Iceland becomes the first country in the world to force companies to prove equal pay.
On International Women’s Day, Iceland became the first ever country to announce a new law requiring companies to prove they pay all employees the same independently of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or nationality.
According to The Independent, the law applies to every company with 25 or more staff, requiring them to present a certificate demonstrating equal pay.
“Equal rights are human rights,” said Equality and Social Affairs Minister Thorsteinn Viglundsson. “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.”
Even though other countries, such as Switzerland, did introduce a scheme like this, Iceland is the first to make it a compulsory requirement.
If approved by the Icelandic parliament as expected, the new law could be implemented by 2020 with the target to eradicate the gender gap by 2022.
“It is a burden to put on companies to have to comply with a law like this but we put such burdens on companies all the time when it comes to auditing your annual accounts or turning in your tax report,” says Mr Viglundsson.”You have to dare to take new steps, to be bold in the fight against injustice.”
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