Iceland’s parliament on Tuesday presented a bill that would require public and private businesses to prove they offer equal pay to employees, in what would be the first such requirement in the world.

“The bill entails that companies and institutions of a certain size, 25 or more employees, undertake a certification of their equal-pay programmes, the Minister of Social Affairs and Equality, told AFP News Agency.

Iceland ranks first on the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Global Gender Gap Index, followed by fellow Nordic nations Norway, Finland and Sweden.

But the new law aims to close a seven per cent wage gap between men and women in the island nation of more than 323,000 people.

It has the support of both Iceland’s centre-right coalition government as well as the opposition — and nearly 50 per cent of the lawmakers in Parliament are women.

The law would take effect from January. It would require private companies and government agencies to go through audits and receive certification that equal pay is provided, or they could face fines.

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