Spain – New laws on equal pay and equality plans

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Time to read: 2 min

The Spanish government has recently approved two new rules on equal pay and equality plans which will come into force in January and April 2021 and affect all companies.

1. Royal Decree 901/2020, of October 13, which regulates the equality plans and their registration

An “equality plan” is understood to be that ordered set of measures adopted after carrying out a situation diagnosis, aimed at achieving equal treatment and opportunities between women and men in the company, and eliminating discrimination based on sex.

All companies that have 50 or more workers are obliged to draw up and apply an equality plan, its implementation being voluntary for other companies. In any case, equality plans, including previous diagnoses, must be subject to negotiation with the legal representation of the workers, in accordance with the procedure legally established for that purpose.

Regarding the content of the plans, they must include, among others, definition of quantitative and qualitative objectives, description of the specific measures to be adopted, identification of means and resources, calendar of actions, monitoring and evaluation systems, etc. In addition, they must be subject to mandatory registration in a public registry.

This new Royal Decree will enter into force on January 14, 2021.

2. Royal Decree 902/2020, of October 13, of equal pay between women and men

The purpose of this new Royal Decree is to implement specific measures that make it possible to enforce the right to equal treatment and non-discrimination between women and men in matters of remuneration.

For this, the companies and collective agreements must integrate and apply the so-called “principle of remuneration transparency“, which applied to the different aspects that determine the remuneration of workers, allows obtaining sufficient and significant information on the value attributed to such remuneration.

For the application of the aforementioned principle, the Royal Decree provides, fundamentally, two instruments:

  • remuneration registry: All companies must have an accessible remuneration registry for the legal representation of workers. It must include the average values ​​of salaries, salary supplements and extra-salary perceptions of the entire workforce (including managers and senior positions) disaggregated by sex.
  • remuneration audit: Those companies that draw up an equality plan must include a remuneration audit in it. Its purpose is to check if the company’s remuneration system complies with the effective application of the principle of equality, defining the needs to avoid, correct and prevent obstacles and difficulties that may exist.

The measures contained in this new standard will come into effect on April 14, 2021.

Jose Luis Herrero
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