This Country Just Made It Illegal to Pay Women Less Than Men

Marco Green
January 13, 2018

An Iceland law requiring companies to pay men and women equally went into effect January 1.

Under the new rules, companies that employ more than 25 people are obliged to obtain a government certificate showing their pay equality policies, according to multiple reports. Those failing to comply or meet with standards will be fined.

In October 2016, thousands of women across Iceland walked out of their workplaces at 2.38pm (women's rights groups had calculated the pay gap meant that, after that time each day, women were working for free).

Board member of the Icelandic Women's Rights Association, Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, elaborated on the new system, saying: "It's a mechanism to ensure women and men are being paid equally".

The pay gap in Ireland now sits at 14 percent. Instead, the burden is on companies to prove that their pay practices are fair. Iceland has been at the top of the list for the last nine years. To get started, they're making it illegal to pay men more than women doing the same jobs.

Statistics showed that the average woman's salary at the Scottish Parliament is 11.1 per cent lower than the average man's earnings.

The new legislation was approved by the country's parliament, which is comprised of roughly 50 percent women.

The figures show that the overall gross rate of pay for men working at Holyrood is £17.86 an hour, nearly £2 an hour more than the £15.87 average rate paid to women.

Iceland has topped lists for gender equality.

"We must follow the example of our brothers and sisters in Iceland and demand equal pay for equal work now, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or nationality", he wrote on his Facebook page. Iceland's plan is to completely abolish a wage gap by 2020.

The law was announced previous year on March 8-the date pegged International Women's Day-and aims to eradicate the gender pay gap by 2022.

In 1975, one fifth of the country's female population took to the streets of capital Reykjavik to protest women's rights, while 90 per cent of women took part in professional and domestic strikes on the same day to prove the worth of women.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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