On the 14th October, Royal Decree 902/2020 of the 13th October, was published in the Official State Gazette with the Regulation on equal pay for women and men. It is expected to enter into force on the 15th April 2021.Europe has been fighting for more than 40 years for equal opportunities and equal treatment in employment between men and women. Since before Directive 75/117/EEC of the 10th February 1975 and the more recent Directive 2006/54/EC of the 5th July 2006, both dedicated to this issue. And yet there is still a long way to go, as shown by the EU gender pay gap observatory. In Spain: 15% pay gap in 2017.
Despite the progress made, equal pay continues to be a pending issue in almost all parts of the world, although we can debate the convenience of approving this regulation at a time when many businesses are struggling to survive. In any case, the regulation has a vacatio legis of 6 months, so there is time to adapt.
These are the key points of the Equal Pay Regulation, which imposes a number of duties on employers with the aim of increasing transparency on pay:
1. The remuneration register is not new (Art. 5.1).
The Workers’ Statute already provides for a pay register. Article 28.2 determines that the employer is obliged to keep a register with the average values of salaries, salary supplements and non-wage payments of his/her staff, disaggregated by sex and distributed by professional groups, professional categories or jobs of equal or equal value.
2. Adaptation period
The deadline for adapting the remuneration register to the conditions of the regulation is six months from the entry into force of the Royal Decree, i.e. mid-April 2021.
3. Definition and content (art. 5. 2)
The pay register must show salaries:
- broken down by gender.
- Based on an arithmetic mean and median of what is actually received for each item
- calculated for each occupational group, occupational category, level, post or any other applicable classification system.
- Broken down according to the nature of the remuneration (including basic salary) for each of the allowances and salary payments.
4. Access of the template to the register.
According to article 28.2 in fine of the Workers’ Statute, workers have the right to access, through their legal representative, if there is one in the company, to the company’s wage register.
If there is no legal representation, access will not cover the data averaged with respect to the actual amounts of remuneration in the register, but only the percentage differences that exist in the company’s remuneration (averaged for women and men).
5. Reference period of the remuneration register (Art. 5. 4)
The reference period will generally be the calendar year, but modifications are foreseen if necessary.
6. Affected employees (arts. 5. 1 and 11)
Companies must include in the wage register the salary data of the entire workforce without exception, including management and senior management.
The Royal Decree also gives part-time workers the same rights, including pay, as full-time workers. Any proportional reduction must ensure that it does not have any negative impact on the enjoyment of rights related to maternity and care of minors or dependants.
7. Involvement of workers in the design of the wage register (art. 5. 6)
The legal representatives of the employees shall be involved in the design of the register and shall be consulted within ten days before the register is drawn up. The same notice is stipulated when the register is to be modified due to a substantial alteration in its content.
8. Remuneration audit (Articles 7 and 8)
The Equality Act requires an audit for companies that draw up an equality plan. The Regulation clarifies that this will be valid for the duration of the equality plan of which it forms part, unless a shorter period is determined in the plan. According to art. 2.2 of Royal Decree 901/2020 of the 13th October, approved on the same date as the Equal Pay Regulation, equality plans must be drawn up in companies with 50 or more employees.
9. Infringements (Art. 10)
In the event of falsification or omission of the wage register, the Regulation provides for appropriate administrative and legal action, whether individual or collective, and the application, inter alia, of the Law on Offences and Penalties in the Social Order. This considers wage discrimination to be a very serious offence in the field of labour relations and can lead to the imposition of a fine of between 6,251 and 178,500 euros. The Regulation also refers to Law 36/2011, of the 10th October, regulating social jurisdiction.
This RD implies a number of new requirements for employers with employees. Do not hesitate to contact your account manager in the labour area to see how it affects your specific case, how you can comply with the new regulations and to find out the wage gap of your workforce.