Since 22 March, some companies are obliged to have an Equal Opportunities Plan (EOP). Its objective is to achieve equal treatment and equal opportunities between women and men and to eliminate discrimination based on sex. To this end, the Corporate Equality Plan establishes a set of measures, objectives, strategies, practices, monitoring and evaluation systems.
In this article we tell you why your company should have an Equality Plan and how to draw it up.
- 1 Which companies are obliged to draw up an Equality Plan?
- 2 Advantages of implementing a Corporate Equality Plan
- 3 Areas of action of the Equality Plan
Which companies are obliged to draw up an Equality Plan?
As established in Organic Law 3/2007, of 22 March, all companies are obliged to respect equal treatment and opportunities for men and women in the workplace. To this end, they must agree with the workers’ legal representatives on measures aimed at avoiding any type of discrimination.
These measures may be directed towards the elaboration and implementation of an equality plan, which is voluntary for all companies except in three cases:
- Enterprises with 50 or more employees.
- Companies whose collective bargaining agreement so provides.
In some cases, companies can draw up and implement an equality plan as a substitute for sanctions resulting from a disciplinary procedure. Provided that this is agreed with the labour authority.
Advantages of implementing a Corporate Equality Plan
Beyond this legal duty imposed on some companies and its basic function of guaranteeing equal conditions and opportunities for men and women, defining an Equality Plan avoids the loss of talent, improves the working environment and reinforces corporate social responsibility. In short, it increases the value of any company by maximising all its human resources.
Areas of action of the Equality Plan
For example, the Equality Plan can define a human resources protocol that ensures that the recruitment process is carried out objectively and without discriminatory bias. Focusing on the competencies of the candidates and avoiding personal issues that exceed the requirements of the job to be filled.
Establish a promotion system based on meritocracy. Guarantee women’s access to positions of responsibility and management positions under the same conditions as their male colleagues.
Offer the same training content opportunities to women and men. Raise awareness and sensitise the entire workforce to equality issues.
Equal pay for women and men
Define an objective, equitable and non-discriminatory pay system with the aim of eliminating the gender pay gap. Guarantee that, in the same job, men and women obtain the same fixed and variable remuneration. In this section, Royal Decree 902/2020 of 13 October on equal pay for men and women is applicable. It is advisable to define a Wage Transparency Plan.
Prevention of occupational hazards
The occupational risk prevention plan should be gender-sensitive and specifically consider risks to reproduction, pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Reconciling work and family life
It is advisable to implement a Conciliation Plan and Policies that allow the entire workforce to develop their professional career without prejudice to their personal and family life. The main objective must be to improve the personal wellbeing of employees, creating favourable conditions for retaining and attracting talent.
Prevention of sexual and gender-based harassment
At this point it is also advisable to define a specific protocol for the prevention of harassment situations. Especially if we consider the criminal liability that legal persons may incur after the recent Organic Law 10/2022, of 6 September, on the comprehensive guarantee of sexual freedom.