Iceland has announced new laws that will force companies to prove they offer equal pay.
Under new laws coming into force in early 2018, companies with over 25 employees will need an equal pay certificate to prove they offer equal pay regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality and nationality.
Coinciding with International Women’s Day, the laws will be a historic first as Iceland becomes the first country to make equal pay a mandatory requirement for both public and private firms.
Speaking about the move, Social Affairs and Equality Minister Thorsteinn Viglundsson said, “The time is right to do something radical about this issue.”
“Equal rights are human rights.”
“We need to make sure that men and women enjoy equal opportunity in the workplace.”
“It is our responsibility to take every measure to achieve that.”
This is not the first time the country has taken radical action in relation to women’s rights and equal pay. In October, thousands of Icelandic women left work at 2:38pm, as according to researchers thanks to the current pay gap after this time women are effectively working for free.
The Icelandic government has also introduced quotas to increase female representation on boards and government committees.
Iceland also tops the charts when it comes to gender equality, but despite this a pay gap still exists. According to the World Economic Forum, Icelandic women earn on average 14 to 18 per cent less than men.