War And The Workplace In Israel

Published date27 March 2024
Subject MatterEmployment and HR, Discrimination, Disability & Sexual Harassment, Employee Benefits & Compensation, Employee Rights/ Labour Relations
Law FirmIus Laboris
AuthorMs Orly Gerbi (Herzog Fox & Neeman)

As combat operations continue in Gaza, there have been several developments affecting the workplace, employee rights, and employer obligations in Israel.

In light of the broad callup of reserve units during the war and the effect this can have on household management, a collective agreement was signed in February 2024 between the Presidency of the Business Organisations and the Histadrut trade union. The agreement is effective from thestart of the war (7 October 2023) through 31 December 2024.

This agreement was extended through an order of the Minister of Labour on 5 March 2024, such that it applies to all employers and employees in the general economy (apart from public sector employers and employees, who are covered by a separate collective agreement on the same matter). The Extension Order includes a series of significant points.

Limitation on Dismissal of Employees who Performed Reserve Service

Under the Order, an employee who performed reserve service for sixty or more days  while the Order was in effect is protected from dismissal for a period of sixty days after his or her reserve duty ends (as opposed to the thirty days otherwise required by law). An employer who wishes to dismiss such an employee before the sixty-day protected period has elapsed must receive a permit to do so.

Additional Days of Absence for Spouses of Reservists

Under the Extension Order, spouses of reservists are entitled to paid days of absence over and above the legal entitlement, based on the number of days of reserve duty performed by their spouse, up to a maximum of eight additional days. 

Eligibility to this right is reserved for the spouse of a person serving in the reserves, where:

  • the couple has at least one child under the age of 14, or a child up to the age of 18 suffering from a malignant illness or undergoing dialysis treatment;
  • the spouse of the reservist is the sole caregiver for a disabled relative; or
  • the reservist or the spouse has a parent who is ill as defined in the law dealing with absence due to a parent's illness.

The days of absence can be used for the supervision and care of a child or relative who fits one of the above categories; as an extension of a Birth and Parenting Period (maternity leave); for required household management and maintenance tasks which can only be carried out during work hours; or for other reasons requiring an absence, as coordinated with the employer.

Absences allowed under the Order may be used only while the reservist is...

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