Monday, 22 January, 2018

Iceland requires companies to give men, women equal pay for equal work

Reykjavík Iceland Nordic gender equality gender parity wage gap politics policy Iceland just made it illegal to pay men more than women for the same job
Preston Stone | 12 January, 2018, 19:40

Iceland passed equal pay legislation, becoming the first country in the world to make it illegal for men to be paid more than women for equal work.

Iceland has started the New Year with the introduction of a new law under which both government offices and private businesses will have to receive a special government certification on equal pay policies.

As the Icelandic Women's Rights Association notes, equal pay for equal work has been mandated by Icelandic laws since 1961.

The Nordic country has been a leader in creating a gender-equal country for awhile now, having been ranked by the World Economic Forum as the most gender-equal country by the past nine years.

Iceland's fix to gender pay inequality seems straightforward and simple, but experts say it's not an easy idea for the U.S.to borrow.

"The gender pay gap is unfortunately a fact in the Icelandic labour market and it's time take radical measures; we have the knowledge and the processes to eliminate it", he said.

Iceland Nordic gender equality gender parity wage gap politics policy
Sanders praises Iceland for equal pay law

But here's what gives the ruling some weight: Companies with over 25 employees that don't follow through will be fined.

In the USA, women have nearly non-existent protections when it comes to equal pay.

Actress and gender equality campaigner Patricia Arquette tweeted: "Yoo Hoo!"

Tennis player Billie Jean King added: "Iceland again leading in the equality movement". At present, almost half of Iceland's parliamentarians are female lawmakers. "Equal representation benefits everyone!"

On average, women in the USA earn 19.5 percent less than men for the same job, according to 2016 data from IWPR. To obtain the certificate, employers are required to show that differences in wages for the same job are based on experience, performance or other considerations, and not gender. Anti-gender-gap activists cried foul, but administration officials said the form provides undue burdens on business without achieving the desired effect of equity.

The statement came following an investigation in October 2017 that revealed women working at Holyrood are paid significantly less than men.

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