‘Iceland has made it illegal to pay women less than men!’ crowed headlines in January, to a huge collective cheer and social media high-fives. The latest radical step from Iceland is that the country is trying to flip the legal situation on its head. Iceland’s recently enforced Act on the Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men gave women greater rights and protections in the labour market, education and domestic life, the Head of … With the new law in effect, the Icelandic government hopes to close the gap entirely by 2022. Art Bicnick. The bill, which came into force on New Year’s Day, requires every firm with 25 or more staff, around 120,000 companies in Iceland, to be able to prove it is paying everyone in the same roles equally - no matter what their gender, sexuality or ethnicity. This move has drawn international attention, especially from the U.S., where full-time female workers make an average of 80 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn. You may opt out at anytime. Nothing works. Despite an equal pay act that dates back to 1961, Icelandic women still earn, on average, between 14% and 20% less than men. Completing this poll grants you access to The Lid updates free of charge. Because, as before, we already have the same pay for the same job. Men are not yet doing the same. When equal jobs being done out there is reached then we will have gender pay parity. Copyright © 2021 The Lid Blog. The move is being praised on Social, which gives Iceland’s equal pay efforts 75 percent positive sentiment. But the reality is, in most countries it’s already illegal to pay women less than men. But those days are over. The new Equal Pay Certification law took effect in Iceland at the beginning of this year. If the UK is unlikely to follow Iceland’s lead, are there any other countries looking to try something else? Men more frequently than women invest in updating their skills with greater financial payoffs (e.g., master’s degree in computer technology vs. master’s degree in education). Lawmakers took action, announcing on International Women’s Day that Iceland would require companies to prove they pay employees equal rates for equal work, or pay the fine. It is very easy to mobilise actions where different women's groups join forces [here].”. But the country's new law… First it was New Zealand.Now another small country has joined a global effort to try narrow the gap in pay between genders: Iceland. Iceland has … Finnbogadottir’s 16-year reign remains the longest of any female head of state of any country (Credit: Getty Images). Even in the US, some states, such as Massachusetts, have banned companies asking job candidates about former salaries. Activists in Iceland argue that the law will simply be a tool to help eliminate the gender wage gap: Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, of the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association, told Al Jazeera: “The legislation is basically a mechanism that companies and organisations … evaluate every job that’s being done, and then they get a certification after they confirm the process if they are paying men and women equally.”. Gender-based pay discrimination has been illegal in Iceland since 1961. Romney is talking about a 2016 UK law requiring all larger firms – around 9,000 companies – to report their pay data. So Valdimarsdóttir and her association were one of … (Most of the gender differences below are discussed in Warren Farrel’s excellent book “Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap — and What Women Can Do About It.“). As activist Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind explained, Iceland has always been at the forefront of gender justice and they have many laws already attempting to force equality of pay… and yet, even in Iceland where the gender pay gap is smaller than anywhere else in the world, the gap persists. “But Iceland has reporting and fines in place which we don’t have in Canada.” Kaplan says that some of Canada’s laws enforce detailed individual audits of a company’s payment practices, which most companies comply with. Sadly, as anyone who took economics in college knows, we don’t live in a theoretical world. Showing why it's a leader in gender equality, Iceland's new legislation makes it illegal to pay men and women differently for the same job. Iceland, however, is charting new territory. simply be a tool to help eliminate the gender wage gap. “Maybe also the smallness of the country, close connections, and easy flow of information. 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. Now another small country has joined a global effort to try narrow the gap in pay between genders: Iceland. The government of Iceland has just passed a new law mandating equal pay between the sexes and making it illegal to pay a man more than a woman. Read about our approach to external linking. The law now forced companies that employ more than 25 people to obtain a government certificate demonstrating pay equality. Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap — and What Women Can Do About It. Sadly, liberals never want to take the safer more productive route, instead, they use government to threaten and bludgeon citizens into modified behaviors. Most nations (and not just in the workers’ paradise of Scandinavia) have had some form of existing anti-discrimination laws in place for decades. Candidates take part in a televised debate on the eve of snap parliamentary election on October 27, 2017 in Reykjavik (Credit: Getty Images), “However, there are useful lessons to be learned here, including that gender pay equity does not happen by itself.” He feels that the more accountability and transparency, the better: in the UK, for instance, compulsory gender pay audits will help. In 2015, women earned 14-20% less than men, according to Statistics Iceland. This in turn makes Iceland the first country to legalize equal pay between genders. Because the economic argument for extrapolating this success – albeit with a large caveat that no Icelandic woman believes it’s utopia just yet – is cast iron. The gender pay gap hit the New Year headlines with the news that Iceland has become the first country in the world to bring in a revolutionary equal pay law.. Note: None of those gaps above apply universally, but reflect overall gender differences that apply in general and on average. This debate has been raging for decades: here, campaigners for equal pay gather outside Caxton Hall, London in 1954 (Credit: Getty Images). No money from the licence fee was used to create this website. Failure to do so will incur significant fines. Since the 1970s, more and more Icelandic women have entered the workforce and stayed there. In Ontario, the Fair Workplaces Bill 148 includes a raft of new laws; from making provision for workers who suspect that they’re not receiving equal pay to ask for a review to banning employers from forcing staff to wear high-heels. Iceland’s Equal Pay Law. The law is part of Iceland’s attempt to eradicate the gender wage gap by 2022, but it fails to take into account WHY the gender pay gap exists. A study from Glassdoor found that a full “HALF” of the gap existing between men and women had to do with their choice of occupation. “There is a historical legacy of strong women [here] who have inspired other women,” she says, mentioning the election of the world’s first democratically-elected female president, Vigdis Finnbogadottir, in 1980. Men are more willing than women, on average, to travel extensively on the job. From the Russian Federation to Rwanda, it’s against the law. No employee with status within one or more protected class or classes shall be paid a wage at a rate less than the rate at which anemployee without status within the same Photo by. We live in a world where there are shades of gray and a vast multitude of variations between any two people. All Rights Reserved. This website is produced by BBC Global News, a commercial company owned by the BBC (and just the BBC). It doesn’t solve the cultural problem, and it creates anger, angst, and division… but liberals believe that is the function of government to make people conform to their version of the ideal. On Janurary 1 the progressive nation made headlines when its … Companies In Iceland Now Required To Demonstrate They Pay Men, Women Fairly : The Two-Way Pay discrimination was already illegal. A new law Iceland is another example of this liberal failure. This is brilliant and fair, in theory. And like many other high-profile employers, the BBC is very much part of this debate. Men are more willing to work in dirty or unpleasant environments with minimal human contact (e.g., prison guard, steelworker, truck drivers). They call it the motherhood penalty and it leads to fewer hours worked and lower pay. Sadly, as anyone who took economics in college knows, we don’t live in a theoretical world. The way to “fix” the gap that exists, if it needs fixing, is to change attitudes and nurture a different culture moving forward. The stupidity results from the false liberal creed that equal opportunity is the same as equal outcome. 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. The new Equal Pay Certification law took effect in Iceland at the beginning of this year. By many measures, Iceland leads the world in gender equality (Credit: Getty Images). “It’s a mechanism to ensure women and men are being paid equally. More work more weeks during the year than women, on average. As well, bringing as many women into the workforce as men would be the equivalent of adding another China and another US in gross domestic product to the global economy. “Just showing the scale of the problem is an important step.”, Reeves’s own research suggests that the gap will only be narrowed by a fundamental altering not just of organisational practices, but of cultural assumptions about the respective roles of men and women in the workplace and home. Iceland’s equal pay law will certainly bring the country much closer to eliminating compensation disparities, but there are still some obstacles in the way. But from scarce, pricey child care to short school days, the world is organised for families with a parent at home—and that is usually the mother. This landmark piece of legislation will make Iceland the first country in the world to truly enforce equal pay between women and men. The reality is that the gender pay gap is not something that can be legislated out of existence fairly. 5. What Iceland can teach the world about gender pay gaps. More than half of the pay gap between the genders can be explained by the fact that women tend to work in lower-paying industries and take jobs that pay less than men, finds a report published [March 2016] by jobs site Glassdoor. According to WEF calculations, an average gap of 32% (up from 31.7%) still remains and the reversal is being driven in part by declining gender equality in the workplace. Showing why it's a leader in gender equality, Iceland's new legislation makes it illegal to pay men and women differently for the same job. On January 1, 2018, Iceland’s amended Equal Pay Standard took effect, the latest in a serious of measures seeking to address the persistence of national gender wage gaps. What makes the Iceland plan different is that the onus will no longer be on a beleaguered employee to prove they are underpaid – which can involve years of court battle. Men often produce more output, e.g., scholarly research articles for university professors. As of 1 January, it is illegal to pay men more than women in Iceland. The law requires employers with 25 or more employees to obtain a government certification every three years verifying a company’s compliance with equal pay requirements. To comment on this story or anything else you have seen on BBC Capital, please head over to our Facebook page or message us on Twitter. He says that while Iceland is “at the very edge of reforms” in this space, and that it could be close to breaking real ground in the pay gap problem, it’s unwise to assume that one country’s policies can apply elsewhere. “I think that now people are starting to realise that this is a systematic problem that we have to tackle with new methods. Much of this post was first seen at Constitution.com. Since the first edition of the Forum report in 2006, Iceland has closed around 10% of its total gender gap, making it one of the fastest-improving countries in the world. Failure to … First it was New Zealand. This in turn makes Iceland the first country to legalize equal pay between genders. Equal pay - paying men and women the same for jobs of equal value - has been a legal requirement in Iceland, the UK and many other countries for decades. Men on average work longer hours, choose more risky occupations and do more physically demanding work by forcing companies to pay their female colleagues the same the men will no longer be compensated for taking on these challenges. The money we make from it is re-invested to help fund the BBC’s international journalism. Men work longer hours per week than women on average. The issues creating the gap are obviously cultural and mostly unrelated to purposeful discrimination/sexism. “We have had legislation saying that pay should be equal for men and women for decades now but we still have a pay gap,” she added. firms of more than 250 employees,” Romney says. That’s something that neither Iceland nor Canada has. … When Icelanders found out it would be another 122 years before they closed the gender pay gap at the current rate, that was unacceptable. This ranks Iceland not only at the top of all comparable countries but also puts the nation as the highest of all OECD countries. Published April 30, 2018. The results show we’re going backwards on gender parity across health, education, politics and the workplace for the first time since 2006. The policies in Ontario and Quebec, for example, focus on equal pay for equal work (through human rights legislation) and also equal pay for equal value work (through pay equity legislation). They’ve effectively made it like a health and safety violation,” says Romney, adding there will be a penalty for inaction which will trigger job evaluation schemes. “Men and women for a variety of reasons are being pushed into different jobs and industries,” Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor’s chief economist, explained to The Huffington Post. Although most countries allow workers to take action against employers, the problem is that “it takes years of slog to get it to court, let alone get to the point of compensation.”. As of Monday, January 1, it is now unlawful to pay men more than women for the same job in Iceland. The New Year ushered in a new wage policy in Iceland, where it is now illegal for companies to pay men more than women for the same job. “So, it is a patchwork of solutions, none of which can be fully effective without the others. “I think it’s very radical but to be honest I don’t think it would get through [passed in to law] here in the UK. Men are more willing than women to take the risk of a variable income, e.g., to be paid by commission vs. a fixed salary. On Monday, it became the first country in the world to legalize equal pay, Al Jazeera reports. And according to European Union data, Iceland is the world leader at including women in the labour force: participation was over 80% in 2017. Even if Iceland’s new law succeeds at closing or significantly narrowing the gender pay gap, critics have pointed out that other factors are still holding women back. It has had the closest gender gap of any country for nine years in a row. Angela Henshall looks to a tiny Nordic country for answers. But in the face of a gender wage gap of nearly 6 percent, Iceland adopted a new law in 2018 that requires companies to demonstrate that their wages are fair. But is this really so radical? Iceland could be opening up a Pandora’s Box that will wreak havoc on their economy and see wages drop across the board. Could this model be scaled up to a much larger island nation? Richard Reeves, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who studies the pay gap in different industries and countries, agrees. But speaking in Davos, Switzerland, even a very upbeat Pat Milligan, multinational client group global leader for consultancy Mercer, referenced some frustrating findings from the latest World Economic Forum report. The idea is to get large firms’ pay data out in the open and subject to public scrutiny. Sign up for our free email newsletter, and we'll make sure to keep you in the loop. No country or jurisdiction has put in the full suite of practices,” Kaplan says. Although Iceland first passed legislation on equal pay as early as 1961, the gender pay gap persisted. “Women have been talking about this for decades and I really feel that we have managed to raise awareness, and we have managed to get to the point that people realise that the legislation we have had in place is not working, and we need to do something more.”. Dust off your passports: Iceland has officially become the first country in the world to legalize equal pay. Over and above that, she says, is the European Union right to equal pay, which gives workers the right to go to civil court or a tribunal. Men are more willing than women to choose demanding, intense jobs where you can’t check out at the end of the workday (e.g., corporate attorney, senior White House staff). In short, it's now illegal to pay a women less than they would a man for the same job. By forcing companies to do this, Iceland will be forced to discriminate against men, making them the losers and women the winners. So, while moving to Iceland may not be the answer for everyone, learning a little from the Icelandic model could be an excellent start. Friðbert Traustason from The Confederation of Icelandic Bank and Finance Employees is not certain that the equal pay standard will close Iceland’s pay gaps. More women contributing to the global economy futureproofs against another global recession. 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. 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. Perhaps the most aggressive approach to date has come out of Iceland. Men are more willing than women to work the worst shifts during the worst hours. A new law makes equal pay for equal … This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. She believes the wider Icelandic culture has also been a significant contributing factor. Men often choose higher paying subfields (e.g., surgery and anesthesiology). “Most countries have equal pay laws: the UK established them in 1970,” says Daphne Romney QC, one of the UK’s leading barristers in equal pay litigation. Now public and private employers with more than 25 employees must get government certification under Iceland's Equal Pay Standard every three years. In 2015, women earned 14-20% less than men, according to Statistics Iceland. Companies and state organisations that have been certified must be able to show there is no more than 3 % differences in wages. Overall, Reynolds is encouraged by the implementation of the Icelandic equal pay law as it shows that action is possible. Men are more likely than women to have more years of recent, uninterrupted experience with their current employer. The German law seems like a half-way measure compared to Iceland, which this week made it illegal to pay men more than women. Words by. And why should anyone care? Two of the most important reasons that the “gender wage gap” exists in Western nations which embrace equality are; many women want to be mothers. Bringing as many women into the workforce as men would be the equivalent of adding another China and another US to the global economy, She points to other events such as the Women’s Day Off in 1975, a strike when half the country downed tools, this strike was repeated several times. Part of the pay gap originates from similar job titles with different responsibilities: The gender pay gap does not exist because men and women are paid less for the same jobs, it exists because men and women tend to do slightly different jobs. Another study found a multitude of “gaps” between men and women that would all partially explain why men, in general, still earn more than women. Iceland now the first country to enforce equal pay for women and men. Equal pay - paying men and women the same for jobs of equal value - has been a legal requirement in Iceland, the UK and many other countries for decades. Iceland believes they are legislating equal opportunity but they are forcing an equal outcome. Iceland’s Equal Pay Law Unrealistic And Dangerous, Canadian Psychologist Says. Men are less likely than women to be absent from work (e.g., doctor’s visits, sick days, taking time off when children are sick, etc.). There is no way to know how men will respond once their financial incentive to engage in these riskier, or more demanding behaviors, is gone. Equal Pay Provision of the New York State Labor Law . Men are more willing to relocate, especially to undesirable locations at their company’s request. The new UK gender pay gap regulations will only apply to 34% of employees, i.e. It’s up to their boss to prove they are paying workers fairly. Tiny Iceland, with its population of 336,483, is a heavyweight in gender equality. Until now women in Iceland have earned an average 19% less than their male colleagues. The new law, which came into force on New Year's Day, … Below are 20 gender gaps that reflect gender differences in the labor market, and are gaps that generally favor men and help explain why men earn higher incomes on average than women. Employers view long hours as a sign of commitment and leadership potential. Generally when liberals run a country stupidity follows. closest gender gap of any country for nine years in a row, no Icelandic woman believes it’s utopia just yet, futureproofs against another global recession. If the company cannot prove ‘equality’ then they will face government fines. Men are more likely than women to have more years of continuous experience in their current occupation. Men disproportionately choose higher-risk, higher paying occupations with greater safety risks for occupational injuries and fatalities (e.g., oil field worker, roofer, and logging). Failure to do so, or to meet equal pay requirements, will result in fines. The government of Iceland has just passed a new law mandating equal pay between the sexes and making it illegal to pay a man more than a woman. Article 6, Section 194 § 194. This lack of discernment forces liberals to compensate by picking winners and losers, like the failure of Obamacare, cash for clunkers, and so many other programs under the previous administration. Iceland is the first country to take the fight against the gender pay gap a step further, requiring companies to proactively get equal pay certification from the government. This can be attributed to several political decisions, such as a legal right for parents to return to their job after childbirth. There is a reason that the gender pay gap continues to exist despite all of the left’s attempts to stomp it out… and the reason has NOTHING to do with sexism or discrimination. Differential in rate of pay because of protected class status prohibited. 1. You also agree to this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. It's a step to eradicate the wage gap by 2020 and companies will need to pass certification that they have equal pay for men and women. Only a couple of months after a new Iceland Equal Pay Certification Law has taken effect, Iceland is already the subject of a debate about gender gap at international level. Under the new law, companies and government agencies that employ at least 25 people will be fined if they can’t prove they pay men and women equally. Despite already being considered one of the world’s most gender-equal country, Iceland’s new pay equity law, which took effect in January 2018, requires that any company with at least 25 employees prove to an external auditor that it provides equal pay to its employees. Dust off your passports: Iceland has officially become the first country in the world to legalize equal pay. University of Iceland gender studies professor Thorgerdur Einarsdóttir says a strong women's movement and huge pressure from feminist groups have been behind the political will in Iceland to rapidly introduce a series of radical measures in gender issues, such as paternity leave and gender quotas. Although Iceland first passed legislation on equal pay as early as 1961, the gender pay gap persisted. Professor Sarah Kaplan, director of the Institute for Gender and the Economy at the University of Toronto, points to another model that predates Icelandic legislation – Canada, which is making strides towards closing the gap. On January 1, Iceland law declared it illegal for employers to have salary discrepancies between sexes. Alice Demurtas. As of Monday, January 1, it is now unlawful to pay men more than women for the same job in Iceland. Men select jobs with higher financial and emotional risks (e.g., venture capitalist). Iceland has just started enforcing a new law that requires employers with 25 workers or more to prove that they pay men and women equally for equal work. A “full potential” scenario, in which women play an identical role in labour markets to that of men, could add up to $28 trillion to global annual GDP by 2025, according to McKinsey’s research. The new law, which came into force on … The new rules stipulate that all companies and government agencies employing at least 25 people will have to obtain government certification of their equal-pay … But Romney feels this is as far as it goes: she feels Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative party is opposed to any changes that go further, as they could bring significant costs for the business sector. Schaftlein Report | The Spectacle of Trump’s trial set to begin February 8, Psaki retracts Biden comments on COVID vaccine, won’t be widely available by spring, HR1: The “For The People Act” Is Actually The “Government Against The People Act”, WATCH: Rand Paul’s BLISTERING Speech Puts The Bogus Impeachment In Proper Perspective. It's a step to eradicate the wage gap by 2020 and companies will need to pass certification that they have equal pay for men and women. Icelands Progressive Socialist Equal Pay Law : Bureaucrats In Control Any time that a government bureaucrat has the power to decide what is the best outcome for workers, rather then allowing the free market to operate and control results in the work place, this opens up the possibility and probability of corrupting the system. Companies and government agencies employing at … Men are more willing than women to tolerate longer commute times. Iceland’s parliament has presented a bill that would require public and private businesses to prove they offer equal pay to employees, in what would be the first such requirement in the world. Men are more willing to work outdoors in uncomfortable, physically demanding work environments (construction, oil field workers, commercial fishing, logging). “Iceland has made it a criminal offence for employers not to take action on unequal pay. The question now is how effective a measure like this will. The question now is how effective a measure like this will. Vigdis Finnbogadottir (left), with Margaret Thatcher in 1982. Iceland has become the first country in the world to force companies to prove they pay all employees the same. Men select jobs with higher pay but with lower personal fulfillment (tax accountant). “Women continue to ‘juggle’ family and work life, which impacts on their earnings and advancement. On Janurary 1 the progressive nation made headlines when its … Over and above that, she says, is the European Union right to equal pay, which gives workers the right to go to civil court or a tribunal. Why is it still so hard for countries to close the gender pay gap? Tweet. Men disproportionately gravitate towards higher paying occupations in technology and hard sciences (e.g., petroleum engineer). This is brilliant and fair, in theory. So why can’t this model be made to work elsewhere? 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