Iceland Makes It Illegal To Pay Men More Than Women


Iceland Makes It Illegal To Pay Men More Than Women

Andrew Cummings
January 12, 2018

Equal pay is now a legal requirement in Iceland, making it the first country to determine it illegal to pay a woman less than a man for the same job.

Under the new legislation, companies that employ more than 25 people will have to obtain a government certificate to demonstrate they adhere to pay equality.

The law, which was passed past year and went into effect on Monday, is believed to be the first of its kind in the world and covers both the private and public sectors.

The bill was introduced in April 2017 and was supported by a parliament where half of the members are women. The group's Global Gender Gap report found that the country had almost closed more than 70 percent of its gender gap.

Larger companies will have to implement the standard by 2019.


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.

"History has shown that if you want progress, you need to enforce it".

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

Getting here was not a quick process.

Such protests continued throughout the years.


In comparison, Iceland has a gender pay gap of 17 percent. Companies will face a fine if they do not comply with this law.

In 2010, Iceland's government adopted a 40 per cent gender quota for private company boards, which took hold on September 1, 2013.

The World Economic Forum has rated Iceland the most gender-equal country for more than a decade. That is, it only tackles one part of the problem of gender pay discrimination.

"It's a mechanism to ensure women and men are being paid equally", Pind added.

Iceland's population is roughly 323,000 people and has been named the world's "Most Gender-Equal Country" by the World Economic Forum for nine years in a row.


"We must follow the example of our brothers and sisters in Iceland and demand equal pay for equal work now, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or nationality", Sanders said in a Facebook post.

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