Emancipation in the workplace is far from self-evident in Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
gender equality

MADRID – A large majority of Spanish companies have not yet managed to complete the emancipation plan that was made mandatory by law in 2020 to reduce inequality between men and women in the workplace. 

The deadline for completing the plan is today, International Women’s Day. All companies with 50 employees or more should now have on paper how they are going to solve the pay gap between men and women, among other things. However, barely one in five companies has an approved plan for this. Thus emancipation in the workplace does not seem to be a priority yet. 

In total, 25,000 companies in Spain have at least 50 employees. Last Friday, March 3, the Ministry of Employment registered no more than 4,700 submitted emancipation plans. Therefore, it seems 80% of employers in Spain still fail to pay attention to a mandatory anti-discrimination policy. 

Women earn a quarter less than men 

This policy should end the current pay gap. In Spain, women still earn 24% less than their male colleagues. Employees must also record, among other things, how they deal with the selection and contracting of workers, how they classify their existing positions, what the percentage of women is in the workplace, what prevention measures are taken for sexually transgressive behavior and what the procedures are if this nevertheless occurs. occurs. The emancipation plan drawn up must be evaluated every four years and adjusted if necessary. 

ASSSA - health insurance in Spain

Checks and fines 

The Ministry of Employment issues sanctions to all companies that do not have their plans in order in time. The fines for this can be up to €7,500. In 2021, the emancipation plan was already mandatory for all employers with more than 150 employees. In that year, this plan was not completed 163 times, for which fines were imposed totaling €324,771. This year, the controls on the anti-discrimination policy will be further tightened. 

Despite the fact that only 20% of employers still have the Emancipation Plan in place, trade unions in Spain are confident that awareness about gender equality is increasing. According to them, employers in Spain will sooner or later have the anti-discrimination policy ready, with which the transition to equality in the workplace has started in any case. 

Related article: Spain takes first steps towards gender equality in the workplace

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