Iceland to Become First Nation to Require Proof of Equal Pay for Equal Work

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Employers in Iceland will soon be obligated to prove they’re giving equal pay for equal work. As the Associated Press reports, the European country is rolling out an Equal Pay Standard in a bold effort to eliminate compensation discrimination against women and minorities.

The Icelandic government plans to introduce the legislation to parliament, where it has support from both sides of the aisle, later this month. When it goes into effect, businesses with staffs of more than 25 people will be required to provide evidence that employees doing the same work are paid fairly regardless of race, gender, sexuality, or nationality. Iceland’s goal is to close the pay gap by 2022.

Women working in Iceland currently earn 14 to 18 percent less than men. Despite the obvious imbalance, the nation is still hailed as a world leader when it comes to gender equality. In the U.S., for example, the pay gap is closer to 20 percent—and it’s even wider for women of color.

Legislation around the world—like a new Massachusetts law that makes it illegal to ask job candidates about their salary histories—aims to reduce wage discrimination to varying degrees. Iceland’s new act would be the first ever to make employers back up their claims of fair pay with proof.

[h/t CBS Money Watch]