The law prohibits discrimination with respect to employment and occupation on the basis of race, color, political opinion, sex, disability, language, sexual orientation or gender identity, HIV-positive status or other communicable diseases, or social status. The government effectively enforced these laws and regulations. The labor code prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, national extraction, or social origin.
Employers occasionally discriminated against persons with disabilities in employment (see section 6, Persons with Disabilities). The law establishes quotas that require businesses employing more than 25 persons to hire workers with disabilities and pay them prevailing wages, but the government acknowledged it had not applied or enforced these laws consistently.
The law provides for the same legal status and rights for women as for men, including rights under labor law and in the judicial system. The law mandates equal pay for equal work. According to information provided by the Ministry of Equal Opportunities, during the year employers paid women 8.6 percent less on average than men for comparable work.
e. Acceptable Conditions of Work
As of January 1, the national minimum wage for a worker over the age of 18 was greater than the estimated poverty income level of 1,650 euros ($1,980) per month in 2011, the last year for which information was publicly available. Minimum wage provisions apply to all employees, including foreign, migrant, temporary, and contract workers.
The Labor Inspection Court, the social security ministry, and the Superior Court of Justice are responsible for enforcing laws governing maximum hours of work and mandatory holidays. The government regularly conducted investigations and transferred cases to judicial authorities. The majority of alleged violations occurred in the construction sector. The law mandates a safe working environment. Workers can remove themselves from situations endangering health and safety without jeopardizing their employment. Authorities effectively protected employees in this situation.
The labor inspectorate of the Ministry of Labor and the accident insurance agency of the social security ministry are responsible for inspecting workplaces, but the labor inspectorate did not have adequate skilled inspectors to fulfill this responsibility effectively. Workers have the right to ask the labor inspectorate to make a determination regarding workplace safety. Penalties for violations included fines and imprisonment and were generally sufficient to deter violations. Accidents occurred most frequently in the construction and catering sectors.