The Labour Law in Israel is regulated mainly by the Hours of Work and Rest Law. The law governs the terms and conditions of employment such as working hours, holidays and rest periods, wages, overtime, employment relationships. The other acts that govern employment relationships are Annual Leave law, Employment of Women Law, Sick Pay law, etc.
Hours & Pay Regulations
Working hours mean the period during which an employee is available for employment including short breaks allowed to an employee by agreement for rest and fresh air other than the work breaks provided in the law.
The normal weekly working hours is 42 hours. The regular working day of an employee employed for a five-day week (Sunday to Thursday) is 8.6 hours for four days and an additional day of 7.6 hours. Employees employed for a 6-day workweek will work 8 hours a day for 4 days, an additional day of 7 hours between Sunday to Thursday, with an additional 3 working hours on Friday.
Certain workplaces may via collective agreement or otherwise provide for 9 hours working day for four days including a break for 30 minutes and 8 hours work for the fifth day, but the total working hours for a week in no case exceed 42 hours. Also, industries involved in continuous operation such as hotels, etc can have a working day of 8 hours and a working week of 40 hours.
Where work is carried out in shifts, the employer may set the hours for each shift and the shift schedule based on work needs and in a manner suitable for the shortening of the workweek.
Variation by Collective Agreement
Where an authoritative body has approved a collective agreement prescribing a working day longer than 8 working hours or a working week longer than 45 hours, such working day or working week shall be deemed a working day or working week.
The average number of working hours over a period prescribed in the collective agreement should not exceed 10 hours per day or 45 hours per week.
Length of the workday on the day before the weekly rest (Friday is a day of work for Jews)
The number of working hours on the day before the weekly rest shall be a maximum of 7 hours. Therefore, a Jewish employee will be employed on Friday for a maximum of 7 hours because for Jewish employees the day of rest is on Saturday. A non-Jewish employee will be employed for up to 7 hours on the day before the usual rest day as his weekly rest day. Section 2-6 Hours of Work and Rest Law 5711-1951.
Every employer shall keep a register of working hours, hours of weekly rest, overtime hours, pay for overtime hours, and for work during the weekly rest, and such particulars shall be entered therein as shall be prescribed by regulation. Section 25 Hours of Work and Rest Law 5711-1951.
Any working hours in excess of the regular daily hours and more than 42 hours are considered overtime. The calculation is made on both a daily and weekly basis.
Employees cannot be employed for more than 12 hours a day, including overtime and not including breaks. The weekly overtime limit is 16 hours.
Employers must pay 125 percent of the worker’s normal wages for the first two hours of overtime in a day and 150 percent for any hours thereafter. Those who work on a holiday or Saturday are entitled to 150 percent of their normal pay and a vacation day. Hours of work and Rest law, § 10 – 11 and 16.
Night work is a shift of which at least two hours are between 22:00 and 06:00 and a full working day shall not exceed 7 hours. The working week of an employee employed in night work shall not exceed 58 hours, including overtime, except with a permit. Overtime will be paid only beyond the seventh hour of the night shift.
In a workplace where people work shifts, it is prohibited to employ a night shift worker for a period of more than one week out of two weeks. This means that if an employee is employed for a week on night shifts, the following week employee should not be employed on a night shift.
Night work will be allowed for an accumulative period of 7 out of 14 days. The total permissible number of working hours in a day is 12 hours. The total permissible number of overtime hours in a week in which night work is carried out is the difference in hours between the length of the night shift and 12 hours, multiplied by five working days.
Pay for Overtime at Night
Working hours in a night shift are considered a full working day. Work beyond 7 hours, i.e. starting from the eighth hour (subject to the limits set for this ), will be considered overtime work that qualifies for overtime pay. Employers must pay 125 percent of the worker’s normal wages for the first two hours of overtime and 150 percent for any hours thereafter. Those who work on a holiday or Saturday are entitled to 150 percent of their normal pay and a vacation day. Hours of work and Rest law, § 22.
During a working day of 6 or more hours, an employee shall cease to work for an unpaid meal and rest break for not less than 45 minutes, including one continuous break of not less than half an hour.
On the day preceding the weekly rest or a festival, the break shall be for not less than 30 minutes. A break shall not exceed 3 hours. During a break lasting for 30 minutes or more, an employee may leave his place of work, unless his presence at his place of work is essential to the work process or to the working and use of the equipment and he has been required by his employer to remain at his place of work, and, in such a case, the period of the breaks shall be regarded as part of the working hours.
An employee may pray during his working day in accordance with the requirements of his religion. Prayer time will be determined in the workplace according to the needs of the work and taking into account the requirements of the employee’s religion.
An employee is entitled, during the working day, to terminate work for the purpose of using a toilet room, in accordance with the employee’s needs. Section 20 Hours of Work and Rest Law 5711-1951.
There will be a break of at least 8 hours between working days. Section 21 Hours of Work and Rest Law 5711-1951.
An employee’s weekly rest shall be not less than 36 consecutive hours in the week. The weekly rest shall include –
- in the case of a Jew, the Sabbath day;
- in the case of a person other than a Jew the Sabbath day or Sunday or Friday, whichever is ordinarily observed by him as his weekly day of rest.
- With respect to Jewish employees, Saturday must be included in the weekly rest; an employee of any other religion may choose his or her weekly rest between Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
The Ministry may, by regulations, prescribe in respect of particular types of employment, a weekly rest shorter than 36 hours, but not shorter than 25 consecutive hours. If due to religious reasons, an employee cannot work on a day of weekly rest, he may notify the employer no later than 3 days after the date of request made by the employer.
Employees employed on holiday evenings are entitled to regular pay, however, if an employee started working on holiday evenings before 36 hours have elapsed since he finished his work before the holiday, the holiday evening work will be considered holiday work, which entitles the employee to 150% premium on the regular pay.
Weekly Rest for Shift Workers
The weekly rest for shift workers is allowed to be:
- In establishments where the work is done in three shifts – the weekly rest will be less than 36 consecutive hours, but not less than 25 consecutive hours;
- In establishments where the work is done in two shifts – once every two weeks – the weekly rest will be less than 36 consecutive hours, but not less than 25 consecutive hours.
Pay for Working on Weekly Rest
Where an employee is employed during all or any of the hours of weekly rest:
- The employer shall pay the employee for any such hours a wage of not less than 150% times the ordinary wage. Where the employee’s wage or any part thereof is paid by piece rates, the employer shall pay the employee for each piece made during the hours of weekly rest a wage of not less than 150% times the wage payable for each piece made during ordinary working hours.
- The employer shall give the employee, instead of the hours of weekly rest on which the employee worked, such number of hours of rest and at such time as are prescribed in the permit by virtue of which the employee is so employed.
- Where an employee’s wage is paid monthly or at a longer interval, the employer shall be entitled to give the employee, instead of payment, a rest of not less than an hour and a half for every hour of weekly rest on which he is employed.
Pay for Overtime Work on Weekly Rest
The amount of overtime pay for work during the weekly rest hours and during the holiday is:
- Payment of 175% of normal working hours for the first two overtime hours (for overtime work during the weekly rest or holiday, the employee is entitled to both compensation for work during the weekly rest and holiday of 150% and compensation for overtime work of 125%, and a total of 175%).
- Payment of 200% of the additional third hour onwards (for overtime work during the weekly rest or holiday, the employee is entitled to both compensation for work during the weekly rest and holiday of 150% and compensation for overtime work of 150%, and a total addition of 100% to salary).
Overtime on Shabbat
The compensation for overtime on Shabbat is on the regular wage (100%) and to which must be added the remuneration for work on Shabbat (according to the cumulative method). The first 2 overtime hours on Saturday (Shabbat) are 175% (50% + 125%) and the value of the overtime hours, beyond the first two overtime hours, is 200% ( 50% + 150%).
Work on a Friday that ends after the beginning of Shabbat
An employee who worked on a Friday and finished his work after the beginning of Shabbat is entitled to a wage of not less than 150% times the ordinary wage for the hours he worked after the beginning of Shabbat. Section 7-9 and 17 Hours of Work and Rest Law 5711-1951.
Employees are entitled to 9 paid holidays per year.
Jewish Holidays –
- Days of Rosh Hashanah – (2 days)
- Yom Kippur
- Days of Sakkot – (2 days)
- Day of Passover – (2 days)
- Independence Day (Shabaath Day)
Muslim Holidays –
- Eid al fitr – 3 days
- Eid al Adha – 4 days
- Islamic New Year
- Birthday of Prophet Mohammad
Christian Holidays –
- Christmas – 2 days
- New Year’s
- Feast of Revelation
- Friday before easter
- Monday for easter
- The rise of Jesus to heaven
- Monday for Shavuot
Druze Holidays –
- Eid al Khader
- Feast of the prophet Shuaib – 4 days
- Eid – al – Adha – 4 days.
An employee who does not work on a holiday is entitled to regular wages. Employees who work on a holiday are entitled to 150 percent premium pay as well as compensatory rest on an alternate weekday. The rest day cannot be deducted from annual leave or sick leave.
For Hotel Industry Employees
Every employee who actually worked in the first 24 hours of Yom Kippur is entitled to an increase of 150% (so in total he will be paid 250% of the hourly wage) at the regular rate of the working hour and in addition, will be entitled to the rest day.
For each actual hour of work in the Passover night shift, every Jewish worker is entitled to an additional 100% of the regular rate so in total he will be paid 200% of the hourly wage.
Pay for Overtime Work on Holiday
The amount of overtime pay for work during the holiday is:
- Payment of 175% of normal working hours for the first two overtime hours (for overtime work during the holiday, the employee is entitled to both compensation for work during the holiday of 150% and compensation for overtime work of 125%).
- Payment of 200% of the additional third hour onwards (for overtime work during the holiday, the employee is entitled to both compensation for work during the holiday of 50% and compensation for overtime work of 50%, and a total addition of 100% to salary).
The duration of the leave, in respect of a working year with the same employer or at the same place of employment shall be as follows. An employee who has a working year with the same employer or at the same place of employment is entitled to leave in the below manner:
- For every year for the first 5 years – 16 days;
- From the sixth year – 18 days;
- From the seventh year – 21 days;
- For the eighth year onward – an additional day for each year of work up to a leave of 28 days;
- But the Minister of Labor may prescribe, in regulations, for a particular job a longer leave than that, if he deems it necessary for reasons of the employee’s health or the circumstances of the job.
The days of leave shall include not more than one weekly rest for seven days of leave. This does not apply to a salaried employee who has worked less than 75 consecutive days, with one employer or in one workplace, either in one year of work or in two consecutive years of work.
Working days are considered consecutive, even if there is a break in work due to reserve service work. The number of annual vacation days determined by law includes the weekly rest days.
An employee who has a 6-day workweek at his place of work is entitled to 6 days of absence from work for every 7 days of leave accrued by law (since within 7 days of leave a Saturday is included, which is the weekly rest day at workplaces where people work 6 days a week).
When leave shall be given
Leave shall be given in the last month of the working year in respect of which it is given, or in the working year immediately following.
Days not Included in Vacation
- These are the days that will not be included in the number of vacation days:
- The days when the employee served in the reserved service according to the Reserve Service Law, 5768-2008;
- Holidays that are not worked on, whether by law or by agreement or practice – except for the weekly rest days;
- Days of birth and parenthood;
- The days when the employee is unable to work due to an accident or illness;
- Days of mourning in the family, for which the employee does not work for religious or customary reasons;
- Days of strike or shutdown;
- Days of prior notice of dismissal, unless exceeding fourteen.
Commencement of leave
The date of the commencement of leave shall be fixed at least 14 days in advance. This does not apply to periods of leave of fewer than 7 days.
Accumulation of leave
Leave cannot be accumulated provided that an employee may, with the consent of the employer, take a leave installment of at least 7 days and add the balance to the leave given him in the following two working years. The government authority may prohibit the accumulation of leave where in his opinion the health of the employee or the circumstances under which the work is performed requires that the whole period of leave shall be given each year.
Leave to be given at one time
Leave shall be given at one time, provided that with the consent of the employee and the employer and with the approval of the local employees’ committee, if any, it may be split up, but only so that one period of leave consists of at least seven days.
The employer must pay the employee for the vacation days vacation pay in an amount equal to his regular salary. Regular pay shall be –
- in the case of an employee the remuneration for whose work is wholly or in part paid on the basis of a month or a longer period – the pay which the employee would receive, in respect of the period in question, if he had not gone on leave but had continued working;
- in the case of a wage worker – the average daily pay multiplied by the number of leave days; the average pay shall be the sum resulting from the division of the pay for the quarter immediately preceding the leave, by ninety; where the said quarter includes months of less than full employment, the average daily pay may, at the worker’s option, be calculated on the basis of the quarter of fullest employment within the twelve months immediately preceding the leave.
When leave pay shall be paid
Leave shall be paid not later than on the day on which the employee would receive his pay had he not gone on leave, but if the employee goes on leave for not less than seven days and requests that the payment of leave pay is advanced, it shall be paid not later than two days before the commencement of the leave.
Loss of the right to leave pay
An employee shall not be gainfully employed during his leave and if he performs regular paid work during that period, he shall lose his right to leave pay; if it has already been paid, the employer may deduct an identical amount from the employee’s pay or collect it in any manner in which a civil debt may be collected.
Leave Pay in Case of Termination
In cases, where the employee’s employment ceases before he has received the leave due to him up to the day of cessation of his employment, the employer shall pay him to leave compensation of an amount equal to the amount of leave pay which would be payable to him had he gone on leave on the day of cessation of his employment. Annual leave law, § 2 – 10.
Minimum wage Updated on January 01, 2021:
- The daily wage for a worker employed 5 days a week: NIS 244.62.
- The daily wage for a worker employed 6 days a week: NIS 212.
- The hourly wage for a total of 186 hours of work: NIS 28.49.
- The hourly wage for a total of 182 hours of work: NIS 29.12.
- Monthly wage: NIS 5,300.
An employee is entitled to accumulate sick leave of one and a half days per full month of employment, and up to a total maximum of 90 days of sick leave. Period of illness shall be calculated in accordance with the following provisions:
- in the case of a salaried employee – the period of illness shall be all days of his illness, including days of weekly rest and holidays;
- in the case of a salaried employee who has worked full-time for the same employer or at the same place of work – the period of illness shall be all his sick days, except weekly rest days and holidays;
- In the case of a salaried employee who has not worked full time for the same employer or in the same workplace (hereinafter – intermittent worker) – the period of illness shall be all sick days, except weekly rest days and holidays, multiplied by the days the employee worked.
Sick Leave to care for a Family Member
Employees are entitled to accrue days of absence on account of their accrued Sick Days due to taking care of a close family member. The following table details different cases of eligibility and contains links to pages with more comprehensive information on each type of eligibility:
- Ill Spouse – Up to 6 days per year
- Malignant illness of a spouse – Up to 60 days per year
- Spouse’s pregnancy or childbirth – Up to 7 days per year
- Illness of a child under age 16 – Up to 8 days per year
- Illness of a child under age 18 who has a malignant illness or who requires dialysis treatment – Up to 90 days per year, or up to 110 days per year if he/she is the only parent caring for the child
- Caring for a child with special needs (of all ages) – Up to 18 days per year, Up to 36 days per year if he/she is the only parent caring for the child
- Ill parent – Up to 6 days per year
- Caring for a spouse that donated an organ – Up to 7 sick or vacation days per year
- Caring for a parent that donated an organ – Up to 7 sick or vacation days per year
According to the Sick Pay Act, on the first day of the period of absence (and in any one-day absence), the employee will not receive any payment or salary. On the second and third day during this period of absence, the employee is entitled to receive half of his/her daily wage, and from the fourth day onward the employee is to be paid a regular wage as if he/she has not been absent from work. If a parent of a child with disabilities is absent from work in order to care for that child, he/she is eligible for full sick pay starting from the first day of absence. An employee who has not received entitled payment for sick leave may claim compensation from the employer. Sick leave law, § 2 – 10.
An employee is entitled to paid maternity leave for a period of 15 days. The total period of leave for an employee having at least one year’s service is 26 weeks which can be split into a period of up to 7 weeks before the due date and the remainder after the delivery.
The period of maternity leave of an employee who has worked for less than 1 year is 15 weeks, of which 7 weeks or less, as the employee wishes, can be taken before the estimated date of birth and the rest after the day of birth. In cases of multiple births, a female employee is entitled to 3 additional weeks for each additional baby, starting with the second.
A mother who has been hospitalized during her leave for 2 weeks or more may extend her paid leave for the hospitalization period, up to 4 weeks, or split her leave so the hospitalization period will not be included. A mother whose baby has been hospitalized during the leave for two weeks or more may extend her paid leave for the hospitalization period, up to 20 weeks, or split her leave so the hospitalization period will not be included.
A woman who gave birth to a dead fetus (stillbirth) or went through pregnancy termination after 22 weeks, is entitled to the majority of rights that are given to women to give to live babies. A female worker who has had a miscarriage may be absent from work for unpaid for one week, after the miscarriage, or such period, not exceeding six weeks, as the physician may determine.
Payment of maternity allowance during maternity leave
During the first 15 weeks of maternity leave, employees are entitled to a birth fee from the National Insurance Institute at a rate of 100% of their salary. The remaining weeks are unpaid. Employees continue to accrue annual leave and pension fund contributions during maternity leave.
The female employee will be entitled to 1 hour per day, to be called parenting hour, From the end of the period of birth and parenthood, until the end of six months from the date of birth provided that she is employed full time as usual in the employee’s workplace or she is employed for at least 174 hours per month, whichever is lower.
An employee returning from maternity leave will not be employed in night work for 4 months from the end of the leave. Employment of Women Law § 6 – 7 Amendment No. 9.
The spouse of an employee who has given birth to a child is entitled to 7 days’ maternity leave during the same period as the mother’s maternity leave (this is on account of the maternity pay to which the mother is entitled to the same period). These days are in addition to the spouse’s entitlement to sick days under the Sick Pay Law. The minimum period of leave which the spouse can take in order to be eligible for paid leave is 7 days. Employment of Women Law § 6 – 7, Amendment No. 57.
An employee is entitled to 26 weeks of leave for the purposes of adoption, as long as the child is under 14 years of age. If both spouses are adoptive parents, only one of them (of their choice) will be entitled to leave, but the other spouse will be able to utilize the balance of the leave that the first spouse did not take.
An adoptive parent may be absent from work for travel to a foreign country for the purpose of international adoption, provided that a recognized association has confirmed in writing, in respect of each such travel, that it is necessary for the purpose of international adoption. The periods of absence from work shall not exceed 45 days for the same adoption procedure.
An adoptive parent who has worked for less than 12 months for the same employer or at the same workplace is entitled to a leave of only 15 weeks, during which he is entitled to an adoption allowance for 15 weeks.
Extended paid adoptive leave
An employee who has adopted more than one child at one time is entitled to extend the adoption leave by an additional 3 weeks, for each additional child, starting with the other child.
Hospitalization of the child – if during the adoption leave the child has been hospitalized for at least 15 days – the adoptive parent is entitled to extend the leave and receive additional leave pay for the extension period.
During the leave, the employee is not entitled to wage payment, but he/she may be entitled to an adoption fee for 15 weeks from the National Insurance Institute. Adoption Leave Law, § 6A – 6b.
An intended employee who has taken custody of a child as an intended parent under the provisions of Surrogate Motherhood Agreements is entitled to the same rights as a female employee receives under the maternity rights. Parents who have worked for at least 12 consecutive months at the same employer or at the same workplace are entitled to a 26-week leave.
Intended parents who have worked for the same employer or at the same workplace for less than 12 months are entitled to 15 weeks’ maternity leave.
Eligibility for maternity leave is only for one of the parents (of their choice), but if the parent who went on maternity leave did not use the entire period he is entitled to, the other parent may go on maternity leave for the remaining unused days.
Employees who are absent from work in order to fulfill the obligations of mourning in accordance with their religion or custom are entitled to receive full payment for their absence, up to 7 calendar days (meaning, the day count includes normal weekly days of rest).
The right is recognized as long as they have worked at least 3 months at their place of employment.
- A female worker who has had a miscarriage may be absent from work for unpaid for one week, after the miscarriage, or such period, not exceeding six weeks, as the physician may determine.
- Absence by virtue of subsection (a) shall be deemed to be absent due to illness.
- A female worker may be absent formwork – (1) during the months of her pregnancy if and to the extent that a physician certifies that her condition, as determined by her pregnancy, so requires.
- From the expiration of the maternity leave under the expiration of 6 months from that date if and to the extent that a physician certifies that her condition, as resulting from her childbirth, so requires; absence from work by virtue of this section shall be treated as absence because of illness;
- From the end of the maternity leave until the end of 4 months thereafter – one hour per day, provided that she is employed in a full-time position; the absence from work permitted under this paragraph is in addition to the breaks provided, and are not to be deducted from her pay.
- During the period, when she is receiving in vitro fertilization, and when a male worker receiving fertility therapy.
- After maternity leave, employees are entitled to an unpaid vacation. Employees are entitled to unpaid vacation leave according to their seniority at the workplace (one-quarter of the working period, up to one year).
Employment of Women Law, § 10.
Last updated on: February 12th, 2021