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Iceland Becomes First Country to Legalize Equal Pay

Published on January 08, 2018
Iceland becomes the first country in the world to legalize equal pay in the workplace.

Iceland Becomes First Country to Legalize Equal Pay

  • The law was passed last year but it came into effect on 1st January 2018.
  • According to a law passed by its Parliament, all companies both private and public, need to prove that their wage practices do not discriminate against women.
  • The only difference in wages that may exist should be on the basis of education, output and skills.
  • The law seeks to eliminate the current pay gap of around 5.7% between men and women. Iceland aims to eradicate gender pay inequality by the year 2022.
  • Companies with more than 25 employees will be required to get an equal pay certification which must be renewed every three years. Those who fail to prove parity will face fines.
  • Iceland has always been a leader in gender parity. The World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked Iceland as the top country for gender equality for the last nine years based on the criteria involving economics, education, health and politics.
  • According to the Global Gender Gap report, Iceland has been one of the fastest improving countries in the world over a ten year period.
  • This new legislation was supported by Iceland’s centre-right government as well as the opposition, in a Parliament where nearly 50%of all members are women.
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