Spain: Implementation of the LGBTQ+ Equality Plan in SMEs

In the last few months, the Spanish Law 4/2023 of 28 February has made headlines in all kinds of newspapers and publications, but we still do not know the implications and scope of the so-called “Trans Law” passed at the beginning of last year.

One of the most commented sections was the right to self-determination of trans people, but in this article we will focus on the labour implications of this law, more specifically the obligations of large companies in Spain to promote equality in the workplace.

Articles 14 and 15 of the law concentrate on the duties of companies with more than 50 employees.

They clearly state the direct involvement that corporations must have, not only by avoiding possible inequalities, see (art. 15.1 L 4/2023) the obligation to have an anti-harassment protocol for workers belonging to the LGBTQ collective, but also by promoting training programmes to train staff in equality and the rights of the collective, see Article 14, section C of the law.

Therefore, the government has chosen to include as a final clause the implementation of an equality plan for medium-sized companies, i.e. those with more than 50 employees. Unfortunately, the regulation refers to a subsequent regulatory development that specifies the implications that the aforementioned equality plan must contain, which has not yet been implemented; however, this does not exclude the obligation to implement it.

 At this point, we must highlight the differences in the approval process between the requirements of the previous Equality Plans stipulated in Organic Law 3/2007, of 22 March, for the effective equality of women and men, and the specific requirements for the protection of the trans group in the new regulation of Law 4/2023, of 28 February, for the providing real and effective equality of for trans people and for the a guarantee of the rights of LGTBTQ people.

In the previous legislation on gender equality, it is necessary to analyse Article 45 in reference to the collaboration and application of equality plans. The article states that the measures to be adopted must be negotiated and, where appropriate, agreed with the legal representatives of the workers, leaving the option that the objective could be a negotiation without a final agreement.  On the other hand, Law 4/2023 literally states that “the measures shall be agreed through collective bargaining and agreed with the legal representatives of the workers” which implies that the protection measures in companies for LGTB people cannot simply be negotiated, but must culminate in an effective agreement, thus providing greater protection for the workers of the group. 

Therefore, if you work in or manage a company that meets the above characteristics and you do not know how to carry out the LGTBI equality plan, please contact us, as we have a multidisciplinary team specialised in gender equality and sexual diversity. Remember that the deadline to approve it is 1 March 2024.

Mireia Peco García, Emma Serrano Parramon

 Legal Executives

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