Forget merit based compensation. Iceland just came up with a radical new law that is sure to lead to disastrous consequences.
Iceland just made it illegal to pay men more than women.
Thanks to a new law, Icelandic firms that employ more than 25 people must obtain a government certificate demonstrating pay equality, under new rules that came into effect on Jan. 1.
Those who fail to prove pay equality will face penalties, including fines, according to the Mirror.
The law was announced on International Women’s Day 2017 – which took place on March 8 – as part of the Nordic country’s drive to eradicate the gender pay gap by 2022.
The UK, by comparison, had a gender pay gap of about 20% in 2017. In the US, women employed in similar jobs reportedly earn 76 cents less than men.
Iceland, which has a population of around 323,000 people, has been ranked the best in the world for gender equality by the World Economic Forum for nine years in a row. We imagine this law will help them defend their No. 1 position.
Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, of the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association, explained to Al Jazeera: “The legislation is basically a mechanism that companies and organizations … evaluate every job that’s being done, and then they get a certification after they confirm the process if they are paying men and women equally.”
“It’s a mechanism to ensure women and men are being paid equally.”
Pind noted that Iceland has had legislation insisting men and women be paid equally for decades, but still the pay gap has persisted.
“We have had legislation saying that pay should be equal for men and women for decades now but we still have a pay gap,” she added.
“I think that now people are starting to realize that this is a systematic problem that we have to tackle with new methods,” Pind said.
“Women have been talking about this for decades and I really feel that we have managed to raise awareness, and we have managed to get to the point that people realize that the legislation we have had in place is not working, and we need to do something more.”
We imagine the hard-working small business owners who must now contend with one more onerous regulation will wholeheartedly agree.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.