Equal Pay Day came early this year in the country of Iceland. As of January 1, it is now illegal in Iceland to pay men and women differently. Companies with over 25 employees who are not able to demonstrate pay equity will be required to remediate the issue or face fines.

Iceland is already the world leader in gender equity. According to the World Economic Forum, Iceland is the world leader in its gender parity index, taking into account criteria including economics, healthcare, politics, education and other factors. Iceland first passed legislation requiring men and women to be paid equally in 1961, but the new legislation requires employers to certify that they are paid equally per government standards every three years. More information on the new standards can be found on the Icelandic Women’s Rights website.

It remains to be seen whether other countries will follow in Iceland’s example of requiring rigorous reporting. The UK requires that companies over 250 employees report public wage gap figures by April of 2018. SameWorks is in the process of building automated tools to make this process simple for customers with employees in the UK. Contact us if you are interested in learning more about pay equity certification!