Certified Equality: The Icelandic Equal Pay Standard
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In 2018, Iceland introduced a statutory certification process for companies and institutions with over 25 employees, which, through this process, must prove that they pay men and women the same for the same job. This mechanism moves the burden of proof from employee to employer and forces companies to develop a more transparent system for the way they value different jobs. The purpose of the certification process is to close the relatively small but sustained wage gap between the genders. Based on qualitative in-depth interviews with key government informants, social partners and HR leaders in Iceland, this report takes an initial look at how the Icelandic Equal Pay Standard was established and how it works in practice. The findings show that the Icelandic Equal Pay Standard moves focus from individual explanations of why women earn less than men, to establishing a supportive institutional environment for equal pay between the genders at the corporate level. «Supportive» means public support, but also a transparent environment in which cases of inequality cannot remain unknown or hidden.