So far, women in Iceland were on an average getting paid 19% lower than their male colleagues.
A new law in the country mandates equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or nationality.
The new rule which came into effect from New Year’s Day, will cover all the nearly 150,000 workers in the country. It will apply to the 1,200 companies in Iceland which have a minimum of 25 workers. Under the new rules, the firms will also need to publish their wage scales.
According to an Australian Broadcasting Corporation report, Iceland’s Ministry of Welfare stated that the law was a “world first”.
Companies Need To Get Certified
The government is launching courses to help companies implement the new pay scales. On completion the companies will be awarded a certificate which then has to be renewed every three years.
The move is aimed to eliminating the gender pay gap by 2022. Although several other countries have introduced similar measures, Iceland is for now the global pioneer with the new law.
Speaking to media, Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind of the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association noted that the legislation is “ a mechanism” using which companies and organizations must “evaluate every job that’s being done”, and the certificate is granted after their confirm that “they are paying men and women equally.”