So Valdimarsdóttir and her association were one of … In 2015, women earned 14-20% less than men, according to. A new law makes equal pay for … From what I understand, the USA already has equal pay laws. Hannes from SA–Business Iceland thinks that the standard is an extra burden for companies and it should be kept voluntary. For a country that has the same population as St. Louis, Missouri, Iceland packs an influential punch in demonstrating the power of equal pay. “It started back in 2008 as a voluntary initiative initiated by the social partners. Delivers comprehensive content on all of the main topics of discourse in Iceland at each time: in cultural life, politics or general social affairs. “It doesn’t happen entirely just on a voluntary basis.”. You’re not allowed to copy it or post it anywhere. Iceland is the first country to take the fight against the gender pay gap a step further, requiring companies to proactively get equal pay certification from the government. Market data provided by ICE Data Services. It’s not a transparent document,” Halldóra continues. As for how to tackle the root of the problem, the answer is still unknown. You’re not allowed to copy it or post it anywhere. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Þorsteinn, however, has a different perspective. OMARSDOTTIR: Well, we in Iceland have had an equal pay law in effect since 1961. In other words, the law doesn’t target pay differences between men and women who have jobs of different value. . “We used that framework to develop the Equal Pay Standard.”, After the standard was completed in 2012, the first pilot project began a year later. Hannes from SA–Business Iceland thinks that the standard is an extra burden for companies and it should be kept voluntary. That was the first time the Althing, the Iceland Parliament, banned pay discrimination in the … Staðlaráð Íslands, an independent association that publishes Icelandic standards. Since the first edition of the Forum report in 2006, Iceland has closed around 10% of its total gender gap, making it one of the fastest-improving countries in the world. Even though the law doesn’t tackle this problem directly, it will help companies and institutions focus on gender and change their approaches. The country hopes to eradicate the gender pay gap completely by 2022. In the United States, women earn about 79 cents for every dollar men earn. “. A small country like Iceland, with about 350,000 people and nearly all the same ethnic background, can do a lot of things the USA can’t, because of its diversity and bureaucracy. ”. This landmark piece of legislation will make Iceland the first country in the world to truly enforce equal pay between women and men. In 2015, women earned 14-20% less than men, according to Statistics Iceland. The walkout was timed to highlight the calculations of women's rights groups, who say the pay gap means after that time each day, women are working for free. Iceland has taken a big step in its attempt to close the gender pay gap by making illegal to pay women less than men for the same job. The government hopes to close the gender pay gap by 2022, but Halldóra thinks that there’s still more that needs to be done. “We looked at the model of other international standards like environmental standards, management standards and quality standards,” Hannes explains. Iceland's parliament, which is about 50 percent female, announced the legislation in March 2017, on International Women's day. Iceland's biggest and most widely read tourist publication. From Reykjavík in the south to Sauðárkrókur in the north – companies across Iceland are introducing the equal pay standard which aims to eradicate gender pay gaps. The new law requires companies and institutions with 25 or more employees annually to obtain an Equal Pay Certification from the Centre for Gender Equality. A major turning point in the global fight for gender pay parity was marked on January 1, 2018 when a new Icelandic law on pay certification came into force. The new Equal Pay Law addresses pay discrepancies between women and men who are doing work of equal value. Otherwise, they risk being fined. Iceland has set a new standard for the world in gender equality at the workplace. So, they have been looking at the possibility of changing the shift system to 8-hour shifts, or offer more flexible shifts to attract more women.”, Halldóra Mogensen is an MP from the Pirate Party and the chair of the Welfare Committee. Iceland equal pay law comes into effect in bid to close gender gap - ABC News Iceland equal pay law comes into effect in bid to close gender gap Posted 3 Jan 2018, updated 3 Jan We looked at the model of other international standards like environmental standards, management standards and quality standards,” Hannes explains. The fight for gender equality in Iceland Any feminist can tell you that the aforementioned steps are definitely great strides forward for women, but they did not happen overnight. Companies and institutions were trying out the methodology of the standard, and how simple or complicated it would be to implement,” Þorsteinn comments. “You can imagine how difficult it is for the largest corporations or institutions, like the National Hospital, which is the biggest employer in Iceland,” says Hannes. Although Iceland first passed legislation on equal pay as early as 1961, the gender pay gap persisted. She had a few concerns when the law was being discussed in the Parliament. Download Appening to find out about every single event happening in the greater-Reykjavík area Today. Best Parental Leave Policy in the World. Stockholm, April 5 Iceland’s Parliament has presented a Bill that would require public and private businesses to prove they offer equal pay to employees, in what would be the first such requi The question now is how effective a measure like this will. The law mandates employers to undergo equal pay certification using the Equal Pay Standard, an equal pay management system developed in Iceland. The new law, which came into force on New Year's Day, … The bill was initially introduced by Þorsteinn Víglundsson, who served as the Minister of Social Affairs and Equality in 2017. Despite an equal pay act that dates back to 1961, Icelandic women still earn, on average, between 14% and 20% less than men. Although Iceland first passed legislation on equal pay as early as 1961, the gender pay gap persisted. One of the main tasks Icelandic companies and institutions face is to define which jobs are of equal value. “. “This company charges 10.000 ISK to look at the rules. Iceland is now the first country in the world to require companies to prove that they are not paying women less than men under an amendment to the Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men that came into effect on Jan. 1, 2018. “That’s not a problem that can be solved with one policy, which is why no one’s doing it,” Halldóra finishes. If a customs official’s work value is higher than an office worker’s value, it means that customs officials are paid more. “They should have negotiated with the company and had this as a public document before putting through this law.”. “If you impose such a way of working and thinking upon thousands of companies, you’re changing the way they behave on a daily basis,” he says. “Companies and institutions were trying out the methodology of the standard, and how simple or complicated it would be to implement,” Þorsteinn comments. Now one country has decided to end the gender pay gap once and for all. The law enforcing equal pay between genders came into effect on January 1, 2018, according to Al Jazeera.. Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here! The gap between men’s and women’s pay is a global problem. 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West Reykjavík Considers Rapper Statue, Your essential guide to life, travel and entertainment in Iceland. “It’s a step in the right direction, but the battle isn’t over,” she says. It’s not a transparent document,” Halldóra continues. In 2015, women earned 14-20% less than men, according to Statistics Iceland. Iceland this week took its equal pay law to a new level, as a law took effect requiring employers to prove they don’t discriminate against women in monetary compensation. The law would take effect from January. All companies and government agencies with more than 25 employees must now obtain an official certification to show that they give equal pay for work of equal value. In an eyebrow-raising move, the country this year launched a new law requiring public and private employers to show that all employees are being paid equally for equal work. The gap is the smallest it's been since 1960, but it has also been closing much more slowly since the 1980s. Last year, Iceland became the first country to make companies responsible for paying men and women equally. It also recently became the world’s first nation to make it mandatory for companies and institutions with more than 25 employees to prove that they pay men and women equally for the same job. The law came into effect on Monday and applies to all companies and organizations with at least 25 full-time employees. Iceland has the best maternity/paternity policy in the world. “We have to look at the reason why women aren’t applying for customs official jobs,” Þorsteinn says. Sparkling Skaftafell: The Ultimate Glacier Hike In Iceland, Víðgelmir: The Epic Lava Cave of Borgarfjörður. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. … But those days are over. Iceland has made it illegal to pay men more than women with the introduction of a new law enforcing equal pay. “. “That was an ongoing project between 2013 and 2016.”. / CBS News. Iceland has always been praised as a country with great equality between men and women. And NPR reported that the state of Minnesota now enforces equal pay law ... the legislation will go into effect in 2020, ... Keywords iceland equal pay wage gap wage inequality. Iceland now the first country to enforce equal pay for women and men. A grand, continuously updated database of Iceland's main restaurants, clubs, cafes, shops, museums, tours and tourist attractions as well as a thorough events listing. Iceland has taken a big step in its attempt to close the gender pay gap by making illegal to pay Þorsteinn says that during the pilot phase, the Directorate of Customs found that 80% of the office workers were women, while 80% of the customs officials were men. “Part of the solution is rethinking our economic system, how we value these different jobs and why we value them in this way.”, Next: 36 Bankers, 96 Years In Jail “You’re still gonna have a lot of women in society who get paid a lot less than men, not because they’re working the same jobs, but because women choose different jobs than men do, and the jobs they choose are undervalued.” For example, some of these jobs are nurses, teachers, cleaners, etc. You can imagine how difficult it is for the largest corporations or institutions, like the National Hospital, which is the biggest employer in Iceland,” says Hannes. “We used that framework to develop the Equal Pay Standard. Iceland has made it very difficult to pay women less than men. Powered and implemented by FactSet. “That was an ongoing project between 2013 and 2016. This company charges 10.000 ISK to look at the rules. With the new law in effect, the Icelandic government hopes to close the gap entirely by 2022. “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,” he said. Caitlin O'Kane is a digital content producer covering trending stories for CBS News and its good news brand, The Uplift. One of the main tasks Icelandic companies and institutions face is to define which jobs are of equal value. If a workplace does not obtain certification by the deadline, it will receive a fine of up to 50,000 ISK (around €397) per day. © 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. “The overall concept had been in preparation for a long time,” says Þorsteinn. First it was New Zealand.Now another small country has joined a global effort to try narrow the gap in pay between genders: Iceland. “Why is raising our children to become healthy, happy and informed individuals not the most important job in our society?” Halldóra questions. The gender pay gap is an especially fraught issue in Iceland, where women have had much better luck winning equal footing in government than in the workplace. The new Equal Pay Certification law took effect in Iceland at the beginning of this year. If … And that was in development between 2008 and 2012.”, Hannes G. Sigurðsson, Deputy Director General at SA–Business Iceland, was one of the people who helped draft the Equal Pay Standard. A Nordic country of 334,000 people, Iceland … The new Equal Pay Certification law took effect in Iceland at the beginning of this year. They should have negotiated with the company and had this as a public document before putting through this law. 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In order to obtain certification, companies and institutions need to implement an equal pay management system following guidelines in the Equal Pay Standard. But the reform also faces criticism from some who say it restricts employees’ opportunities to secure pay increases and bonuses. First published on January 3, 2018 / 2:18 PM. Iceland, long considered to be the global leader on gender equality in the workforce, recently took another step forward to close the gender wage gap. Iceland's new equal pay law was supported by lawmakers across the political spectrum, but the fact that the country's government includes an equal number of women inevitably played a role. Iceland’s equal pay law will certainly bring the country much closer to eliminating compensation disparities, but there are still some obstacles in the way. Disparity often is a result of negotiation ability and lack of transparency. And its new law requires companies with 25 or more employees to obtain certification to confirm that equal pay is a reality for all employees, regardless of gender. Before Þorsteinn introduced the Equal Pay Standard to the parliament, it was a voluntary measure that primarily large companies used as part of their marketing strategy. Iceland's world-first gender pay laws come into effect, requiring businesses with 25 or more employees to prove they are paying men and women fairly to do the same jobs. He was also the Managing Director of SA–Business Iceland from 2013 to 2016. “. “They identified that shifts were long—12-hour shifts for customs officials—and that is something that women, more so than men, do not like. Legislation went into effect Jan. 1 that adds some needed teeth to the Nordic country’s decades-old equal-pay law. “One of the main worries we had was that the Equal Pay Standard is copyrighted,” says Halldóra. Depending on the size, smaller companies have more time. The law would take effect from January. An accredited auditor will conduct an audit, and if the company or institution fulfils the requirements, it will receive a certification that must be renewed every three years. In October, thousands of Icelandic women left work at 2:38 p.m. to protest the gender pay gap. Companies and institutions with more than 250 employees are required to obtain certification by the end of this year, because they have more resources and infrastructure to implement the standard. While it's not yet at total parity, Iceland has been ranked number one in gender equality by the World Economic Forum for the last nine years. Copyright © 2021 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. “We didn’t even know what rules companies have to follow when we were passing this law.”, The Equal Pay Standard is owned by Staðlaráð Íslands, an independent association that publishes Icelandic standards. “If you want to bring about change, sometimes you just have to force it,” he argues. The bill was initially introduced by Þorsteinn Víglundsson, who served as the Minister of Social Affairs and Equality in 2017. It went into effect on Jan. 1. “The Equal Pay Law will help companies and institutions eliminate whatever gender-based bias there may be in pay”, “If a workplace does not obtain certification by the deadline, it will receive a fine”, “The concept started back in 2008 as a voluntary initiative initiated by the social partners”, “The law will help companies and institutions focus on gender and change their approaches.”, “If you want to bring about change, sometimes you just have to force it.”, “It’s a step in the right direction, but the battle isn’t over.”. Copyright © 2003 - 2021 Fröken Ltd. All rights reserved. The trade unions proposed that we should develop some kind of equal pay mechanism, which quickly developed into the methodology of an international management standard. Although Iceland first passed legislation on equal pay as early as 1961, the gender pay gap persisted. “The Equal Pay Law will help companies and institutions eliminate whatever gender-based bias there may be in pay, and it also helps them identify indirect work selection, like why women are not taking on certain jobs rather than others,” he says. The law took effect on January 1st 2018 and all employers are required to have undergone their first certification by the end of 2021, and then renew their certification every three years. Only a couple of months after a new Iceland Equal Pay Certification Law has taken effect, Iceland is already the subject of a debate about gender gap at international level. “There’s increase in employee satisfaction after implementing the standard because people have more confidence in how the company rewards or decides on pay. ICE Limitations. The groundbreaking law, which took effect In 2018, fines companies that don’t offer offer equal pay for equal work. January 3, 2018 / 1:37 PM For example, due to family. If the country reached full gender parity, the WEF estimated, it could add $1.7 trillion to the economy. A new law in Iceland that requires all companies to prove their wage practices don't discriminate against women took effect Jan. 1 in what is thought to be a global first. “It is a matter of justice, and a matter of basic human rights,” Þorsteinn says. Employers in the Nordic country now have to prove that they pay men and women in the same jobs equally. Iceland to enshrine equal pay for women and men in law This article is more than 3 years old. “If you impose such a way of working and thinking upon thousands of companies, you’re changing the way they behave on a daily basis,” he says. The new Equal Pay Law addresses pay discrepancies between women and men who are doing work of equal value. 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