Spanish companies must now reveal wage differentials between male and female employees to allow women to demand greater equality, under a government decree adopted on Tuesday.
“It is crucial to have information about how the salary system works because that’s where you see the discrimination that we women suffer in our professional careers and our lives,” Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz told a news conference.
Companies with over 50 employees must provide details of average wages “by sex” within each professional category or position to comply with the “obligation to ensure equal pay for a job of equal value”, the text says.
Such transparency aims to allow employees and unions to demand wage equality within a company or in court, the minister said.
Firms will have six months to adapt to the new norm, which emerged out of an agreement between Spain’s main unions and the Socialist government of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, which defines itself as “feminist”.
But the CEOE, the main employers’ organisation, refused to be part of the agreement.
In 2018, Spanish women earned on average 14 percent less than their male compatriots, which was marginally better than the European average of 14.8 percent, according to the latest available data from the European statistics agency, Eurostat.