On July 1, 2019, the National Superintendency of Labor Inspection (Sunafil, Superintendencia Nacional de Fiscalización Laboral) began to supervise medium and large companies in order to ensure compliance with the obligations in the area of Equal Pay provided in Law No. 30709; a law that prohibits wage discrimination between men and women. In the case of SMEs (Mypes in Peru), this law will be effective from December 1, 2019.
According to a regional study of Latin American countries, Brazil is the country with the lowest wage gap between men and women, 24.8%, followed by Argentina with 25%, Chile with 25.4% and Colombia with 26.2%. In contrast, Peru leads the group with a wage gap of 26.3%.
Gender equality remains one of the biggest challenges in the world of work. There are many companies that are hiring more women for positions formerly reserved only for men. And although, the rate of female presence in managerial positions continues to be lower – 20% in Latin America -, its participation quota is gradually increasing.
Furthermore, the data of the National Institute of Statistics of Peru reveals that women earn 30% less than men performing the same activities, a situation that is tried to improve by implementing the Law 30709 and the inspection by Sunafil.
In addition to the gender equity objective pursued with the implementation of the law, it is important to note that this regulation has also the purpose of implementing internal control tools in salary matters; an implement that can be beneficial for companies when it comes to responding to an audit of the National Superintendence of Customs and Tax Administration (Sunat) related to personnel expenses. Before this law, companies had to prove these expenses, although it was not mandatory, in case of possible tax audits, which showed poor compatibility between labor and tax regulations.
What are the new requirements for companies under Law No. 30709?
- Generate a table of categories, functions and remunerations. It is recommended to follow the model detailed in the “Guide to promote equal pay in employer’s organizations”, issued by the Ministry of Labor and Employment Promotion (MTPE), since this will be the model that Sunafil will use as a reference to perform audits.
- Creation and implementation of a salary policy. It must be known by all workers and documented with the following:
- A structure of positions and salaries, with details of the concepts that compose the remuneration.
- Remuneration for each position. This does not include details of each worker’s remuneration.
- Criteria and guidelines that define the benefits granted to personnel for different concepts (for example, bonuses)
- Identification and explanation of the methodology used to determine the remuneration (that is, why this worker is paid only a basic salary while others have a variable remuneration, for example).
- Identify the measures taken to prevent temporary periods from having an adverse impact on the allocation of wage increases.
- Contract renewal for pregnant women. It is forbidden not to renew the contract to pregnant women.
- Committees on equal pay. Its constitution is not regulated in the Law or in the regulation, so its implementation is not recommended as it contains sensitive company information, such as the salaries of the company’s workers.
It is important to specify that employers are free to establish the amount of remuneration and remuneration levels, provided that the distinction between them is based on objective and non-subjective criteria. Among the criteria that are considered acceptable we can find: postgraduate studies, speaking more than one language, number of workers in charge, seniority in the company, client portfolio, etc.
Regarding the sanctions
The non-compliance with these new obligations may result in the employer paying fines, whose amounts can range between S / 9,450 (€ 2,486) and S / 189,000 (€ 49,737) for each infraction, depending on the number of workers in the company. For Mypes, fines can amount to S / 32,550 (€ 8,566). Similarly, if it is verified that the company has incurred in discriminatory acts, the fine can reach S / 12,600 (€ 3,316).
Some considerations to take into account during the audit
For the new Sunafil audits, companies have four documents: salary policy, internal labor regulations, occupational health and safety, and prevention of workplace harassment.