10 new measures regarding gender equality (RDL 6/2019)


1. Extending the duration of paternity leave in order to bring it to line with maternity leave. The equalization will be carried out gradually, reaching 8 weeks in 2019, 12 weeks in 2020 and 16 weeks in 2021.

2. Including a new benefit for co-responsibility in the care of the infant in the event of the reduction of working hours of both parents, being such benefit in shorting the working hours in an additional half an hour between 9 and 12 months of age of the infant.

3. Modifying the regulations regarding equality plans in order to extend the obligation to establish them to companies with more than 50 employees (formerly it was only applicable for companies with more than 250) and to establish certain matters that must be compulsorily included in the preparation of the plan. These modifications also include the obligation for such companies to be registered in a Register which forms part of the collective bargaining agreements.

4. Introducing measures against wage discrimination on gender basis. Among the measures included, it must be pointed out the creation of a new register of employee’s salaries s within the company, disaggregated by gender and employment categories. In addition, for companies with at least 50 employees, it would be necessary to include in such register a justification that the wage difference, if it is greater than 25%, is not based on gender reasons.

5. Introducing measures in order to reconcile work and family life. On the one hand, Article 34.8 of the Workers’ Statute is amended to recognize the right of the employees to request the adaptation of the duration and distribution of working time, concerning the organization of working time and the form of benefit, including the provision of remote work, to cope with the reconciliation of family life and work. The application may be submitted until the child reaches the age of 12 and must be resolved by the employer in accordance with the collective agreement. If it is not resolved, the company must open a negotiation process with the applicant for a maximum of 30 days, after which it must communicate its decision in writing. Disputes between the employer and the worker must be resolved through the special procedure for the exercise of the rights to reconcile personal, family and working life (art.139 of the Law Regulating the Social Jurisdiction). In any case, the applications must be reasonable and proportionate to the needs of the employee and the company.

On the other hand, childcare leave is modified to improve the protection of those who apply for it in the event that both parents exercise such right with the same duration and regime. To this effect, the period during which they are entitled to reserve their job is extended, from 1 year to a maximum of 18 months (art.46.3 of the Law Regulating the Social Jurisdiction).

6. Increasing the protection of maternity during the probationary period. The dismissal carried out due to pregnancy will be null and void, from the date of the beginning of the pregnancy until the beginning of the period of suspension of the contract for birth and care of the minor (art.14.2 of the Workers’ Statute).

7. Extension of the protection of victims of gender-based violence.

8. Recovering, as of 1-4-2019, the financing of the quotas of the special agreement of the non-professional caregivers of the dependent persons under the responsibility of the General State Administration.

9. Adaptation of legislative texts in order to establish a more inclusive language. Thus, maternity and paternity benefits are renamed childbirth and childcare benefits and breastfeeding leave is renamed nursing leave. In addition, references to the employee are replaced by working people. Likewise, it is established that all references made in the different normative texts must be understood as referring to the new terms (Royal Decree Law 6/2019 additional provision).

10. Planning to draw up a plan to universalize education from 0 to 3 years through the incorporation of this stage into the educational cycle in public and free education (Royal Decree-Law 6/2019 explanatory memorandum).

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