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Iceland flies the flag for equal pay

Monday, Jan 22, 2018, by Sheryl Blythen

  Iceland kicked off the new year by becoming the first country in the world to make it illegal to pay men more than women for doing the same job. Read more: Iceland become first nation to make equal pay law The new legislation, which requires companies and government agencies employing at least 25 people to obtain government certification of their equal-pay policies, came into force on Monday, 1 January. Organisations that don’t comply will face fines. Halla Tómasdóttir, a former Iceland presidential candidate, told Forbes that the equal pay law was a logical next step towards fully closing the gender gap, not only because it celebrates equality, but because it's good for business. Citing a study from McKinsey and Company, she noted that "the world could increase Global GDP by as much as $28 trillion by closing the gender gap in labour participation”. Equal pay supporters around the world took to social media to commend the new law and demand other countries introduce similar legislation. Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark wrote on Twitter, “Iceland is ranked as world’s most gender equal country by (the World Economic Forum) ... Clearly Iceland is very serious about gender equality.” The Washington Post reported that former US presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders said on Facebook, “We must follow the example of our brothers and sisters in Iceland and demand equal pay for equal work now, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or nationality.”

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