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13 Oct, 2020 15:10

Spain ‘bans’ gender wage gap as firms face fines of up to €187,000 for failing to disclose employee pay

Spain ‘bans’ gender wage gap as firms face fines of up to €187,000 for failing to disclose employee pay

The Spanish government has passed decrees to tackle wage inequality between genders, and warned it will impose hefty fines on companies who fail to disclose the salaries of their employees.

The new regulations are “historical,” Labor Minister Yolanda Diaz said, adding that they will help to “bring to the surface labor inequalities and give workers the tools to eliminate them.”

A law on gender equality in the workplace was approved earlier this year, and Socialist and far-left ministers in the coalition government on Tuesday passed two decrees detailing the legislation. Companies will now have to disclose the system they use to establish base salaries and other benefits for their employees – or face a fine of up to €187,000 ($220,000).

Businesses with more than 50 employees must also file a four-year plan to balance their workforce’s female-to-male ratio.

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The new regulations will tackle how industry views on the value of women in the workplace and help women exercise their rights, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, Diaz said.

The government, which wants to overcome a chronic gender wage gap, says women in Spain earn on average 22 percent less than their male peers.

Equality Minister Irene Montero said the government’s message is that “women must be paid the same as men for doing the same jobs.”

The left-wing coalition, which came to power in January, has made bolstering women’s rights a cornerstone of its political program, and tougher sexual violence laws are also in the works.

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