of information and transparency obligations are established to allow the identification of situations of potential discrimination within the organizations; However, companies must be careful to comply with these obligations, since at the same time they have to guarantee the individual rights of employees in relation to their salaries while providing accurate information in accordance with the standard. Therefore, it is necessary to be careful when providing the information and demand compliance to fulfill confidentiality rules, which will undoubtedly lead to many labor disputes, which must be anticipated.

On the other hand, and in line with the latest regulations issued in the framework of the state of alarm, a series of guarantees are granted to the most representative unions in the sector in the implementation of company equality plans, having to negotiate with them instead of with employees, which requires organizations to plan ahead to avoid the negotiation shifting away from the real needs of the organization within the framework of equal opportunities.

The UHY Fay & Co labour law area offers its clients specialized services so that the application of said regulations adjusts to the needs of the organization and compliance with the norm allows the improvement of labor relations in the company. As well as an Equal Opportunities area to comply with the new obligations.

Fe López

Socia del Área Laboral UHY Fay & Co

flopez@uhy-fay.com

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