Word Definitions in the Acts


A person’s age from birth.

Direct Discrimination

When an individual receives treatment less favourable than another individual receives, has received or would receive in comparable situations based on his or her race or ethnic origin.


The consequence of impairments and obstacles of various types which occur in the interaction between persons with impairments and their environment and attitudes which prevent them from participating fully and successfully in the community on an equal footing with others. The impairments affecting the individuals concerned are long-term, and the obstacles are of such a nature that the individual will suffer discrimination due to physical, mental, or cognitive impairments or impaired sensation.

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

Equal Pay Confirmation

A written statement from the Directorate of Equality, granted to a company or institution that in principle employs 25 to 49 employees per annum, following the company’s or institution’s submission of documentation showing that the company’s or institution’s equal pay system and its implementation fulfil the requirements set out in Article 8(2).

Equal Treatment

When individuals suffer neither direct nor indirect discrimination based on their race or ethnic origin.

Gender-based harassment

Behaviour linked to the affected person’s gender, having the purpose or effect of offending the dignity of the person involved and creating circumstances that are threatening, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or insulting for the person in question.

Gender-based violence

Violence based on gender which results in, or could result in, physical, sexual, or psychological injury or suffering on the part of the affected person, including the threat of such, coercion, or arbitrary deprivation of freedom, both in private life and in a public venue.

Gender expression

The day-to-day expression by an individual of his or her gender identity. 

Gender identity

An individual’s experience of his or her own gender.

Indirect Discrimination

When an apparently neutral provision, criterion, or practice would put some individuals at a disadvantage on grounds of their race or ethnic origin, compared with others, unless this can be objectively justified by a legitimate aim, and the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary.

Life stance

A stance based on a secular view of life, particular ethical values, and morals, together with a defined morality and epistemology.

Multiple discrimination

When an individual is subjected to discrimination on the basis of more than one reason for discrimination that this Act, the Act on Equal Treatment Irrespective of Race or Ethnic Origin, and the Act on Equal Treatment on the Labour Market provide protection against. Multiple discrimination can either be integrated in such a way that two or more reasons for discrimination create a special basis for discrimination, or it can be dual/multiple so that the discrimination is based on two or more independent reasons for discrimination.

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.


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.

Reduced working capacity

A permanent physical, mental, or cognitive condition which is inherited or originates subsequently and reduces the individual’s working capacity on the labour market.

Sexual characteristics

An individual’s chromosomes, sex glands and anatomical features.

Sexual harassment

Any kind of sexual behaviour having the purpose or effect of offending the dignity of the person affected by it, especially when this behaviour creates circumstances that are threatening, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or insulting for the person in question. The behaviour can be verbal, symbolic, and/or physical.

Sexual orientation

An individual’s ability to be attracted to or become enamoured of another individual.

Specialized operations

Special temporary measures that are intended to improve the position of, or increase the opportunities of, women or men, aimed at establishing gender equality in a specific field where there is a gender imbalance. In such cases it may prove necessary to give either gender temporary priority in order to achieve balance. This includes special temporary measures intended to improve the position of, or increase the opportunities of, persons in fields where they are at a disadvantage due to a gender-neutral registration in Registers Iceland, for the purpose of promoting equal treatment.


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.