On March 7, 2019, Royal Decree-Law 6/2019, of March 1, 2019, was published in the BOE, with urgent measures for the guarantee of equal treatment and opportunities in employment and occupation, which directly affect labor equality between men and women.
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What is the law on equality between men and women?
The law on equality between men and women aims to ensure compliance with the rights of equal treatment and opportunities between men and women. Unlike the last law for the equality of men and women that was carried out in 2007, the new law will change the day-to-day of companies.
It is intended that both public administrations and private sector companies are a reflection of today’s society.
What are the new features of the law on equality in employment between men and women?
Closing the pay gap
The law on equal opportunities between men and women seeks to reduce the existing wage gap in Spain,which in certain sectors exceeds 23%.
The employer is obliged to keep a record of the average values of the salaries and extra-wage receipts of his staff, disaggregated by sex and distributed by professional groups or categories.
Equalization of paternity leave
The Government aims to equalise paternity leave between men and women, with the aim of reaching 16 weeks of suspension from work at birth, for both parents, by 2021.
Thus, already in 2019, from last April 1, fathers will have 8 weeks of paternity leave. This figure will increase to 12 weeks in 2020, reaching 16 weeks in 2021.
- From April 1, 2019: the suspension of the contract by birth will last for 8 weeks, of which the first two must be enjoyed uninterruptedly after childbirth. The biological mother shall be in a position to assign to the other parent up to four weeks of her period of suspension of non-compulsory enjoyment.
- From January 1, 2020: the suspension of the contract by birth will increase to 12 weeks, having to enjoy the first four uninterrupted. The biological mother may give up to two weeks.
- From January 1, 2021: the 16 weeks of suspension for birth will be reached, of which the first six must be enjoyed uninterruptedly. From here on, neither parent may transfer this right to the other.
Business equality plans
Another of the measures established by the Law on Employment Equality between Men and Women is the creation of equality plans in companies,which must be carried out progressively over a period of three years in companies with more than 50 employees. Large companies with more than 200 employees will have a year to establish these equality plans.
The main objective of equality plans in companies is to weigh women in their working environment. These plans must be registered to check whether they meet the criteria for equal treatment of men and women.
Quotes for caregivers
Social security contributions will also be recovered for all those employees who have to leave their jobs to care for people in a situation of dependency.
In the vast majority of cases they are women, causing a situation of inequality that is shown as the origin of the pension gap.
What sanctions does the Law on Equality in Employment between Men and Women provide for?
The law on equality between men and women establishes a series of sanctions for companies that do not implement the proposed measures,which will be distinguished between minor, serious and very serious infractions.
- Minor infractions:those companies that do not carry out a study on situations of inequality in employment, or put any obstacle to the reconciliation of personal, family and work life, will be punished with a fine of between 60 and 625 euros.
- Serious infractions:actions such as not following up on the equality plan in the company or carrying out a professional classification system in which gender biases are not taken into account, will entail fines of between 626 and 6,250 euros.
- Very serious infractions:terminations of contract during the probationary period due to pregnancy or maternity leave, as well as dismissals of workers who have been victims of gender violence, will lead to fines of up to 50,000 euros.
The new law on equal employment between men and women aims to ensure equal treatment and opportunities for women and men in employment and occupation.