Shivat Zion

Workplace - Responsibilities & Benefits

Oved Sachir
עובד שכיר
Last updated: 02.07.2023
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The following guide is intended to provide an overview of various terms used in the Israeli workplace in connection with your employment. When in doubt about something related to your job, one should always seek out legal or professional advice.
There are many elements and terms related to working in Israel and they vary depending on your personal employment status (employee or self-employed etc.).
For more in-depth information you can refer to the Ministry of Labor website here or Kol Zchut here. The pages are in Hebrew but you can use your browser to translate. Kav La’Oved here is another resource and has a page in English.

How do you know what your benefits and responsibilities are as an employee?

Sometimes referred to as a Heskem Avoda – הסכם עבודה – Employment Agreement or Heskem Ha’asaka – הסכם העסקה – Employment Contract.
All of the above are legally binding agreements between an employer and an employee that set out the terms and conditions of the employee’s employment. The agreement typically includes information such as the employee’s job title, salary, hours of work, benefits, responsibilities, and termination provisions.
Almost all contracts are issued in Hebrew and you will be asked to sign them even though you may not understand what is written. You cannot insist on getting it in English (or any other language) and you cannot break a signed contract in Hebrew by claiming that you did not understand the text. As mentioned above, when in doubt, it is recommended to have a lawyer review the contract before signing.
  • Hebrew (and Arabic) are official languages in Israel – English is not.
  • The previous comment is not intended to suggest that contracts in English (or other languages) are not binding – contracts in non-official languages are binding to the same extent as Hebrew or Arabic language documents.
  • There is, generally, no obligation for a document, employment contract or otherwise, to be in English, so you cannot demand one, however, some employers are willing to do so if asked.
  • If you do not understand the contract for any reason, language or terms, you should consult with someone who does, and if possible, with a lawyer, before you sign.
  • Under Israeli law, there is a presumption that a person who signs a contract understands its terms and conditions and it is difficult to claim otherwise in court at a later time.
  • Israeli law requires both signatories to a contract to act in good faith in its negotiation and performance.
  • As in most transactional situations, if you sign a contract without doing your due diligence, the risk is on you.
In addition to signing a Chozeh, you will be asked to fill out and sign a Kartis Oved – כרטיס עובד, also known as a Tofes 101 form which is a form required by Rashut HaMisim – רשות המיסים – the Tax Authority, to determine your tax obligations. It is required at the start of every calendar year or when you begin working during a particular year.
Note: at the end of every fiscal year, the employee should receive a Tofes 106 form from the employer which essentially is an annual salary report, indicating how much money was earned, for what and how much was deducted for taxes etc.

Hitpatrut - התפטרות - Resignation Process and Piturim - פיטורים - Firing process

Both the employer and employee need to give written notice to each other before firing/quitting work. The amount of notice depends on the period you have been employed and varies depending on whether you are a monthly worker or hourly or daily worker.

Before a decision is made to fire someone, the employee has a right to a Shimua, a meeting in which the employer needs to share the reasons why they are unhappy with an employee’s performance etc., and to provide the employee with an opportunity to address the issues. There needs to be at least 2-3 days advance notice of the meeting. The employee is allowed to bring someone with them to the Shimua (lawyer etc.). Once the Shimua is over, the employer can then decide to either fire the employee or let them continue in their position. A written copy of a summary of the Shimua needs to be provided to the employee.

Upon being fired, an employee is entitled to receive severance pay of one month’s salary per year of employment upon termination. The employee is generally not entitled to this payment if they decide to leave their position of their own accord, although there are some exceptions.

Bituach Leumi may provide the unemployed person with funds for a limited time during his/her unemployment. You should report to the Sherut HaTa’asuka שירות התעסוקה – Employment Service, immediately upon termination of employment, and then report on regular days as instructed by the service.

Check here for more information about unemployment benefits.

Upon ending one’s employment, either by resigning or by being fired, the employee needs to receive from the employer the following two documents: Michtav Siyum Avoda – מכתב סיום עבודה – a letter stating that their employment has ended, and a signed Tofes 161 form. This form authorizes the release and return of the employee’s pension fund etc. back into the employee’s control, to transfer to a new employer or any other use necessary

Additional Related Concepts

For a full-time employee, the salary must be paid no later than the 9th of the month (for the previous month).

Standard working week in Israel consists of 42 hours per week and 7-9 hours per day depending on how many days per week are worked. Overtime is calculated for hours worked above and beyond the regular work hours on each day (not deducted from the work hours for other days). Payment: first two hours – 125%; any hour after the first two hours – 150%.

Making an employee work more than 12 hours a day or 16 overtime hours in a week is illegal.

It is important to record the hours you work each day (the start and end times) in case of disagreement with your employer. The employer often has a software program or other means that you need to use to sign in and out.

Your employer is required to reimburse you for your travel expenses, to and from work, depending on the distance.

You are entitled to 36 continuous hours off work per week, which includes a rest day according to your religion. If you worked on your rest day you should be paid 150% of your daily wages and in addition receive a different rest day.

During the first four years of employment you are entitled to two weeks of annual vacation (including the weekly rest day). After four years, the number of annual vacation days increases.

After three months of work, you are entitled to receive payment for nine holiday days per year according to your religion (provided these days do not fall on your weekly rest day). If a holiday falls on your regular working day, you are entitled to holiday payment at the rate of the normal salary for this day. If you are employed on your holiday, you should receive payment at the rate of 150% of your daily wage and this is in addition to the holiday payment (250% in total).

The amount and frequency of the break time a worker receives is dependent on various factors such as the type of work they do, either physical or non-physical labor (i.e. office work) or the length of their work day etc..

Before you sign your contract it is recommended to clarify with your employer what breaks you are entitled to.

Your employer must pay your salary if you don’t work because you are sick, provided you provide a doctor’s note. Please note that the law states that the employer doesn’t have to pay for the first sick day; but for the second and third sick days – you receive 50% of your daily salary; from the fourth sick day and onwards – 100% of your daily salary. The employer can also decide to pay you from the first day as well.

It is illegal to fire a pregnant worker. When you give birth you should receive coverage for your hospital stay as well as a one-time birth payment and three months of paid maternity leave from Bituach Leumi.