Actualidad Spain

Gender equality measures to ensure that men and women are treated equally

Royal Decree 6/2019, 1 March

Royal Decree 6/2019, 1st March, with urgent measures to ensure that men and women are treated equally and given the same opportunities in the workplace, aims to give society a legal framework for further progress towards completely equal treatment and opportunities.

We have summarized its key contents below:

Effective equality

Clause 1 explains the amendments to Organic Law 3/2007, 22 March on effective equality between women and men (LOIHM) and essentially extends the requirement for companies with 50 or more workers to write equality plans, creating the obligation to register these in the record that will be set up for this purpose, pursuant to the regulation. It sets a transition period for compliance with these obligations, that varies according to the number of employees:

  • 1 year for companies with 150 to 250 people
  • 2 years for those with 100 to 150 people
  • 3 years for companies with 50 to 100 workers

This clause is given more context in clause 6,  amending the consolidated text of the Social Order Infractions & Sanctions, passed by Royal Decree 5/2000, 4 August. It defines infractions in more detail, classifying as a serious infraction non-compliance on the part of businessowners with their obligations relative to equality plans and measures that have been laid down, not only in the Workers' Statute or applicable collective agreement, but also in the LOIHM.

Workers' Right

Clause 2 refers to the reworking of the consolidated text of the Workers' Statute, passed by Royal Decree 2/2015, 23 October , and restates the right of workers to a reasonable personal, family and work balance.

It explicitly regulates workers' right to the pay corresponding to their labor, specifying that pay should be equal, without discrimination and describing what is understood by "work of equal value", establishing a series of factors that should be assessed and compared to determine equivalence: the nature of the functions or tasks the work entails; educational, professional or skills attainments required to carry them out; factors that strictly relate to performance and working conditions for the activities being conducted.

Likewise, it sets an obligation on all companies (however many employees they have) to keep a record of their payroll wages (average wages, bonuses and extras), divided by sex and distributed by professional groups, professional categories or job positions that are the same or have equal value. The regulation stipulates that workers are entitled to see this record via their  labor representatives.

Clause 3 describes the amendments to the consolidated text of the Public Sector employees' basic statute law, passed by Royal Decree 5/2016, 30 October, and is a reflection of the measures set out in the regulation for remaining public sector workers.

Both clauses, each in their respective area of application, standardize the duration of parental leave for the birth of a child. This is an important step forward in achieving real and effective equality between men and women, in supporting an appropriate work/life balance, and the principal of shared responsibility between both parents.

Provisions to cover new rights

Clause 4 deals with the adaptation of Social Security regulations to the measures outlined in the labor regulation, redefining the welfare benefits in the light of these new rights. It also creates a new benefit to cover co-responsible care of the newborn, following the new provisions in both the Workers' Statute and in the Public Sector employees' Basic Statute.

Clause 7 contains the adaptations needed to include these provisions in the Social Security's protection scheme for self-employed workers.

Financial support for the third sector

Finally, clause 5 contains an amendment to the sixty-first stipulation of the 2009 National Budget (Act 2/2008, 23 December), pursuant to which a fund has been created for ten years to finance infrastructure and services for personal autonomy and care of dependents, and for social services. This will provide financial support to social action institutions in the third sector, benefit corporations and all other bodies and companies that carry out this activity for dependent people and social services.

Effective date

All these measures came into force immediately on 8 March, coinciding with International Women's Day.