Iceland now requires all employers to PROVE they offer equal pay 4 years ago

Iceland now requires all employers to PROVE they offer equal pay

Iceland has become the first country in the world to order firms to prove they offer equal pay, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or nationality.

According to the new law, introduced on International Women's Day, March 8, every company with more than 25 employees on the Nordic island will be required to obtain a certificate to prove they pay all workers equally for equal work.

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While similar policies are already in place in Minnesota in the United States and in Switzerland, the Icelandic government is the first to make the equal pay certificate a requirement for both public and private firms.

Almost all OECD countries legislate to ensure equal pay for equal work regardless of gender, however, yet a lack of transparency (around half of all workers report that the discussion of wage and salary information is discouraged) means discrimination is rife.

In short? Keeping salaries a closely guarded secrets allows employers to get away with paying women less for comparable work.

'Equal rights are human rights'

Despite the cold and the fact that daylight is weak or non-existent for much of the winter, Iceland is one of the happiest countries in the OECD. 83% of people in Iceland reported having more positive experiences in an average day than negative ones, compared to an OECD average of 72%.

It's no surprise it's also been ranked the best country for gender equality by the World Economic Forum.

Speaking about the new law, Equality and Social Affairs Minister Thorsteinn Viglundsson said that "the time is right to do something radical about this issue."

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"Equal rights are human rights. We need to make sure that men and women enjoy equal opportunity in the workplace. It is our responsibility to take every measure to achieve that," he said.