Iceland Makes It Illegal For Men To Be Paid More Than Women For Doing The Same Job


Iceland have made it illegal for men to earn more than women in the workplace, becoming the first country to pass it as law.

Under the new legislation, companies and government agencies which employ more than 25 staff members, will be required, by law, to obtain official government recognition for their equal-pay policies.

Companies and agencies who fail to comply or fail to adhere to equal-pay, will face fines.

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The Nordic nation has also pledged to eradicate the archaic gender pay gap by the year 2020.

Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, a board member of the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association hailed this progressive step forward, telling Al-Jazeera:

[It’s] a mechanism to ensure women and men are being paid equally.

We’ve had legislation saying pay should be equal for men and women for decades now but we still have a pay gap.

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It was first announced on 8 March, International Women’s Day, while the law itself came into effect at the start of 2018.

The equal-pay legislation has been supported by Iceland’s centre-right coalition government and party opposition – currently, Iceland’s parliament is almost 5% female.

Aradottir Pind went on to say:

I think that now people are starting to realise that this is a systematic problem, we have to tackle with new methods.

Women have been talking about this for decades and I really feel we’ve managed to raise awareness and we have managed to get to the point people realise the legislation we’ve had in place is not working and we need to do something more.


For the past nine years, Iceland have been ranked the best country by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as the world’s most gender-equal country.

Among them on the list include the nations; Norway, Finland, Rwanda and Sweden.

Last year, the United Kingdom came in 15th place, displaying a pay gap of 16.9% between men and women.