The implementation of the LGTBI protocol in family-owned companies

Implementation of the LGTBI protocol in family-owned companies, labor lawyer of CECA MAGÁN Abogados
8 Apr 2024

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Who is obliged to implement the so-called LGTBI protocol? In the contemporary labor context, the protection of LGTBI rights has acquired significant relevance. In the quest to promote equality and diversity in the workplace, important legislative advances have been made, with the protection of the LGTBI collective being one of the most important milestones in recent times.

Undoubtedly, one of the greatest advances has been the implementation of the so-called Protocol for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression (commonly referred to as the “LGTBI Protocol”).

Law 4/2023, for the real and effective equality of trans persons and for the guarantee of the rights of LGTBI persons, provides in Article 15 that companies with more than 50 employees must have an LGTBI protocol

The purpose of this protocol is, precisely, to prevent discriminatory behavior against the LGTBI collective, seeking its eradication through the establishment of a series of preventive measures and a protocol of action in case of complaint, which is, in a pragmatic and simple way, accessible to all workers.

- Should family businesses have an LGTBI Protocol?

Family businesses are distinguished from other businesses by their ownership and/or management structure, since they are usually family-owned and have a clear vocation for continuity. This condition, at first glance, may invite one to think that special or specific rules apply to them, different from those of other companies.

However, the only existing distinction in terms of the obligation to have an LGTBI protocol is centered on the number of employees in the company. Thus, all family-owned companies with more than 50 employees must have an LGTBI protocol.

LGTBI Protocols, when implemented in family businesses, generate a series of opportunities and challenges, as well as potential problems that must be taken into account in order to prevent them.

One of the biggest challenges for family businesses is to overcome possible cultural and generational barriers that may exist in relation to sexual and gender diversity. Such barriers often exist because family businesses are often founded decades ago, by other generations, who have been educated in a different era with a different social reality.

Another controversial issue is the treatment of the data obtained, insofar as the implementation and management of the LGTBI protocol may conflict with the regulations protecting personal data, insofar as sexual orientation is considered a special category of data. Consequently, precautions must be taken to ensure that the processing is anonymous or to safeguard confidentiality.

On the other hand, the implementation of an LGTBI Protocol in the company can be an opportunity to foster innovation, improve morale and increase talent retention. In this sense, when family businesses adopt an inclusive culture, where all employees feel valued and respected regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, an environment conducive to personal and professional growth is created.

On the other hand, the implementation of these Protocols can lead to certain tensions or problems that should be known, in order to try to prevent them. On the one hand, the introduction of LGTBI policies may exacerbate existing family tensions within the company, especially if some family members do not agree with the implementation of such policies.

- What do we recommend from CECA MAGÁN Abogados?

Based on the above, and in view of the requirements imposed on all companies, it is necessary that all control measures comply with the provisions of the law and the courts.

Being more specific, from CECA MAGÁN Abogados we recommend a set of specific actions, always under the guidance of expert advisors:

  1. If the implementation of such a Protocol is mandatory, we recommend seeking advice from experts in the field, in order to draw up an effective Protocol that guarantees and fulfills the objective of preventing and eradicating harassment behaviors in the company. Likewise, advice should be sought from experts in Data Protection, since sexual orientation is a special category of data.
  2. Raise awareness among all company personnel of the importance of respecting and guaranteeing the equality of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation and identity. In this sense, receiving training on the subject can be convenient and useful, as it is an appropriate way to raise awareness.
  3. Analyze the existing culture in the company, in order to blur and eliminate possible cultural and generational barriers that may exist in the company. 
  4. Conduct periodic evaluations to measure the impact and effectiveness of the LGTBI protocol in the family business. This can include employee satisfaction surveys, reviews of policies and procedures.

To recapitulate, family businesses should be aware that they may find themselves obliged to have an LGTBI Protocol, and in that case, they should be aware of the opportunities, challenges and difficulties that may arise.

At CECA MAGÁN we are experts in advising family groups and companies in the development of family protocols, as well as advising on the implementation of LGTBI Protocols and Equality. You can contact our lawyers here.

Laura Guillén – Family Business Group

Director in the labor area

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