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Every worker has the right to be paid the same remuneration by the company for work of equal value, without any discrimination on the basis of sex.

That is why the recurrent practice of companies of hiding the breakdown of their employees’ remuneration data, especially in certain professional categories, and especially in senior positions, as well as eliminating data on certain jobs because they are only occupied by persons of one sex or because the remuneration received is easily identifiable, violates current legislation by depriving the remuneration register and audit of elements clearly necessary to identify possible discrimination on grounds of sex in the area of remuneration.

The protection of personal data cannot be used as a justification for this, with the clear objective of promoting equal pay for men and women, and the legal representative of the workers is obliged to maintain confidentiality with respect to the data provided.

Companies must provide data related to the remuneration of their employees in order to avoid discrimination on the basis of sex, even if the company has employees of the same gender or if there is only one worker. Thus, even if there are only a few people in some occupational groups and the individual remuneration of certain employees can be intuited, this data must be recorded as required by equality legislation. This record thus ensures that there is no wage discrimination.

In the event of a possible pay gap in a certain department, the employer, as the person responsible for the register, cannot prevent access to the data, and every company must have a pay register. This is extremely crucial to reduce the existing wage gap between men and women, as well as to detect those cases in which the principle of pay transparency is not being complied with.

An employee who accesses the salaries of a job of equal value and discovers that his or her salary is lower than that of his or her colleagues, which may also result in gender discrimination, may request that his or her company correct the situation. And if your request is not granted, you will have the option of going to court and claiming the equal pay that by law corresponds to you.

For all these reasons, and despite the fact that there are still companies that are reluctant to be transparent about their remuneration and to provide specific data, especially in certain qualified or managerial profiles, it is advisable to anticipate this situation in order to avoid problems of interpretation of the registered information, through a proper evaluation of the jobs and to implement equality and transparency policies, which are essential for an adequate image of the companies.

As the implementation of equality and transparency plans progresses, there is more and more litigation associated with situations of wage gap and inequality that, in most cases, had not even been detected by those responsible for the remuneration policy until then.

We recommend the implementation of equality plans and the analysis of companies’ remuneration policies, with tools that nowadays allow circumstances, extremes or trends that otherwise would not have been noticed to emerge from the data.

Cigarrán Lawyers continues to be at the disposal of its clients, attending to their needs in these and other matters. — Tel. (+34) 91 355 85 15

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