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Legal Environment

Definition and Management of Diversity

The UNESCO declaration giving Cultural Diversity the status of Patrimony of Humanity; the evidence created in the XXIst century by the different needs and contributions of people according to their diverse profiles, as centre of the global socio economic system; generates the requirement for a legal framework supporting the behaviour of the individuals and its institutions - to defend the rights and obligations of persons to live in an environment of respect in all the areas of activities.

Se entiende que las personas deben recibir un trato de igualdad no únicamente por la diferencia de género, sino también al respeto de hombres y mujeres en cuanto a su cultura, raza, nacionalidad de origen, religión /creencia, situación familiar, nivel de educación, orientación sexual y discapacidad.


“Diversity takes many forms. It is usually thought of in terms of obvious attributes – age differences, race, gender, physical ability, sexual orientation, religion and language. Diversity in terms of background, professional experience, skills and specialization, values and culture, as well as social class, is a prevailing pattern.“

United Nations, 2000

Cost of not managing Diversity Inclusion today in organizations.

Report from the Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity of the Queen Mary University of London published a research: “Diversity in Business, How Much Progress have Employers Made?

Objectives of the research:

• Detect the degree to which employers and managers recognise the “business case” of Diversity
• The degree to which diversity inclusion recognised as an asset to the organisation
• What motivates decision makers to act and implement anti-discrimination and diversity inclusion policies.

The results of the CIPD research identifies the relevance of the legal impact that Diversity Management has in companies and organisations. The report shows that primary reason for companies to implement Diversity Inclusion policies is related with compliance current legislation in their country.

• given the economic cost of litigation
• the cost of lost of talent
• the risk of lost of trust from shareholders
• lost of loyalty from clients, suppliers and stakeholders
• social cost given to lost of brand value


European Union Directives

In 2000, the European Union formulated Directives to give a framework for Member States to establish local legislation that guarantees equal opportunities to all people based on respect and inclusion of their cultural and demographic diversities.

Currently, the EU non-discrimination Directives prohibit direct or indirect discrimination on grounds of:

• Gender
• Race or ethnic origin
• Religion or belief
• Disability
• Age
• Sexual orientation

The scope of protection against discrimination varies for the different grounds listed above on the area of employment and training. Directives also extend to the areas of education, housing, provision of goods and services, etc.

These texts also contain precise definitions of direct and indirect discrimination and of harassment. They also provide direction that allows certain exceptions to the principle of equal opportunities, which are defined as legitimate in a limited range of circumstances.

Both Directives prohibit four types of discriminatory behaviour:

• Direct Discrimination
• Indirect Discrimination
• Harassment
• Instruction to discriminate

The directives provide a minimum standard in non-discrimination law for all member states. Member states have an obligation to transpose the directives into national law and can only improve upon the minimum standard, they cannot have national legislation that goes below that standard.

• European Union

  • Treaty of Amsterdam, 1999 (art.13)
  • Treaty of Lisbon, 2000
  • Directive against racial and ethnic discrimination, 2000/43/EC
  • Directive against age, disability, sexual orientation, religion or relieve 2000/78/EC- Applicable 2003-2006
  • 2001-2006 Community Action Programme
  • EU Charter Fundamental Rights
  • European Constitution:
    "United in Diversity “ Europe offers the best possibilities to advance in a grand adventure of a single space of privilege for human hope”

Legislation in Spain


The Spanish legislation has advanced in the creation of a legal framework to regulate the behaviour of personas and institutions oriented to create a supportive environment that fosters the development of genuine equal opportunities to respond to the reality of the diverse profiles of peoples.

Spain has advanced in the application of the EU Directives in different phases and at the rhythm that its social agents have been able to integrate these laws.

  • Directives 2000/43 and 78 y 2002/73
  • Spanish Constitutions
  • Law 13/1982, integration of disabled persons
  • Statute of the Workers, art. 4
  • Law 62/2003
  • Present project of law of Equality

Legal dimension of the Diversity
Law of Equality
Diversity in Business - How much progress have employers Made

Por la diversidad. Contra la discriminación
La Constitución Europea