Iceland Poised To Make Gender Pay Inequality Illegal

Posted January 12, 2018 by Mary McGinley

Women in today’s workforce may find it a little easier to imagine a world where they can achieve equal pay under the law. That’s because last week Iceland enacted new legislation that says any company or governmental agency with more than 25 people on staff will be required to have government certification of compliance under the country’s equal pay policies. Iceland has now made it illegal to pay men more than women, and those who fail to comply with the new law will face penalties in the form of fines.

According to an article appearing in Personnel Today, this groundbreaking legislation should come as no surprise. It was announced on March 8, 2017; the date marking International Women’s Day, enjoyed wide support among the membership of Iceland’s parliament, and more than any other country, Iceland has been rated the world’s best country for gender equality for the past nine years.

Companies within Iceland who don’t comply with the new gender pay equality rules could find themselves fined by as much as 400 Euros. They are also required to recertify that compliance every three years.

That is still likely to be a challenge, even though since according to Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, a board member of the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association, there is still a pay gap that currently exists. “We have had legislation saying that pay should be equal for men and women for decades now but we still have a pay gap.”

Similar legislation has been put in place in the UK as well. Organizations with more than 250 employees will have to address this issue by April 4th and government agencies being given only until the end of March 2018. Even with the law, more than 90% of UK businesses have yet to realize this goal. In a recent survey, a great majority (77%) said they were on track to the realization of the goal by the deadline, but at least 1 out of every 10 businesses didn’t expect they could make the compliance goal in time.

A new day has definitely dawned regarding pay equality in the workforce. The idea of equal pay for equal work makes good business sense. However, even with such noble intentions of making compensation equal across the board, we simply aren’t quite there yet.

No matter what kinds of changes are anticipated with regard to employment law, your company needs to be aware of these changes and how they will affect your business and your workers. At EinsteinHR, we can help your organization get ready for the changes that can impact their lives. We will be there with the answers you need when you need them and offer the full range of human resource services. Contact us today at 888-981-3622 (emc2) and let us show you how we can help.