In recent months, most companies are required to have a salary register that allows us to detect if there is a difference in salary treatment in the company due to gender issues. We are also obliged to carry out a salary audit that allows us to analyze the reasons for the different gaps and establish an action plan to reduce and eliminate them. It seems clear that this is going to be the first step towards remuneration transparency that is increasingly demanded by the different administrations and, perhaps more importantly, by society.
From the outset, we all agree that establishing mechanisms to advance equality are positive but, as is often the case in many of these cases, organizations have two paths: to comply with the Law with minimal effort, or to take advantage of it to improve employment policies. people management.
Royal Decree 902/2020 also does not make 100% clear how to act and, in this lack of definition, many companies find a space to do the minimum and comply, just in case an inspection occurs. In addition, we must take into account the diversity of market salaries depending on the geographical area or specialty. If a company is throughout the national territory and pays differently depending on the geographical area, adapting to the market, is it creating a gap? On the other hand, at the specialty level, we are all clear that certain positions with a technological profile are much more difficult to hire and therefore the market is willing to pay for it. Is this also a gap generator?
I sincerely believe that it is a good opportunity to review the possible remuneration problems that may exist in the company and implement policies that allow the creation of a flexible salary structure aligned with the objectives. From my experience, there are some key aspects when carrying out the project. They are as follows:
There must be a job evaluation methodology based on points per factor. A solid methodology that takes into account the characteristics of the positions of each of the organizations. The law already says that jobs must be valued, however, many methodologies have emerged that are applied quickly and do not give solidity to the model and possible conclusions. The applied methodology should allow analyzing the salary gap, but also analyze internal equity and serve as a basis for the design of the company’s salary structure.
Most of the gaps are produced by the complements of the base salary, contingent salaries and variables. On many occasions this occurs due to historical issues, the incorporation of women has been later in certain sectors, due to issues of company mergers / acquisitions and the lack of presence of women in certain hierarchical levels (directorships and managers), and in some positions with higher market remuneration (commercial, operations, etc.).
To reduce the gap, companies must implement advanced policies in their value proposition, which allow for a much more equitable model. Thus, they must have a policy of increases, one of the great neglected of Spanish companies, much more advanced and that allows working in different dimensions (theoretical remuneration vs individual contribution). A contingent policy (non-consolidated fixed) must also be defined: supplements, overtime, etc., and much more homogeneous variable remuneration and favor, by establishing horizontal career plans, the presence of women in certain positions that mostly have these types of remuneration.
In short, we must not confuse the reduction of the gap with the establishment of egalitarian policies, on the contrary, we must advance in the implementation of equitable remuneration policies. It is about taking advantage of the situation and moving in the right direction, that we have more and more companies and organizations that are socially responsible, by will and not by obligation, and much more competitive in order to apply these policies.
Josep Capell is CEO of CEINSA and professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid