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Iceland, by 2020 the law for equal pay must be applied

The ultimatum to companies

The law on equal pay for men and women has been in force in Iceland for two years. According to the legislation, which came into force on January 1, 2018, businesses and institutions could gradually adapt to the new directive: however, next year will be the last chance to catch up. In fact, 2020 is the limit year for companies with more than 25 employees to implement the law.

On January 1st, 2018, the law on equal pay was entered into force in Iceland , which ensures an equal pay for men and women with fines of up to € 450 for each transgression. According to the legislation, companies and institutions could adapt to the new directive gradually: however, next year will be the last chance to catch up. In fact, 2020 is the limit year for companies with more than 25 employees to implement the law. For small companies, the deadline is 2025.

The law , therefore, requires guaranteeing equal opportunities and eliminating all gender discrimination, on pain of a fine. The checks are entrusted to the Lögreglan á Íslandi and the tax authorities. Even before the introduction of the law against the gender pay gap, Iceland was at the top of the Global Gender Gap Report ranking  prepared by the World Economic Forum, which examines the equity between men and women in the employment relationship and in politics. On the other hand, the first woman in the world to hold the office of President of the Republic was the Icelandic, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, in 1980.

This year Europe celebrated the Equal Pay Day on November 4th as this would be the day when women symbolically stop being paid compared to their male counterparts for a year of the same job. EU workers still earn on average 16% less than workers. The European Commission has decided to publish a report on the gender pay gap for the occasion, highlighting how the phenomenon is still present in the Union and talking about possible solutions and the position of public opinion in this regard. Vice President Frans Timmermans, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Workers’ Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, and Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová stated in a joint note : “60 years have passed since the principle of equal pay was written in the European treaties, yet women in Europe do not yet see laws that correspond to the reality of their daily life. European women still work for free for two months compared to theirs male colleagues and progress is too slow.

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