As of January 2018, Iceland has become the first country in the world to pass equal pay into law. This new law, which was first announced last year by Iceland’s 50 percent female parliament on International Women’s Day, went into effect New Year’s Day, and it requires equal pay for equal work in the country, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or nationality.
Under the legislation, any company with more than 25 employees is required to obtain official government certification showing that they give equal pay for work of equal value. Those who fail to do so risk being fined. The measure applies to 1,200 companies in Iceland that have at least 25 workers, covering about 150,000 workers in the country.
Until now, women in Iceland have earned an average 19% less than their male colleagues. With this new law, the country hopes to completely eliminate the gender pay gap by 2022.
While other countries, such as the United States, currently have the smallest wage gaps in years, none have made a law such as Iceland. Iceland has been ranked the best in the world for gender equality by the World Economic Forum for nine years in a row.