“The wage gap is something you don’t want to have, you don’t think you have, but when you measure it, you find it.” These are the words of a senior management of a large company that María del Val Díez, president of the CEOE Equality and Diversity Commission, has reproduced this Thursday. The employer has participated together with Cepyme and the CCOO and UGT unions in the presentation of the IR! Tool, agreed with the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Equality to facilitate companies to comply with their obligations in terms of equal pay, such as the salary record from this April 14. And, above all, with the aim that this transparency sheds light on the inequalities between men and women in order to eliminate them.
All companies must have the salary register by sex ready from this April 14
The third vice president of the Government and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, presented this Thursday together with the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, and representatives of the social agents, this instrument, which she described as “one more manifestation of social dialogue” and its fruits. The IR! “It is an instrument of action, it is no longer a time for statements, but for actions,” said Díaz.
Specifically, the tool is an Excel spreadsheet (downloadable here), in which various table models are contemplated to provide companies with the salary record by sex that they must have – all of them, whatever their size – since last Wednesday, within the equal pay regulations that have been developed by the Government.
Irene Montero has highlighted the work of the Women’s Institute in the development of a guide (which It can be downloaded here) with some “instructions for use” of the tool and to explain in detail this proposed registry model. “The Tool consists of a Microsoft Excel file in which the data must be incorporated. From them, and in an automated way, the application will perform the necessary calculations for the analyzes”, the document explains.
The transparency instrument incorporates two types of information. On the one hand, “actual amounts”, that is, the “reliable mandatory information” of the remuneration actually received by the workers, for each of their contractual situations. “Their averages and medians must be broken down by sex, categories, professional groups, levels, positions or any other classification system that is used in the company.” This is the mandatory obligation required by the salary records that all companies must have as of April 14.
On the other hand, with the IR! “matched amounts” can be calculated. “The registration tool includes the so-called ‘equalization’ of the remuneration to provide an additional data of comparability, offering comparable amounts”, highlights the Ministry. What does this mean? That one more variable is created, an added one (not mandatory according to the regulations) in which elements such as partiality in employment, temporary employment or reductions in working hours are intended to be excluded, in order to be able to compare different positions in a comparable contractual situation, with full time and throughout the year.
Also guide for salary audit
In addition, the tool offers additional tables for companies that must carry out not only the salary record by gender but also a remuneration audit. Companies must implement the audit when the equality plan is required of them. Since March 2021, the obligation reaches companies from 100 workers and have one more year, until March 2022, companies from 50 to 100 workers.
In the audits, the salary register must also reflect “the arithmetic means and the medians of the groups of jobs of equal value in the company, according to the results of the job evaluation.” To detect which positions have equal value, the Women’s Institute has published a guide which can also serve as a reference.
The two ministers present at the event highlighted the work of all the people involved in the development of the IR tool! and, in particular, to business and union representatives, who have endorsed this instrument. The important thing, all those present have highlighted, is that the tool is useful, a “living” instrument, which facilitates the work of salary transparency to all companies and especially to small ones, which have fewer resources.
Find the causes to combat the gap
Once companies complete their salary records (or their audits), the data will show in many cases situations of inequality. In the event that the remuneration differences exceed 25%, the company must argue the reason for this lag that explains that there is no discrimination. Irene Montero has highlighted the value of the statistics that result from the analyzes carried out by the companies, which will function as an “adequate indication” of the pending tasks to achieve equality between men and women.
“The wage gap is a reality, but the causes of which are very complex, sometimes difficult to identify,” said the CEOE representative, highlighting the “usefulness” of this tool that “companies were waiting for.” “Equal pay needs to be managed with in-depth knowledge of the causes. The tool will be a useful and realistic solution thanks to the team that has negotiated it,” celebrated María del Val Díez.
Cristina Antoñanzas, deputy secretary general of the UGT, has trusted that the tool helps to surface inequalities that are difficult to detect and that in many cases explain the gap: “the undervaluation of the work that women do.” Mari Cruz Vicente, CCOO’s Secretary of Union Action, also highlighted the importance of shedding light on salary supplements, “which hide more than half of the salary gap.” On the valuation of jobs following the logic of “equal value”, CCOO recently presented a study that makes visible the wage gap in the fish industry.
“The wage gap is a historical debt with the women of this country,” stressed Antoñanzas, who has trusted that, once problems are detected within companies, the negotiation between employers and workers will be able to leave them behind. “Today we can tell ourselves. We are a little closer,” said Vice President Yolanda Díaz.