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SOCIETY Iceland becomes first country in the world requiring businesses to obtain Equal Pay Certification

Published 15 Jan 2018 11:23AM

Words by AC Speed

The Icelandic government have introduced a new law for companies employing 25 or more people on an annual basis. The new legislation requires companies meeting these criteria to obtain a certification proving they pay men and women equally for filling the same position within a company.

“The new legislation makes Iceland the first country in the world to require companies with 25 or more employees to obtain certification on the basis of requirements of a management standard to prove they offer equal pay for work of equal value regardless of gender.”

The new bill of law, originally submitted in June 2017 by Icelandic Minister of Social Affairs and Equality, is an amendment to the Gender Equality Act 10/2008 and recently came into effect in January of this year.

This law is to ensure that both men and women receive equal pay. Many of the complex issues surrounding this topic stem from obligations outside of the workplace and a report by the Icelandic government stated “It must also be regarded as important to carry out a broad survey of how parents take maternity/paternity and parental leave” and “Thus, wage differentials come about to a large extent because women withdraw from the labour market to a greater degree than men do in connection with the birth and post-natal care of children”

Many people assume it is a simple case of women being paid less than men for the same position, working the same hours, which is not the case. The government also stated, “The employment rates among both women and men are high in Iceland, and it is, therefore, necessary to enable both women and men to attend to tasks both inside the home and at work.”

Resource: Press Release


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