Spain – Employers to implement protocol against the harassment and discrimination of LGTBI people

What’s new?

Effective 2 March 2024, companies with over 50 employees in Spain must have measures in place which guarantee the right to real and effective equality for LGTBI (Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Bisexual, and Intersex) people.

What are the key provisions?

The relevant law establishes that companies with more than 50 employees must have:

  1. a planned set of measures and resources to achieve real and effective equality for LGTBI people;
  2. an “action protocol” (such as in the form of a company policy) for dealing with harassment or violence against LGTBI people; and
  3. an updated equality plan, which must include reference to LGTBI people, with special attention to trans women (if it does not reference this already).

The law provides that the content and scope of the above measures will be developed by regulation, which has not yet been published by the Spanish Government. It has been argued that in the absence of such regulatory development, companies cannot fully comply where the specific content and scope are unknown. However, since the law does not provide that compliance is conditional on regulatory development, it is deemed that the obligations are fully enforceable with effect from 2 March 2024 – meaning employers need to be compliant now.

These measures are to be agreed through collective bargaining and with the workers’ legal representatives.

What are the consequences of non-compliance?

Employers who fail to comply with these measures and/or harass or discriminate against LGTBI people could be subject to fines up to 150,000 EUR depending on the severity of the offence. Employers may also have legal action brought against them by the affected employee(s).

So, what should employers do now?

Employers should prepare measures and implement an action protocol as soon as possible (if this has not already been done) and review them once the regulations have been developed to ensure they meet the required standard. If you need any support with this, such as assessing whether existing company policies are likely to be compliant with the new law, or would like any further information, please get in touch with a member of the MDR ONE team.

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