Gender pay gap rules in detail

    Royal Decree-Law 6/2019 (on urgent measures for equal treatment and opportunities between men and women in employment and occupation) entered into force on 8 March 2019. Under it, all companies must create a record of salaries with the average values of salaries, salary supplements and non-salary amounts paid to their workforce. This information must be disaggregated by gender and separated by professional group, professional category and identical jobs or jobs of equal value. 

    In companies of more than 50 employees, when the data collected in the record shows a difference of 25% or more in the total payroll costs or in the average amounts paid to men and women, the salary record must state that this difference is not due to reasons related to gender. 

    An employee who finds him or herself  confronted with sex-based pay discrimination (or other kind of discrimination)will be entitled to claim and to receive compensation and/or some other form of reparation . That reparation is awarded by judicial bodies, including the general civil courts (including labour or social courts and tribunals) and administrative courts, depending on whether the claim for reparation has been brought by an employee in a privately owned company or a civil servant working in the public sector.

    There is general, rather than specific, scope for an administrative sanction for non-compliance. Violation of the right to information, hearing and consultation for employees' legal  representatives can be sanctioned with a fine of up to EUR 6,250. 

    According to Section 46 of Act 3/2007, of 22 March, for the effective equality of women and men, an ‘equality plan’ must be drawn up for companies with more than 50 employees. 

    The obligation to negotiate equality plans previously only applied to companies of more than 250 workers; Royal Decree-Law 6/2019 extends the obligation to negotiate equality plans to all companies with over 50 employees. However, a transitional period to comply with this legal obligation has been established. Companies with over 150 workers will have a transitional period of one year to approve their equality plans, companies with 101 to 150 workers will have  two years, and companies with 51 to 100 workers will have three years to comply. This term runs from the date of publication of the Royal Decree-Law in the Official Gazette: 7 March 2019.

    When drawing up the equality plan, companies will have to produce a set of conclusions relating to: recruitment processes, job classification, training and promotions, terms of employment (including the so-called ‘men and women’s salary audit’), joint responsibility for workers’ exercise of their personal, family and work life rights, the under-representation of women, remuneration, and the prevention of sexual harassment and harassment on the grounds of gender. The conclusions must be negotiated with the workers’ representatives. Finally, equality plans must be recorded in a register to be established for that purpose at the Ministry of Labour.

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    Author: Sagardoy Abogados

    Date: January 2020