COVID-19 Updates - Israel

Information is continuing to emerge on COVID-19 and the resulting legislative changes being instituted in Israel. We have compiled a list of important updates for Israeli employers to be aware of. Our teams are closely monitoring the situation and will continue to provide the latest updates to keep you informed.

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Last Updated – March 23, 2020

 

Unemployment Pay

Employers have the option of placing employees on unpaid leave in order to reduce dismissals. Employees placed on unpaid leave for more than 30 days are entitled to receive unemployment pay from the government. This payment is contingent on the fact that the employee is an Israeli citizen or visa holder who has been employed for at least 12 of the last 18 months.

Employees that qualify can receive unemployment pay regardless of whether they have exhausted their vacation days. Payment received will equate to between 30% and 80% of the average monthly salary of the employee. This average will be calculated according to the previous six month period. Employee age will also impact the payment amount.

Employees interested in receiving unemployment pay must complete the online registration process with both the National Insurance Institute of Israel and Israel’s Employment Service.

 

Reduced Working Hours and Reduced Pay

Employers interested in reducing the working hours, or the pay, of their employees must reach an agreement with those employees prior to finalizing the change. Employers should make employees aware that agreeing to a reduction in working hours can affect the employee’s rights later on as it relates to entitlements to pensions and unemployment benefits. Employees that refuse to agree to work hour or pay reductions can resign and register for unemployment benefits.

Employers must obtain approval from the supervisor of the Women Labor Act in the Ministry of Labor prior to reducing the hours or pay of:

  • Pregnant employees
  • Employees on maternity leave
  • An employee going through surrogacy process
  • An employee going through adoption process

Employers must also reach an agreement to the working hour or pay reduction with these employees, even after receiving approval from the Ministry of Labor. If an agreement cannot be reached, the employee can resign and apply for unemployment.