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. The idea is to get large firms’ pay data out in the open and subject to public scrutiny. 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.”. When Icelanders found out it would be another 122 years before they closed the gender pay gap at the current rate, that was unacceptable. But is this really so radical? 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. Words by. 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. The new UK gender pay gap regulations will only apply to 34% of employees, i.e. 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. Employers view long hours as a sign of commitment and leadership potential. 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. But those days are over. 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. It has had the closest gender gap of any country for nine years in a row. 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. 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. “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.”. 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. The results show we’re going backwards on gender parity across health, education, politics and the workplace for the first time since 2006. 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. 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. Men work longer hours per week than women on average. Completing this poll grants you access to The Lid updates free of charge. From the Russian Federation to Rwanda, it’s against the law. 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. Most nations (and not just in the workers’ paradise of Scandinavia) have had some form of existing anti-discrimination laws in place for decades. 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). Alice Demurtas. “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. Romney is talking about a 2016 UK law requiring all larger firms – around 9,000 companies – to report their pay data. The new Equal Pay Certification law took effect in Iceland at the beginning of this year. This in turn makes Iceland the first country to legalize equal pay between genders. A new law Iceland is another example of this liberal failure. Although Iceland first passed legislation on equal pay as early as 1961, the gender pay gap persisted. Much of this post was first seen at Constitution.com. Nothing works. 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 And why should anyone care? 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. Generally when liberals run a country stupidity follows. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. This ranks Iceland not only at the top of all comparable countries but also puts the nation as the highest of all OECD countries. 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. 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. 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. The money we make from it is re-invested to help fund the BBC’s international journalism. Men are more willing than women to tolerate longer commute times. 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.. This can be attributed to several political decisions, such as a legal right for parents to return to their job after childbirth. Angela Henshall looks to a tiny Nordic country for answers. The German law seems like a half-way measure compared to Iceland, which this week made it illegal to pay men more than women. Gender-based pay discrimination has been illegal in Iceland since 1961. Iceland, however, is charting new territory. On January 1, Iceland law declared it illegal for employers to have salary discrepancies between sexes. What Iceland can teach the world about gender pay gaps. We live in a world where there are shades of gray and a vast multitude of variations between any two people. On Monday, it became the first country in the world to legalize equal pay, Al Jazeera reports. The law now forced companies that employ more than 25 people to obtain a government certificate demonstrating pay equality. Perhaps the most aggressive approach to date has come out of Iceland. By many measures, Iceland leads the world in gender equality (Credit: Getty Images). 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). No money from the licence fee was used to create this website. 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. Note: None of those gaps above apply universally, but reflect overall gender differences that apply in general and on average. “So, it is a patchwork of solutions, none of which can be fully effective without the others. “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. “It’s a mechanism to ensure women and men are being paid equally. Iceland has become the first country in the world to force companies to prove they pay all employees the same. More work more weeks during the year than women, on average. This landmark piece of legislation will make Iceland the first country in the world to truly enforce equal pay between women and men. Men are more willing to work in dirty or unpleasant environments with minimal human contact (e.g., prison guard, steelworker, truck drivers). Sadly, as anyone who took economics in college knows, we don’t live in a theoretical world. The question now is how effective a measure like this will. The stupidity results from the false liberal creed that equal opportunity is the same as equal outcome. 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. 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. 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.). By forcing companies to do this, Iceland will be forced to discriminate against men, making them the losers and women the winners. Iceland has … 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. Although Iceland first passed legislation on equal pay as early as 1961, the gender pay gap persisted. Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap — and What Women Can Do About It. So, while moving to Iceland may not be the answer for everyone, learning a little from the Icelandic model could be an excellent start. Companies In Iceland Now Required To Demonstrate They Pay Men, Women Fairly : The Two-Way Pay discrimination was already illegal. 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. Equal Pay Provision of the New York State Labor Law . Failure to do so, or to meet equal pay requirements, will result in fines. 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. This in turn makes Iceland the first country to legalize equal pay between genders. Iceland’s Equal Pay Law. This is brilliant and fair, in theory. They call it the motherhood penalty and it leads to fewer hours worked and lower pay. Men are more willing than women, on average, to travel extensively on the job. Until now women in Iceland have earned an average 19% less than their male colleagues. Failure to do so will incur significant fines. “Maybe also the smallness of the country, close connections, and easy flow of information. If the company cannot prove ‘equality’ then they will face government fines. “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. That’s something that neither Iceland nor Canada has. firms of more than 250 employees,” Romney says. Iceland now the first country to enforce equal pay for women and men. 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. 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 … On Janurary 1 the progressive nation made headlines when its … 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. No country or jurisdiction has put in the full suite of practices,” Kaplan says. 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. simply be a tool to help eliminate the gender wage gap. 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. 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. 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. “This is more advanced than the scope of the Icelandic legislation, which only has the former,” she says. 1. Vigdis Finnbogadottir (left), with Margaret Thatcher in 1982. Sadly, as anyone who took economics in college knows, we don’t live in a theoretical world. 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. As of Monday, January 1, it is now unlawful to pay men more than women for the same job in Iceland. Since the 1970s, more and more Icelandic women have entered the workforce and stayed there. Men are more willing to relocate, especially to undesirable locations at their company’s request. More women contributing to the global economy futureproofs against another global recession. 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. This website is produced by BBC Global News, a commercial company owned by the BBC (and just the BBC). Sign up for our free email newsletter, and we'll make sure to keep you in the loop. 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. Men are more likely than women to have more years of recent, uninterrupted experience with their current employer. The move is being praised on Social, which gives Iceland’s equal pay efforts 75 percent positive sentiment. 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. Overall, Reynolds is encouraged by the implementation of the Icelandic equal pay law as it shows that action is possible. Dust off your passports: Iceland has officially become the first country in the world to legalize equal pay. (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.“). It’s up to their boss to prove they are paying workers fairly. The new law, which came into force on New Year's Day, … 5. Men select jobs with higher financial and emotional risks (e.g., venture capitalist). Finnbogadottir’s 16-year reign remains the longest of any female head of state of any country (Credit: Getty Images). First it was New Zealand. Men often produce more output, e.g., scholarly research articles for university professors. 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.”. Tiny Iceland, with its population of 336,483, is a heavyweight in gender equality. Published April 30, 2018. Companies and state organisations that have been certified must be able to show there is no more than 3 % differences in wages. Now public and private employers with more than 25 employees must get government certification under Iceland's Equal Pay Standard every three years. This debate has been raging for decades: here, campaigners for equal pay gather outside Caxton Hall, London in 1954 (Credit: Getty Images). 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. Men are not yet doing the same. 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. “Women continue to ‘juggle’ family and work life, which impacts on their earnings and advancement. Art Bicnick. “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. The way to “fix” the gap that exists, if it needs fixing, is to change attitudes and nurture a different culture moving forward. “Iceland has made it a criminal offence for employers not to take action on unequal 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. So Valdimarsdóttir and her association were one of … The issues creating the gap are obviously cultural and mostly unrelated to purposeful discrimination/sexism. … The question now is how effective a measure like this will. Now another small country has joined a global effort to try narrow the gap in pay between genders: Iceland. In 2015, women earned 14-20% less than men, according to Statistics Iceland. A new law Iceland is another example of this liberal failure. 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. The reality is that the gender pay gap is not something that can be legislated out of existence fairly. Failure to … Men are more willing than women to work the worst shifts during the worst hours. Because, as before, we already have the same pay for the same job. 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. 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. 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. 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 … 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. 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). 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. Why is it still so hard for countries to close the gender pay gap? 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