Equal Pay Certification

The equal pay standard is an administrative standard for equal pay systems, on those grounds companies and institutions can receive an Equal Pay Certification. The standard can work within every institution regardless of size, operations, goals, and gender ratio within the workplace. The standard ensures professionals methods that can prevent direct and indirect discrimination regarding gender.

The purpose of the certification is to enforce the current legislation prohibiting discriminatory practices based on gender and requiring that individuals of all genders working for the same employer are paid equally and have the same terms of employment in the same jobs or jobs of equal value. It is therefore designed to eliminate gendered pay differences and adhere to the equality of all genders in the workforce. The Equal Pay Certificate was ratified in June 2017 according to the act on Equal Stats and Rights Irrespective of Gender no. 150/2020 and the Equal Pay Certification shall be based on the Equal Pay Standard ÍST85. With the implementation of this standard, companies and institutions can build an administration system that ensures that proceedings and decisions in pay matters are based on objective views and does not entail gendered discrimination.

An accredited certification authority will evaluate if all the conditions of the standard are upheld and if they are they will grant the company or institution an Equal Pay Certification.


When do companies and institutions need to have obtained the certification?

According to changes of regulation no. 1030/2017 on certification in Equal Pay Systems of companies and institutions on the grounds of ÍST85, companies and institutions shall have earned the certification as stated here:


Number of employees in principle per annum and the time limit:

250 or more employees: December 31st, 2019

150-249 employees: December 31st, 2020

90-149 employees: December 31st, 2021

25-89 employees: December 31st, 2022

Public institutions, funds and companies that are half-owned or more by the government, and where 25 or more employees work on an annual basis must have obtained a certification no later than December 31st, 2019.


Word Definitions:

Indirect discrimination

When an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice puts individuals of one gender at a disadvantage compared with individuals of another gender, unless this can be objectively justified by a legitimate aim, and the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary. 

Direct discrimination 

When an individual receives, based on gender, treatment less favourable than another individual receives, has received or would receive in comparable situations.


Ordinary remuneration for work and further payments of all types, direct and indirect, whether they take the form of perquisites or other forms, paid by the employer to the employee for their work.


Pay together with pension rights, holiday rights and entitlement to pay in the event of illness and all other terms of employment or entitlements that can be evaluated in monetary terms.

 Equal Pay Certification

A written statement from the certifying body, which is provided with the equal pay certificate, following the certifying body’s audit of a company’s or institution’s equal pay system, in which it is stated that the equal pay system and its implementation meet the requirements of the ÍST 85:2012 standard, in keeping with Article 1c of that standard

 Number of employees in principle per annum

The average number of employees for any given employer, regardless of employment ratio, who received pay in the last calendar year. The average number per annum is calculated as the combined number of employees during each month of the calendar year, divided by twelve.