Feminism

Mariano Rajoy, on the possibility of sanctioning companies that pay less to women: "Let's not get into that"

The president of the Government, Mariano Rajoy, has been this morning in the program More than oneby Carlos Alsina. And, among the many issues that have been discussed in it, there has been the wage gap between men and women, specifically, in terms of enact specific legislation to avoid inequality of wages between people They do the same job. In the words of the President of the Government: "Let's not get into that."

Your full statements can be heard here, starting on minute 44.

The issue of feminist claims came up when the space conductor asked about the movement #MeToo emerged in the United States, to which Rajoy showed his support because "there is nothing stronger than trying to take advantage of people taking advantage of force". But then the thorny issue came, when Alsina asked him if he would see with good eyes that the companies that discriminate wages against women, who charge less doing the same job as a man, will be sanctioned through some legal initiative in that regard . This was Rajoy's textual response:

No no no no. I believe that the rulers must be very cautious when it comes to knowing what our competencies are and which are not, and of course, there is none that is equalizing salaries. In any case, I do have to say that in Spain businessmen and companies are taking many steps in the right direction. Already the salary difference has dropped 4 points from 2012 to 15, which are the last data I have. And we are better than the European average. In any case, whenever steps are taken and whenever you walk in the right direction, we do positive things. The pace should probably be faster, but I trust that to be so. Now, for the government to start setting company salaries ... I wouldn't see myself saying what you have to charge, for example.

Alsina insisted, asking directly "Not even saying that if a man and a woman do the same should they charge the same?" and that was where Rajoy responded with that "let's not get into that", which is already in many headlines of the national press, before insisting that Spain is one of the countries in Europe that is doing better.

Is specific legislation on the wage gap necessary?

In Spain, the wage gap between men and women stands at 19.3%, slightly above the European average of 16.5%, according to Eurostat report published in 2016. To end this inequality, some European countries have decided to legislate.

Iceland, for example, has recently passed a pioneer law that obliges companies with more than twenty-five employees to audit the salaries of their workers to ensure there are no gender differences. The United Kingdom, for its part, with a gap of 18.1%, has enacted a similar law: companies with more than 250 employees must publish the salary differences between men and women.

But is such a law really necessary in Spain? Actually, the existing legal framework would be sufficient to guarantee equal pay. In many different ways:

  • Article 14 of the Constitution, according to which "Spaniards are equal before the law, without any discrimination on the grounds of ... sex".

  • Article 35 of the Constitution, according to which "all Spaniards have a duty to work and the right to work, ... without discrimination in any case based on sex."

  • Article 28 of status of workerstitled Equal remuneration based on sex, which obliges the employer to pay the benefit for a job without any "discrimination based on sex in any of the elements or conditions".

  • Organic Law 3/2007, of March 22, for the effective equality of women and men, which aims for real equality in companies, establishing models of peer selection and other measures to ensure the non-discrimination of women in the professional field.

Therefore, we should ask ourselves if other specific legislation is really necessary to regulate the wage gap. In the opinion of Azucena Corral, labor lawyer and Human Resources expert, "It shouldn't be, but it is". According to his experience, it is an issue in which there is a big difference between what the law says and the actual practice.

"The current legal framework He says that a woman cannot be paid less than a man for the simple fact of being, but has no mechanisms to guarantee it. Y demonstrate in a court that a salary is lower than another for gender discrimination is very difficult. Specific legislation could force companies to publish data on the wage gap, which, if only for the company's image and corporate social responsibility, would already be a great help. "

In Jared | Iceland becomes the first country to ban the gender wage gap by law

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