Iceland becomes first country to require proof of equal pay

On International Women’s Day, Iceland announced their plans to force companies to pay all employees the same regardless of their gender, ethnicity, sexuality or nationality.

The government stated it would introduce a bill in parliament this month that will obligate every company with 25 or more employees to obtain a certificate proving they provide equal pay for work of equal value.
Should the law be passed, it is hoped it will be implemented by 2020 to help work towards the Icelandic governments commitment to eradicate the gender pay gap by 2022.
Equality and Social Affairs Minister, Thorsteinn Viglundsson, said:

The time is right to do something radical about this issue.

Equal rights are human rights. We need to make sure that men and women enjoy equal opportunity in the workplace. It is our responsibility to take every measure to achieve that.

In October, thousands of Icelandic women walked out of their workplaces in a nationwide strike to protest against earning less than men.

Iceland has been ranked the most gender equal country in the world by the World Economic Forum eight years in a row. Unsurprisingly, this is down to the Icelandic mission for creating an equal society enshrined in law.

However, Icelandic women still earn 14 to 18 per cent less than men, on average, according to the Center for Gender Equality in Iceland.

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