Lately there has been a boom regulatory boom in sustainability that makes it very difficult to keep up with all the new developments that are emerging. New regulations, new standards, new reporting requirements... Sustainability is bringing with it a true regulatory revolution.
Within the ESG aspects, the social sphere is becoming increasingly relevant. Gone is the secondary position it once held in the shadow of environmental issues, becoming a real driver of transformation within organizations.
Regulation within this area has undergone significant changes in recent times, and companies are increasingly having to pay attention to a greater number of fronts.
This is how the map would be configured with the main novelties new developments legislative developments so far this year in the field of social sustainability in Spain:
- Due Diligence.
On February 23, 2022, the European Commission approved the Proposal for a Due Diligence Directive; a standard that aims to identify, end, prevent, mitigate and account for adverse human rights and environmental impacts of the operations of companies, their subsidiaries and their value chains (See technical note of Forética).
Following the publication of this proposal, the next step was up to the European Parliament, which reached an internal agreement reached an internal agreement on April April 18 and will vote on its position on April 25. This would allow the Parliament to seal its position on due diligence during the session from May 31 to June 1 and then move on to negotiations with the governments of the Member States in the EU Council.
In the meantime, several Member States have been developing their own due diligence initiatives, as is the case in Germany. In Spain, work began on a draft bill on human rights and due diligence in early 2022. at the beginning of 2022, opening a public consultation process that closed on March 3, 2022. Since then there have been no public developments.
In the area of gender equality, the new European Directive on gender equality on the Boards of Directors of listed companies, which came into force at the end of last year, has brought new developments. on gender equality on the Boards of Directors of listed companies, which came into force at the end of last year. This regulation stipulates that, within the Boards of Directors of this type of companies, the members of the under-represented sex must occupy at least 40% of the non-executive directorships, or 33% of the total number of Board positions (i.e. executive and non-executive directors). In Spain, work is already underway on a Draft Bill on Equal Representation Law which, among other aspects, will include these provisions, to be applied as of July 1, 2024. July 1, 2024.
In the area of sexual diversity, on March 1, the new Law for the equality of trans persons and for the guarantee of the rights of LGTBI persons came into force. Law for the equality of trans persons and for the guarantee of the rights of LGTBI persons came into force on March 1.The new law includes among the possible causes of discrimination for employees: "sexual orientation and identity", "sexual orientation and identity", "sexual harassment" and "sexual harassment". "sexual orientation and identitysexual orientation and identity", "gender expression", "gender identity", "gender identity", "gender identity "gender expression and "sexual characteristics". "sexual characteristics"..
This regulation establishes a list of offenses with fines ranging from 200 to 150,000 euros. In addition, it imposes on companies with more than 50 employees the obligation to havewithin twelve months of the entry into force of from the date of entry into force of the law, with a set of measures and set of measures and resources to achieve real and effective equality of LGTBI people, which must include a protocol of action in case of harassment or violence.
In the field of workers' health and safety, the new Spanish Occupational Health and Safety Strategy 2023-2027 Spanish Occupational Health and Safety Strategy 2023-2027, which, for the first time, devotes special attention to occupational health and safety. which, for the first time, devotes special attention to mental health. mental healthIt gives greater weight to psychosocial risks, which have traditionally been relegated to the background.
At the end of February 2023, the new Law on Cooperation for Sustainable Development and Global Solidarity was approved. Law on Cooperation for Sustainable Development and Global Solidarity was approved at the end of February 2023.The content of this law may be relevant for those organizations that develop cooperation projects with public funds.
With regard to recent developments in the area of inclusion, the following stand out in terms of universal accessibility-, Royal Decree 193/2023 Royal Decree 193/2023of March 21, which regulates the basic conditions of accessibility and non-discrimination of persons with disabilities for access to and use of goods and services available to the public.
Other relevant norms in the area of inclusion are the General Law for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and their Social Inclusion or the Royal Decree 636/2022, which regulates the seal of social inclusion, a label that recognizes companies that promote the inclusion of people who are beneficiaries of the Minimum Vital Income
Finally, it is not possible to talk about legislative developments in the social field of sustainability without referring to the taxonomy. As part of the European legislative package on sustainable finance, the ultimate goal of this tool is to identify which companies and products are socially sustainable in order to facilitate the channeling of capital flows to these activities. The next step is for the Commission to prepare its own report on the subject. However, no progress is expected in the short term.