Looking back at 2023: new inclusion topics emerged

Diversity and inclusion were in the spotlight in 2023. This was reflected in Spain, where a law was passed to combat discrimination against LGBTI people and menstrual leave was introduced, as well as in Ireland, where domestic violence leave was introduced. These issues are also gaining ground within companies.

Through Nathalie Tran. Published on 12 January 2024 Ă  13h24 - Update on 17 January 2024 Ă  12h24

Spain adopted two significant diversity and inclusion laws at the beginning of the year. The first, designed to combat discrimination against LGBTI people, requires companies with more than 50 employees to negotiate an action plan with employee representatives to guarantee non-discrimination on the grounds of “sexual orientation and identity, gender expression or sexual characteristics”. The second creates three days of paid menstrual leave for women suffering from “incapacitating” period pain. Spain is the first country in Europe to recognise this right, which already exists in Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Zambia. A similar scheme has also been introduced by the legislative assembly of Mexico City. In Ireland, meanwhile, five days of statutory leave has been introduced for domestic violence.

New issues for companies too

Fertility problems, miscarriages, painful periods and endometriosis, as well as the menopause, are also among the new areas firms are looking at as they consider the employee experience, with a view to attracting and retaining talent. The UK public television network Channel 4, for example, has introduced a range of measures around women’s menstrual health with the aim of improving equality in the workplace. In some cases, these new issues have even led to the creation of specific leave entitlements, as is the case at Carrefour in France. Two other subjects have also taken on a new dimension: gender transition and domestic violence. In France, the agreement on professional equality at the Orano group (formerly Areva) is a perfect illustration. Keen to increase the number of women in its technical roles, the nuclear group has made new commitments in the areas of medically assisted reproduction and surrogacy, as well as domestic violence and gender transition. In the United Kingdom, the chain of electrical goods stores Currys has created a specific gender reassignment leave scheme.

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