Penalties for non-compliance with obligations relating to the Equality Plan.

Having an approved and implemented equality plan is an obligation from the 7th of March 2021 for companies with between 101 to 150 employees.

It should be remembered that this obligation was already binding for companies with more than 150 employees. Now companies with 50 or more employees will also have to comply with it.

In any case, it should not only be taken to account the mentioned above to find out from what date the company is obliged to comply with it, as it is also possible that it is imposed by the applicable Collective Bargaining agreement.

Failure  complying with this obligation can lead to  companies facing significant penalties that can seriously damage them, especially due to the current situation.

The Law on Infringements and Sanctions in the Social Order (LISOS) includes a serious and a very serious infringement relating to the matter under analysis.

LISOS considers as a serious infringement the conduct of:

“Failure to comply with the obligations regarding equality plans and measures established in Organic Law 3/2007, of the 22nd of March, for the effective equality of women and men, the Workers’ Statute or the applicable collective bargaining agreement”.

And, for this offence, it provides for financial penalties of between 626 and 6,250 Euros.

In turn, the aforementioned Law punishes as a very serious infringement the fact of:

Not drawing up or not applying the equality plan, or doing so manifestly failing to comply with the terms provided for, when the obligation to carry out said plan responds to the provisions of section 2 of Article 46 bis of this Law [accessory sanction imposed for the commission of very serious infringements referring to direct or indirect discrimination in gender terms, when the company was already obliged to implement it]”.

This very serious infringement entails financial penalties ranging from 6,251 euros to 187,515 euros.

In addition, in the latter case, the imposition of accessory sanctions must be taken into account, consisting of the automatic aid loss, bonuses and, in general, the benefits derived from the employment programmes application  and the possibility of being excluded from the access to such benefits for a period  of between six months and two years.

Also, the Public Sector Contracts Law (Ley de Contratos del Sector Público) establishes that entities belonging to this sector will be prohibited from contracting with companies that, being obliged to having an equality plan, do not comply with it.

And all of this without analysing the innumerable conflicts that may arise within the company with the workers, possibly ending in legal proceedings, if the principle of equality is not respected in practice. Therefore, situations of gender inequality and even harassment in gender terms may arise.

It is clear that complying with this obligation is fundamental, not only for all of the above, but also in order to move forward as a company and as a society.


Pablo Miralles Beviá

Lawyer at Devesa & Calvo Abogados. Legal Department.

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