COMPANIES may be forced to reveal how much their male and female staff earn if the government pushes ahead a new law aimed at closing the gender pay gap.
Figures from 2014 show the average gross salary for men was €25,727, compared with €19,745 for women – a difference of nearly €6,000 – although it is not clear whether this huge disparity was for the same roles.
Firms with more than 50 employees – across all their branches – may be required to declare employees' gender and salaries as part of a plan to encourage a professional female culture in a country where those most affected by joblessness, enforced part-time hours and low pay continue to be women.
These data would have to be presented periodically to the union representing the firm's staff or, if they have no union, to the staff themselves.
Additionally, a new law applying to all companies, irrespective of size, would oblige firms to provide a breakdown of salaries by gender for all workers in the same role, or a role of equal standing, if the staff or their union requests this.
This proposed new legislation would go some way towards complying with the European Union's recommendations, issued on March 7, 2014, for reinforcing equal pay and transparency.
The number of women who earned less than a gross salary of €14,500 a year – which comes to around €1,000 a month after tax – is higher than the number of men, but males and females change place rising through the wage scale with very few women near the top.
Women and men in full-time jobs were roughly equal in number as at the end of 2014 up to salary levels of €16,000 before tax, but upwards of this figure, men were in the majority.
Meanwhile, women are more likely to be in part-time jobs at all salary levels, particularly those under €30,000 a year – three-quarters of all part-time work is carried out by females, representing one in four women in jobs, or two million in total.
The gender pay gap increases even further in the case of permanent job contracts, reaching €8,000 a year between men and women with the latter earning less.
In all, according to 2014 statistics, women typically earned 76.7% of men's salaries, making Spain the sixth-highest EU country with the greatest gender pay gap, a difference of 16.5% between men's and women's wages – above the European average of 16.1%.