Since the entry into force of Organic Law 3/2007, of March 22, for the effective equality of women and men, it was established that any company that exceeds 250 workers must establish and implement equality plans in companies. Now the Government offers aid for SMEs with the aim that these programs are also established in smaller companies.

The obligation to establish equality plans in companies with more than 250 workers becomes voluntary in the case of smaller companies, having to inform, previously, the legal representation of the workers.

To increase this activity in these companies, the Government calls for a series of
grants for SMEs of between 30 and 250 workers,
trying to increase gender equality in the labor market in 2017 and 2018.

Requirements to apply for these grants for SMEs

One of the requirements to acquire this aid for small companies is that, previously, they would not have incorporated an equality plan,regardless of whether or not they had public subsidies.

On the other hand, these equality plans in companies will have to be preceded by an elaboration of a situation diagnosis,which must show statistics of women and men, showing the current situation of the company.

In such a way that, the plan must respond to the deficiencies and problems that the diagnosis previously elaborated has yielded.

Once the plan is drawn up, another of the requirements for the company will be to carry it out before August 31, 2018,otherwise these aid for companies will be withdrawn.

On the legal form of the entity to receive this type of aid, may be companies, cooperative societies, communities of goods, associations and foundations.

Amount of aid for companies that advocate equality

The aid for SMEs will be marked by a budget of 1,243,875 euros,which will be taken care of by the Institute for Women and Equal Opportunities of the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality.

65% of this budget will be allocated to 2017 and the rest to 2018.

In line with this budget the amount that each company can acquire will be determined by the number of people on staff and by the score obtained,according to the criteria established in the resolution of the ministry, having each subsidy a maximum of 9,000 euros and a minimum of 5,000 euros.

In addition, this aid will have to be used to cover expenses derived from:

  • The elaboration of the situation diagnosis.
  • The elaboration of the security plan.
  • The implementation of the first phase of implementation of the measures established as priorities.

Investment goods and their depreciation expenses will not be subsidized. In the same way, any type of furniture, infrastructure or any expense that exceeds the market value.

Equality and Conciliation Policies in Spanish Companies

Spanish companies must include in their equality plans non-sexist measures,which guarantee the commitment on the part of the company and the legal representatives of the workers for their follow-up.

These actions should also focus in particular on the areas of access to employment, working conditions, professional promotion and training, organisation of working time, prevention and action against sexual harassment and harassment based on sex, and the non-discriminatory use of language, communication and advertising.

So, currently, Spanish companies,in line with the areas mentioned above, increase measures such as making hours more flexible in the case of workers with children,carrying out actions that equalize wages between the sexes within the company, promoting a policy of equal job promotions

or carrying out training courses in an equitable manner among workers, putting both sexes on the same bar.

Why is aid for companies necessary?

According to a study by Leialta, only 10% of companies bound by the effective equality law take measures to achieve these goals.

This leads us to think that the percentage of companies with 30 to 250 workers, not obligated, would mostly only try to adapt equality measures if they acquired some type of aid for SMEs.

The data are chilling, unemployment in women is more than three points above that of men and there is still a more surprising fact, 67% of Spanish companies do not have any women in their workforce,demonstrating that they are far from the levels of equal employment that much of Europe has.

In the section of women in leadership positions, Spain is ranked 64th out of 174 countries, within the Gender Gap 2016 report of the World Economic Forum.

This report also shows that since the crisis of 2008, labor inequality between men and women has been increasing, so today we can talk about equality plans in companies as a fundamental point to reach labor equality between genders.

for SMEs
will be almost an obligatory requirement for the company to find an incentive to carry out these plans.