He was also the Managing Director of SA–Business Iceland from 2013 to 2016. It’s not a transparent document,” Halldóra continues. If the country reached full gender parity, the WEF estimated, it could add $1.7 trillion to the economy. 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. “Companies and institutions were trying out the methodology of the standard, and how simple or complicated it would be to implement,” Þorsteinn comments. We looked at the model of other international standards like environmental standards, management standards and quality standards,” Hannes explains. “There’s increase in employee satisfaction after implementing the standard because people have more confidence in how the company rewards or decides on pay. Powered and implemented by FactSet. 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. “. But the reform also faces criticism from some who say it restricts employees’ opportunities to secure pay increases and bonuses. 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. “It doesn’t happen entirely just on a voluntary basis.”. 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. In order to obtain certification, companies and institutions need to implement an equal pay management system following guidelines in the Equal Pay Standard. Although Iceland first passed legislation on equal pay as early as 1961, the gender pay gap persisted. First it was New Zealand.Now another small country has joined a global effort to try narrow the gap in pay between genders: Iceland. 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. In 2015, women earned 14-20% less than men, according to Statistics Iceland. Iceland to enshrine equal pay for women and men in law This article is more than 3 years old. 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. Hannes from SA–Business Iceland thinks that the standard is an extra burden for companies and it should be kept voluntary. If … Iceland has the best maternity/paternity policy in the world. News provided by The Associated Press. 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. One of the main tasks Icelandic companies and institutions face is to define which jobs are of equal value. Iceland's biggest and most widely read tourist publication. Depending on the size, smaller companies have more time. Despite an equal pay act that dates back to 1961, Icelandic women still earn, on average, between 14% and 20% less than men. 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. She had a few concerns when the law was being discussed in the Parliament. The law would take effect from January. “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. 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. . “This company charges 10.000 ISK to look at the rules. “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. “It’s a step in the right direction, but the battle isn’t over,” she says. The groundbreaking law, which took effect In 2018, fines companies that don’t offer offer equal pay for equal work. That was the first time the Althing, the Iceland Parliament, banned pay discrimination in the … The gap between men’s and women’s pay is a global problem. It’s not a transparent document,” Halldóra continues. “. 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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. “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.”. A new law makes equal pay for … For example, due to family. Even though the law doesn’t tackle this problem directly, it will help companies and institutions focus on gender and change their approaches. 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. The new Equal Pay Law addresses pay discrepancies between women and men who are doing work of equal value. READ MORE: Iceland to become first country to make companies prove they offer equal pay The bill was tabled and passed last spring, but only took effect on New Year’s Day. In October, thousands of Icelandic women left work at 2:38 p.m. to protest the gender pay gap. OMARSDOTTIR: Well, we in Iceland have had an equal pay law in effect since 1961. “They should have negotiated with the company and had this as a public document before putting through this law.”. From what I understand, the USA already has equal pay laws. In 2015, women earned 14-20% less than men, according to Statistics Iceland. In the United States, women earn about 79 cents for every dollar men earn. Staðlaráð Íslands, an independent association that publishes Icelandic standards. The new law, which came into force on New Year's Day, … The new Equal Pay Certification law took effect in Iceland at the beginning of this year. “It started back in 2008 as a voluntary initiative initiated by the social partners. Companies and institutions were trying out the methodology of the standard, and how simple or complicated it would be to implement,” Þorsteinn comments. 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. With the new law in effect, the Icelandic government hopes to close the gap entirely by 2022. Iceland has made it illegal to pay men more than women with the introduction of a new law enforcing equal pay. The law mandates employers to undergo equal pay certification using the Equal Pay Standard, an equal pay management system developed in Iceland. Best Parental Leave Policy in the World. “We used that framework to develop the Equal Pay Standard. “. Download Appening to find out about every single event happening in the greater-Reykjavík area Today. “It is a matter of justice, and a matter of basic human rights,” Þorsteinn says. “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. Until now women in Iceland have earned an average 19% less than their male colleagues. A Nordic country of 334,000 people, Iceland … The new Equal Pay Certification law took effect in Iceland at the beginning of this year. With the new law in effect, the Icelandic government hopes to close the gap entirely by 2022. Disparity often is a result of negotiation ability and lack of transparency. This company charges 10.000 ISK to look at the rules. Market data provided by ICE Data Services. Copyright © 2021 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. West Reykjavík Considers Rapper Statue, Your essential guide to life, travel and entertainment in Iceland. The question now is how effective a measure like this will. For a country that has the same population as St. Louis, Missouri, Iceland packs an influential punch in demonstrating the power of equal pay. “Why is raising our children to become healthy, happy and informed individuals not the most important job in our society?” Halldóra questions. Previous: Last Words: Iceland Loses A Wonda, The High Cost Of Living: Renting And Being Foreign In Reykjavik, Number Of Foreign Icelandic Residents Remains Unchanged, 2020 In Icelandic Cinema: A Historic Time For International Recognition, Tourist Board Cautiously Optimistic About The Summer, Icelandic Government Proposes Drug Decriminalisation, English Words As Slang Doubles Among Icelandic Youth Over Past 20 Years, Kanye Believe It? “If you want to bring about change, sometimes you just have to force it,” he argues. 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. As for how to tackle the root of the problem, the answer is still unknown. The new Equal Pay Law addresses pay discrepancies between women and men who are doing work of equal value. In 2015, women earned 14-20% less than men, according to. Iceland has taken a big step in its attempt to close the gender pay gap by making illegal to pay After the standard was completed in 2012, the first pilot project began a year later. 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. The law enforcing equal pay between genders came into effect on January 1, 2018, according to Al Jazeera.. / CBS News. “That’s not a problem that can be solved with one policy, which is why no one’s doing it,” Halldóra finishes. 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 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. In other words, the law doesn’t target pay differences between men and women who have jobs of different value. So Valdimarsdóttir and her association were one of … He was also the Managing Director of SA, Hannes G. Sigurðsson, Deputy Director General at SA–Business Iceland, was one of the people who helped draft the Equal Pay Standard. Sparkling Skaftafell: The Ultimate Glacier Hike In Iceland, Víðgelmir: The Epic Lava Cave of Borgarfjörður. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. ICE Limitations. 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