One of the best countries to live in, this Nordic island nation has always topped various polls. The World Economic Forum’s 2015 global gender gap index poll’s top position was expectedly bagged by this country followed closely by its neighbours Norway, Finland and Sweden. Iceland added another feather to its cap.
In continuation to leading the charge of happiness index, Iceland has come up with a world’s first in the world of legislations. Private companies and government agencies will now be required to prove pay between the male and female employees is fair/equal. In the case they are unable to do so, they will have to face fines.
The bill has been presented in the parliament requiring public and private businesses of a certain size (25 or more employees), to prove they offer equal pay to employees.
“A certification of their equal-pay programmes will be required. The new law aims to close the wage gap between men and women in the island nation of more than 323,000 people. 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. In regard to annual financial statements, there are fines if documents are not delivered, and I can see the same apply if an equal-pay certification has not been implemented, since it will be an obligation. Managers and companies that have undertaken the procedure have been positive, as they have found it beneficial to go systematically through pay decisions in their sections.” Thorsteinn Viglundsson, minister of social affairs and equality, said.
Nearly 50% of the lawmakers in the parliament of Iceland are women and the law is expected to take effect from January next year requiring private companies and government agencies to go through audits and receive certification that equal pay is provided.