UPDATE: On 16.6.2014, Kav LaOved received the official opinion of the Ministry of Economy stating that employers must pay severance pay to asylum seekers sent to Holot detention center or those forced to leave the country, including emphasis on the employer’s responsibility to pay pension. This is following the position paper cited below on this issue. With this new official opinion in hand, it will hopefully be easier to secure these amounts for workers, avoiding long and difficult (and expensive) legal processes.
Attorney Iris Maayan, commissioner of the rights of foreign workers at work in the Ministry of Economy, wrote, “An individual who infiltrated into Israel, lived here and worked here with a temporary residence permit that did not allow him to work, but eventually ceased working due to leaving the country of his own accord or being order to Holot until choosing to leave Israel — such a person is entitled to severance pay.”
For more information, see the Haaretz article, “Asylum seekers sent to detention entitled to severance pay,” published on 18.6.2014.
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In response to many inquiries, Kav LaOved presents the organization’s position on the entitlement to severance pay for asylum seekers who lost their jobs as a result of being summoned to the Holot Detention Center. According to the inquiries, asylum seekers summoned to Holot were refused severance pay by employers who do provide severance in cases of work visa expiration.
This opinion affirms that, “There cannot be any doubt that the employers know that the right to employ asylum seekers is constrained, temporary, fragile, unsustainable, and undependable, even for a pre-determined period of time. Sadly, the detention of the asylum seekers was highly anticipated due to the mindset of the lawmakers and the political climate in Israel. Hence, as the inevitable confinement of asylum seekers in the detention facility was foreseen by the employers, the workers summoned to the facility are entitled to full severance pay. ”