Legislation on gender equality plans and salary audits


ROYAL DECREE 901/2020, of 13th October by which equality plans and their registration are regulated and the Royal Decree 713/2010, of 28th May, on registration and deposit of collective labour agreements and arrangements is amended.

The RD-law 6/2019, of 1st March, on urgent measures to guarantee equal treatment and opportunities between women and men in employment and occupation, added very significant changes into the Organic Law 3/2007, of 22nd March, for effective equality of women and men, in terms of equality plans, establishing the obligation for all companies with 50 workers or more to [1]draw up and implement an equality plan.

Through the new RD 901/2020, the modifications introduced by RDL 6/2020 are developed in a regulatory manner, highlighting the following news:

  1. Equality plans of group of companies are allowed.
  2. Rules for counting workers are established. A company is obliged to have an equality plan when it has reached 50 workers, even if the number of employees is subsequently reduced, including workers from temporary employment agencies.
  3. Deadlines: the plan’s negotiation committee has to be set up within the following 3 months of the date on which the 50 workers are reached. The deadline to negotiate the plan is 1 year. The duration of the equality plan cannot exceed 4 years. The results must be evaluated: at least once during its validity and once at the end.
  4. It is established the legitimacy to negotiate plans in workplaces where there is no worker representation: a joint negotiating committee of 6 members on each side is created and composed of the most representative unions of the sector.
  5. The duty of secrecy is established with respect to the documentation and information provided and it cannot be used for other purposes.
  6. The study or diagnosis of the situation includes: salary audit, co-responsibility and under-representation of women. The minimum content of the diagnosis is detailed and will be negotiated with the workers’ representatives.
  7. It is established the minimum content of the equality plan, which requires to provide quantitative and qualitative objectives, specific measures and deadlines for prioritising the necessary implementation, resources and means. The equality diagnosis must be integrated into the equality plan.
  8. Automatic rules are established for the revision of the equality plan.
  9. The equality plan is registered in the REGCOM, its legality will be reviewed by the labour authority who will publish it in the corresponding official gazette.
  10. Entry into force: 14th January 2021. Adaptation of existing plans until 14th January 2022.



ROYAL DECREE 902/2020 of 13th October on equal pay for men and women.

Its main objective is to fight against the gender pay gap on the basis of the principle of transparency in remuneration, which allows the identification of both direct and indirect wage discrimination, particularly that due to incorrect evaluations of work places.

  • Equal pay for work of equal value: a job is equal to another when “the nature of the duties or tasks effectively assigned, the educational, professional or training conditions required for their performance, the factors strictly related to their performance and the working conditions under which such activities are actually carried out are equivalent”.
  • Criteria for the analysis: it generally sets up the criteria to be consider for the assessment of positions, professional groups or categories.
  • Wage register: This is an internal register that all companies must have, regardless of the number of workers.
  1. It should include the average values of the different remuneration concepts, disaggregated by gender and by professional category, groups, levels or positions, including managers and senior management.
  2. If the company is obliged to have an equality plan, it must also include the medians of the groups of jobs of equal value in the company.
  3. Accessible to: workers’ representation and the Labour Inspectorate. Workers only through workers’ representation and, if there is no representation, they will have access only to information on percentage differences.
  4. It has to be updated once a year.
  5. If there is a difference in total wages of 25% or more between workers of different genders, it must be included a justification for this wage gap.
  6. Workers’ representatives must be consulted before registration.
  • Salary audit:
  1. Obligatory companies: all those that must have an equality plan.
  2. Methodology: assessment of the jobs by assigning a score or numerical value to the different assessment factors. Positions with equal evaluation must have equal remuneration.
  3. A diagnosis in terms of remuneration with the requirements established in the standard must be made to identify the needs to avoid, correct and prevent existing obstacles and difficulties or likely to arise in order to ensure equal pay.
  4. A technical guide will be produced for the preparation of audits.
  • Entry into force: 14th April 2021.


[1] It applies to a transitional period for the implementation of the equality plans: From March 2020: companies with 150 to 250 employees. From March 2021: companies from 100 to 150 workers. From March 2022: companies from 50 to 100 workers.

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