Two laws – one on Labour another on Equality – change on the same day, but in a different way, another third law. State Gazette publishes two changes but warns it is impossible to know which is in force…


Legal uncertainty? In Spain? Not at all. It is just that the judge and the interested parties can choose which wording they prefer to apply to art 16.1 letter c. of the Law on Offences and Penalties in the Social Order (which typifies “the very serious offences faced by companies, recruitment agencies or training entities if they request vetted and personal data when recruiting personnel”).

The Official State Gazette (BOE) of 28 February shows two simultaneous and different versions of this article of the law. And both are valid, at least for the moment. So the BOE itself has opted to reflect both wordings until the problem is fixed and to include a notice (in the image) explaining that: “Please note that letter c) of paragraph 1 is modified by final provision 1.2 of Law 3/2023, of 28 February, Ref. BOE-A-2023-5365 and, with the same date of official publication and entry into force, letter c) is modified again by final provision 6.4 of Law 4/2023, of 28 February. Ref. BOE-A-2023-5366. Both wordings are shown”.

The ministries of Yolanda Díaz (Labour) and Irene Montero (Equality) modified the Law on Infractions and Sanctions in the Social Order (LISOS) on the same day through the Employment Law (Yolanda Díaz) and the trans law (Equality) and, as both were published and came into force at the same time, both versions are valid. The problem is that they say different things

In the “management league” of which the Prime Minister boasts – forgetting the trains that don’t fit through tunnels, the hundred sex offenders released from prison under the “only yes is yes” law, forgetting that Spain is the only country of the 27 in the European Union that has still not recovered its pre-Covid GDP level… – the warning of the error was detected by the labour lawyer Robert Gutiérrez, who echoed the contradiction on social networks. Legal experts consulted explain that the lack of a chronological criterion now prevents one of the versions from repealing the previous one, so the Government will have to undo the mess with a definitive version that puts an end to a discrepancy that has been dragging on for almost a month now.

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The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.