Iceland legislates for equal pay between genders

The Nordic nation is making it illegal to pay men more than women.
Iceland has become the first country in the world to legislate for equal pay between men and women.
 
New legislation kicked in on January 1, making it illegal for employers to pay men more than women.
 
Companies and government agencies that employ more than 25 people are now required to obtain a government certification confirming that they are paying men and women equally for equal work. The certification will need to be renewed every three years. 
 
Employers who do not comply will face daily, cumulative fines. 
 
"It's a mechanism to ensure women and men are being paid equally," Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, a board member of the Icelandic Women's Rights Association, told Al Jazeera.
 
"I think that now people are starting to realise that this is a systematic problem that we have to tackle with new methods," she added.
 
Icelandic law has mandated equal pay for equal work since the 1960s, but these were seen as ineffective in actual bridging the pay gap, which was around 16% in 2016. 
 
The Nordic country, which has been ranked by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as the world's most gender-equal country for the last nine years running, plans to completely eradicate the wage gap by 2020. Nearly half of the parliament that put through the new law are women.
 
Although it specifically targets the gender-based wage gap, Iceland's welfare office notes that it can also be used "to prevent and eradicate all sorts of discrimination."
 

 

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