Logo Guide to Business in Spain

14Equality in the workplace

Companies are obliged to respect equal treatment and opportunities in the workplace, for which they must adopt measures aimed at avoiding any type of labor discrimination between women and men.

Companies with 50 or more workers need to implement and apply an equality plan, with the scope and content established by law, which must be negotiated with the legal representation of the workers.

Equality plans must contain an ordered set of evaluable measures aimed at removing obstacles that impede or hinder the effective equality of women and men. Before establishing the plan, a negotiated diagnosis should be drawn up, where appropriate, with the legal representation of the workers, which will contain at least the following subjects:

  1. Selection and contracting process.
  2. Professional classification.
  3. Training.
  4. Professional promotion.
  5. Working conditions, including the salary audit between women and men.
  6. Co-responsible exercise of the rights of personal, family and work life.
  7. Under-representation of women.
  8. Remuneration.
  9. Prevention of sexual harassment and because of sex.

In addition, companies must keep a record with the average values of salaries, salary supplements and extra-salary perceptions, disaggregated by sex, professional groups, professional categories or positions of equal value. Employees have the right to access, through the legal representation of workers in the company, the salary record of their company. Where there are no workers’ representatives, the employees can only have access to the percentage differences that exist between the averaged remunerations of men and women.

When in a company with at least fifty workers, the average remuneration for workers of one sex is higher than the other by 25% or more, taking the whole of the payroll or the average of the salaries paid, the employer must include in the salary record a justification that said difference responds to reasons not related to the sex of the workers. The wage registry has certain specialties in companies that have an equality plan and, thus, carry out a pay audit (that requires the evaluation of positions and the establishment of a plan to correct the remuneration differences).

The validity period of equality plans may not exceed four years and they are subject to compulsory registration in the Public Register of Collective Agreements and Collective Bargaining Agreements.

Equally, Spain has passed Law 15/2022, of July 12, 2022, the comprehensive law for equal treatment and non-discrimination, which recognizes the right to equal treatment and non-discrimination of individuals regardless of their nationality, whether they are minors or of age, or whether or not they have legal residence. It stipulates that nobody may be discriminated against on the basis of birth, racial or ethnic origin, sex, religion, beliefs or opinions, age, disability, sexual orientation or identity, gender expression, ill health or a medical condition, serological status and/or genetic predisposition towards health problems and disorders, language, socioeconomic status, or any other personal or social condition.

Law 4/2023, of February 28, 2023, for real and actual equality of transgender people and to guarantee the rights of LGBTI people has also recently been published.