New gender equality law

The Icelandic Parliament recently passed a new gender equality law, replacing the Act on the equal Status and Equal Rights of women and men from 2000. The new Act includes several important provisions aimed at increasing compliance with the law.
Under the new law, the decisions of the Complaints Committee are binding. Previously, the committee could only issue written opinions on whether provisions of the equality law had been violated.

The Centre for Gender Equality now has the authorization to fine organizations that do not provide necessary information regarding a complaint, or do not comply with the decisions of the Complaints Committee. Employers with 25 or more employees, who do not comply with the obligation of the law to have an equality plan or have not integrated the equality dimension into their employee policy, can also be fined.

Other provisions in the law include changes in the structure and tasks of the Gender Equality Council and an increased role for the Centre for Gender Equality. Gender-based violence is mentioned for the first time in Icelandic equality law, and gender-based harassment is now against the law, as well as sexual harassment.

The new law has not yet been translated into English, but the Icelandic text can be found here.