Iceland will become the first country to make employers pay men and women equally!

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Updated: March 15, 2017 11:11:25 AM

On International Women's Day, Iceland got the perfect gift. It will be the first country in the world to make employers prove they offer equal pay regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or nationality.

he government said it will introduce legislation to parliament this month, requiring all employers with more than 25 staff members to obtain certification to prove they give equal pay for work of equal value.

On International Women’s Day, Iceland got the perfect gift. It will be the first country in the world to make employers prove they offer equal pay regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or nationality. The government said it will introduce legislation to parliament this month, requiring all employers with more than 25 staff members to obtain certification to prove they give equal pay for work of equal value. While other countries, and the US state of Minnesota, have equal-salary certificate policies, Iceland is thought to be the first to make it mandatory for both private and public firms.

Iceland, which has a population of about 330,000, wants to eradicate the gender pay gap by 2022. Social Affairs and Equality Minister Thorsteinn Viglundsson said “the time is right to do something radical about this issue.” “Equal rights are human rights,” he said. “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.”

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Iceland has been ranked the best country in the world for gender equality by the World Economic Forum, but Icelandic women still earn, on average, 14 to 18 percent less than men. The new legislation is expected to be approved by Iceland’s parliament because it has support from both the center-right government and opposition lawmakers. The government hopes to implement it by 2020.

 

Iceland has introduced other measures to boost women’s equality, including quotas for female participation on government committees and corporate boards. Such measures have proven controversial in some countries, but have wide support across Iceland’s political spectrum.

(With inputs from AP)

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