Equal pay system


Reykjavík City, the largest employer in Iceland, received the equal pay certification in December 2019 and has now undergone a maintenance evaluation for 2020. The maintenance evaluation confirmed that the equal pay system of Reykjavík City is effective and meets the requirements of the standard ÍST 85:2012. In April 2022, a re-certification evaluation will take place.

Emphasis on equality

Over the years, Reykjavík City has placed great emphasis on equality, actively working to eliminate gender-based pay gaps. This can be seen in various plans, policies, and actions taken by the City.

In October 2013, an 11-point action plan was approved by the City Council of Reykjavík to reduce the gender pay gap. Since then, specific steps have been taken in that direction. These include training sessions for managers, regulations on evaluating the gender pay gap, review of the job evaluation system, and the termination of staff driving benefits. In October 2015, the City of Reykjavík approved an action plan on gender equality. It aims to promote increased equality, which includes many measures to better map the situation regarding the gender-based pay gap and to reduce it.

Are you possibly discriminated against in terms of your wage due to gender?

Reykjavík City has a committee on the equal pay system that receives, processes, and documents complaints about alleged violations of equal pay regulations. The committee receives reports of potential gender-based pay discrepancies and advises individuals to fill out a form.


Salary analyses

The City of Reykjavík has placed great emphasis on equality over the years, and in recent years, it has worked systematically to eliminate gender-based pay disparities. This can be clearly seen in Figure 1 below, which shows the development of gender-based pay disparities in Reykjavík over the years.

The idea of a standardized job evaluation system at Reykjavík City can be traced back to the City's Gender Equality Plan from 1996, where job evaluation was introduced as a means of eliminating unobjective gender pay disparities. It became clear that the systems used in the job ranking for the employees of the City of Reykjavík did not fully meet the requirements of job evaluation systems, nor did they meet the requirements for gender-neutral job evaluations.

Around the turn of the millennium, the City of Reykjavík's negotiation committee was tasked with implementing provisions of the City's personnel policy that stipulated that salary decisions be transparent, objective, and based on the demands that each job makes on the staff. It was then that serious efforts began to implement a job evaluation system that could meet these requirements for salary negotiations, that is, to ensure gender pay equality.

In that regard, an extensive search was made for a suitable system, in the Nordic countries, Britain, and the United States. The system that was ultimately chosen was a unified job evaluation system for British municipalities, called the Single Status Job Evaluation. The system was designed by a group of specialists in collaboration with municipalities and labor unions in the UK and was also designed by experts in pay equality, both the British Equality Council and the International Labor Organization (ILO). Afterward, adaptation and implementation were initiated, and the Icelandic job evaluation system was named SAMSTARF. The International Labor Organization (ILO) recommends job evaluation as a means of ensuring pay equality, and the design of the system was closely coordinated with the ILO with the aim of ensuring that the system complies with international laws and treaties.

The SAMSTARF job evaluation system was implemented simultaneously by the City of Reykjavík and the Icelandic Association of Local Authorities, with the main goal of using a valid and reliable measurement tool to evaluate comparable and equivalent jobs in an impartial manner that ensured pay equity.

Reykjavíkurborg's emphasis on job evaluation as the basis for its wage-setting activities in the years 1996-2001 proved its worth, and the gender pay gap was reduced. Further experience with the system and the involvement of more unions in job evaluation helped to continue reducing the gender pay gap in the following years.

External factors had a significant impact on the results of gender pay gap measurements in 2007-2009, but after the economic crisis of 2008, considerable efforts were made to review and reduce the scope of fixed overtime pay agreements.

In October 2013, the City Council approved an eleven-point action plan with the goal of reducing the gender pay gap. Since then, specific steps have been taken in that direction. These include, among other things, training sessions for managers, regular monitoring of the gender pay gap, a review of the job evaluation system in 2014, and termination of driving benefits for staff. The impact of these measures resulted in a continued decline in the measured gender pay gap.