A bill of law (amendments to the Gender Equality Act No. 10/2008) was passed by the Icelandic Parliament (Althingi) with a vast majority on June 1st 2017 and came into force on January 1st 2018. Companies and institutions employing 25 or more workers, on an annual basis, are required to obtain equal pay certification of their equal pay systems and the implementation thereof. The purpose of this obligatory certification is to enforce the current legislation prohibiting discriminatory practices based on gender and requiring women and men working for the same employer to be paid equal wages and enjoy equal terms of employment for the same jobs or jobs of equal value.
The new legislation makes Iceland the first country in the world to require employers to obtain certification on the basis of requirements of a management requirement standard (in this case, the Standard ÍST 85 Equal Pay Management Systems – Requirements and guidance) to prove they offer equal pay for work of equal value regardless of gender. The Standard ÍST 85 ensures professional working methods in order to prevent direct or indirect discrimination and can be purchased at Icelandic Standards; http://stadlarad.is.
The Ministry of Welfare has received an enormous amount of inquiries from all over the world on the new legislation. The Ministry has compiled information to answer many of these inquiries with some useful additional information on equal pay certification.
Included in the information provided on the website are a general info sheet on equal pay certification, “Questions and Answers on equal pay certification”; “Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men, No. 10/2008”; and “Regulation on the Certification of Equal Pay systems of companies and institutions according to the ÍST 85 Standard, No. 1030 of 13 November 2017” as well as rules on the use of the Equal Pay Symbol.