Spain: Royal Decree-Law 6/2019 of 1 March

published on March 8, 2019 | reading time approx. 4 minutes
 

Urgent comments on Royal Decree-Law 6/2019 dated 1 March on urgent measures to guarantee equal treatment and opportunities for women and men in employment and occupation.
 

 

Today the long-awaited Royal Decree-Law 6/2019 dated 1 March on urgent measures to guarantee equal treat­ment and opportunities for women and men in employment and occupation was finally approved and published in the Official State Gazette (BOE). The following new developments can be highlighted:
  • The need to implement equality plans in companies with 50 or more employees, establishing a deadline for implementation of such based on the number of employees in the workforce.
  • The need to keep a record of average salary values according to sex and professional category or group, among other measures to guarantee equal pay and non-discrimination on the basis of sex.
  • The progressive extension of paternity leave to 16 weeks, which together with maternity leave, will be redefined as “birth leave”.
  • Extension of breastfeeding leave for the other parent.
  • Reinforcement of measures to ensure equal pay and non-discrimination on the basis of sex in terms of salaries.
  • Other measures to ensure equal treatment and opportunities for women and men at work and in general.

 

1. Progressive implementation of equality plans for small and medium sized Enterprises

In fact, from now on, companies with 50 or more workers will have to implement equality plans. The implemen­tation period will be 3 years for companies with between 50 and 100 workers, 2 years for companies with more than 100 and up to 150 workers and 3 years for companies with more than 150 and up to 250 workers. These transitional periods will be calculated from March 7, 2019. At Rödl & Partner we have already designed planning programs and implementation of equality plans that we are able to make available to our clients for implementation within a short period of time.

   

2. Recording average salary values according to sex and occupational category

The obligation to keep a record of average salary values according to sex and professional category or group is established. Companies must guarantee access to these registers to any employee who requests such through the legal representation of workers.

 

When companies have a workforce of 50 or more workers, they must justify in said register the wage differences between workers of different sexes equal to or greater than 25 per cent.

  

3. Extension of breastfeeding leave for the other parent

Breastfeeding leave is extended for the other parent so that both parents have the right to be absent from work for one hour (or two half-hours, at their choice) until the child reaches 9 months of age.

 

This reduction may be accumulated into full days, not transferable between parents. If both parents exercise this right with the same duration and regime, it may be extended until the child reaches 12 months, but with a proportional reduction in salary from 9 months.

     

4. Progressive extension of paternity leave to 16 weeks

Paternity leave of up to 16 weeks is implemented. Paternity leave will be 8 weeks from April 1, 2019 for births occurring in 2019, of which the 2 weeks following childbirth will be mandatory and uninterrupted and must be taken full time to ensure the protection of the mother's health. Such leave will increase to 12 weeks in 2020, of which 4 weeks will be mandatory and 16 weeks in 2021, of which 6 weeks will be mandatory, at which point full equivalence with maternity leave will be achieved.
  • From April 1, 2019: paternity leave will last 8 weeks, the first 2 of which will be compulsory and uninterrupted.
  • 2020: paternity leave will have a duration of 12 weeks, of which the first 4 will be compulsory and uninterrupted.
  • 2021: total equivalence with maternity leave, for which both types of leave will become jointly called “birth leave” (duration of 16 weeks, the first 6 of which will be obligatory and uninterrupted).
At Rödl & Partner, we encourage the implementation of temporary contracts as well as the formalization of agreements for the organization of the use of periods of leave on consumption of periods of compulsory use.
       

5. Other measures to ensure equal treatment and opportunities for women and men at work and in general

  • The right of workers to the reconciliation of personal and family life is emphasized independently of the right to the existing conciliation in the case of workers with children under 12 years of age.
  • Equal remuneration is considered, specifying the elements to establish when one job is of equal value to another, and therefore requires the same remuneration regardless of the sex of the worker.
  • It is established that in case of nullity due to wage discrimination on the basis of sex, the worker will have the right to the remuneration corresponding to the same work or work of equal value.
  • Contract termination at the request of the employer during the probationary period will be null and void for workers due to pregnancy or maternity, unless there are other unrelated reasons for such.
  • The financing of the quotas of the special agreement for non-professional careers of dependent persons under the responsibility of the General State Administration is reinstated. This highlights the figure of the non-professional career, a position that usually falls on women.

  

At Rödl & Partner, we hope that the approved regulation will be useful to reverse the situation of inequality – wage and labor differences between men and women – that our country experiences and helps towards a cultural change regarding social roles.

  

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Joaquín Echavarri

+34 93 2389 374

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Mariona Valls

+34 93 2389 370

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