July 24, 2021

The Government wants to use the emergency route for the Equal Pay Act | Economy

The Government wants to use the emergency route for the Equal Pay Act | Economy

"It is not true that time will bring about changes, we are not going to leave equality to the natural course of things, we have to make quite decisive decisions". This is how the vice president of the Government, Carmen Calvo, spoke at the Forbes Summit Women this morning in Madrid. That is why he has advanced that the Executive is considering using the emergency route so that the Equal Pay Act can be published as soon as possible. The vice-president assures that it is necessary to advance with more rapidity in equality matter and for it it is necessary to make obligatory the quotas in the councils of administration, a measurement in which the group of the Government worked already from the opposition and that in July it announced that it had thought to carry on.

The law includes the obligatory nature of gender quotas in the boards of directors of companies. "We will give a transitional period for companies to adapt," said Calvo, for whom it is good news that Spain joins the group of countries that have advanced faster thanks to the compulsory nature of quotas in management positions. The case of Germany and France. "We need the quality of our rights to be the same as that of men, for justice and business efficiency," said Carmen Calvo.

Carmen Calvo recalled that in Spain there is already a law of this type to boost the presence of women in councils, but that "invites and does not obligate" companies to demand the presence of women in places of power and leadership. Meanwhile, he pointed out, in the United States, California has just approved the obligation for listed companies to have at least one woman on their boards.

The Government of Pedro Sanchez already announced in July its intention that the boards of directors be parity from 2023. "Other countries in Europe go faster and make mandatory decisions so that the presence of men and women on their boards of directors is comply, "Calvo argued at the close of the second edition of the Women to Watch program of PwC. That norm was part of the "Proposition of Law to guarantee equal treatment and opportunities between women and men in employment and occupation," which the Socialist Group in the Congress of Deputies registered last March. It proposed that in the first four years of application of the legislation mandatory quotas for participation of women in committees and boards of directors come into force.

Europe advances in mandatory quotas

In Europe there are countries that are already in favor of introducing a mandatory quota so that the presence of women on the boards of directors of listed companies increases and there are others who only recommend it. Although the balance inclines more every day towards the first. In Norway, a country that sets as a model on equality since it was the precursor to introduce them, it took 10 years for the quota to pass from advice to demand and the objectives were achieved. More recently, Italy, Germany and France have chosen to introduce this system, "the pink quota", is called in Italy. Belgium also implemented it three years ago and includes not only large companies but also SMEs and in Greece it exists, but only affects public companies. Austria is processing a regulation that will regulate the quota system and Portugal and Slovenia are thinking about it.

Among the countries that do not have the obligation and act only with recommendations, include Spain, Finland, Denmark and Sweden, a state that threatens to impose a percentage of women on the councils if in 2020 the number of female administrators has not reached 35%. This is what the United Kingdom did, without actually demanding it, before the Government led the creation of a public-private platform in charge of tracking parity in listed companies through reports. As the companies did not want to go wrong in the photo, the dysfunctions have been corrected.


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