Iceland's Solution To The Gender Pay Gap Is Brilliant… And Obvious

Companies with 25 members of staff and over are obliged to obtain government certification of their equal-pay policies or face being slapped with financial penalties

Iceland just made it illegal to pay men more than women for the same job

Iceland has become the first country to make it illegal for men to earn more than women at work.

Iceland has been widely praised for introducing legislation on January 1 that imposes fines on any company or government agency with over 25 staff without a government certificate demonstrating pay equality. Companies that fail to comply with the rules will face fines.

"The new law by Iceland can help change attitudes to women in business as well as in politics, and inspire other countries to do the same", said Virginie Le Masson, a research fellow at the London-based Overseas Development Institute.

Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, a Icelandic Women's Rights Association board member, told Al Jazeera: "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".

Iceland's goal is to achieve gender parity by 2022, according to the Times.

But here's what gives the ruling some weight: Companies with over 25 employees that don't follow through will be fined. It probably helps that almost 50 percent of its parliament is female.

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Women protest in Reykjavik, Iceland, after leaving work at precisely 2.38pm on an October day in 2016 in a protest about equal pay.

Actress and gender equality campaigner Patricia Arquette tweeted: "Yoo Hoo!"

"Iceland again leading in the equality movement", Jean King tweeted.

In a new law implemented on Monday, Iceland effectively blocked businesses from paying men and women at different rates for doing the same job.

"While there are a lot of different factors that create our current high level of occupational segregation, including outright discrimination and the gender-typing of jobs, it is this occupational segregation that accounts for the majority of the gender wage gap", Childers said. However, the companies must show that the differences in wages are not due to gender.

But despite the country's global leadership, Icelandic women were still paid 78.5% of men's total employment income in 2014, according to the country's welfare ministry.

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