Below are a series of frequent questions and answers. You are also welcome to look at our facebook page, or call our hotline for additional help.
Suspension from Work
I was employed at a job that paid an hourly salary. The salary at the time was about 27 shekels/hour and I asked to get a raise of 30 shekels due to my seniority at the workplace. My request was rejected a number of times, and my motivation suffered as well as my relationship with my employer. I was late to one of my shifts by an hour and after I finished my shift, I returned home and received a call from my employer telling me that i am not doing well for the company and that I would be dismissed from shifts that week. We agreed to meet and discuss the issue and at the meeting I demanded from the manager a letter of dismissal that would officialize the end of my employment. He claimed that he did not dismiss me, and that because I was not doing well for the company I was suspended from working. The beginning of that week I was unemployed, after over a year, with no prior notice that would give me time to find a new job, with not letter of dismissal that would allow me to declare unemployment, and with no damages that I would need during a time like this. I must confront my employer who is denying my rights and refuses to recognize them. I want to stand up for my rights. What do I need to do?
Suspension from work is legal only if there is some basis of collective agreement. This is not your case, and therefore according to our understanding the suspension is illegal.
Your unemployment sounds like a dismissal. We recommend that you write a letter to your employer and mention that not working there is dismissal, and that you demand all of your rights with regards to dismissal. In addtion, I would demand the salary during the illegal suspension period. With that letter you can try and get unemployment benefits from National Insurance.
If you need addtional help, you are more than welcome to come visit us at Kav LaOved.
Work During Wartime
Do I have to go to work in time of combat? When is it forbidden to go to work? In which cases are workers who were absent from work eligible for compensation. What is the amount of compensation?
Such questions can be addressed to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, 1-800-201-180, but here are some general points which are relevant to most people:
– All employees must go to their place of work, even during times of combat, unless the Home Front Command orders you not to do this (relevant to work located 7km from the Gaza Strip). This duty to arrive at work means workers need to be declared by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
During times of combat, employers cannot place the staff on unpaid vacation –
– Each employee who is absent from work due to the order of the Home Front Command is entitled to full payment of salary by his/her employer (other than one-time payments, annual payments, overtime, preparedness(?), reimbursement of expenses and taxes thereon), as well as being entitled to receive all social benefits due during this time. This is true for all employers across the country.
– You cannot terminate an employee who is absent from work due to caring for a child under the age of 14, as a result of cancellation of schools and kindergartens. The parent is due compensation for these absentee days. This is relevant providing the other parent is not absent from work at the same time and that the place of work does not have provisions for childcare and supervision.
Pension After Switching Employers
I worked in an office for 8 years that deposited money for pension. I finished working in August 2011 and immediately after, my pension fund stopped. In February 2012 I started to work at a private nursery. My employer claimed that she had to pay for my pension only after 6 months of work, and not after 3 months. Her explanation was that I did not have a pension account and that 5 months had already passed since the first salary. From all the documents I read over the internet I could not find any discussion regarding the pension fund “dormant”. In the meantime, management fees are being taken from the pension fund. What happened to my fund when I switched employers?
It seems that your current employer has mistaken you. After several months, a fund with no deposited money cannot be considered by law as an exception- the law dictates that a worker that is not allocated a pension is given a longer waiting period. Also the dormant pension offers you “some kind of pension insurance”, according to the conditions in the Extension order. In a situation that you are not physically fit or provided pension, there will be pension insurance, but the rates will be much lower. This is the meaning of the Extension order.
I work at a maintenance company which maintains and supports many sites. During my shifts (on nights and weekends), I go directly to a particular site. My employer asks that we keep a timesheet from the time of arrival until we leave the site. There are sites which are over an hour away from my home. For example, I left to deal with a malfunction at a site in the North. It took an hour to reach the site, I worked there for only an hour, and then had an hour’s drive home. However, the requirement is that I sign my timesheet for only one hour of work. Is this requirement legal?
If a worker is required to go somewhere which is not his/her usual workplace, and is farther away than that workplace, the difference in travel time between this place and the regular place of work must be noted – this is time that the employee is available to work and must therefore be paid per hour. However, this is provided that the work does not include travelling to meet clients.
See in this regard a ruling in a similar case:
EA 7445/00 Dattel Diana v. Tesnet – Software Testing Inc discussed a case in which a hi-tech employee had to meet with customers. To travel to the customers, the employee used a company car and/or public transport and/or a private vehicle. The Haifa District Court ruled ( on 1.26.2003) that in this case there is no dispute. The employee was aware that her work would be carried out in different locations. Furthermore, there was no disagreement that the employee would not be compensated for less than an hour of work a day. While the daily travel time is long, even unreasonably so, there is no legal basis for claiming payment in respect thereof.
Living at the Workplace
I am a youth coordinator on a Kibbutz, and work under the youth manager of the district of the Kibbutz. In August, I began as a counselor on a few trips, one day and two day trips, however at the end of the month, after I had finished all the trips, my employer decided that a “day trip” is considered 8 hours of work, and a trip longer than one day is considered 12 hour days (the last day- 8 hours). The employer claimed that the arrangement was included in the contract, something I later realized was incorrect, and that it was approved by the manager. Due to this situation, I could not work for 12 hours, go home, and show up for work the next day- forcing me to stay and sleep at the workplace. From my knowledge, there were about 20 coordinators that were in a similar situation. Is there any way of recieving payment on gross work hours, from the time I leave on the trip and return? Is there a law that deals with having to sleep at the workplace, and what if the worker is on an “on call” position?
Regarding payment for work hours: There is no doubt that work hours must be compensated, whether or not the calculation is done per hour, or done by day.
Regarding living at the workplace: If you sleep at your workplace because of a late arrival- this is not considered a work hour. If living at your workplace is a demand the answer depends: If you must be “on call” the whole time, this is considered a work hour. If you are only potentially “on call”, you should generally recieve payment, however the amount is not necessarily the same as a regular salary, and must be agreed on by both sides.
Fixed Salaries Per Hour
Is receiving a fixed salary per hour, which is less than the actual number of hours worked, against the law?
Not exactly. This is not a question of legality, but rather whether the payment covers the number of actual work hours and whether there is a need to pay more in the overall salary. It is impossible raise the overall salary based on one month, especially because in reality you should recieve a higher payment than your actual work hours.
However according to the court, if your general salary is constantly lower than your actual work hours, you may sue your employer for the difference and to recieve the payment you deserve for those extra hours.
I work as the Manager of Sales and Marketing and recieve my salary per-hour. As part of my employer’s obligations and conditions of employment, I have deductions for pension and advanced funds. According to the accountant at my workplace, if I chose to use my holiday days in a particular month, the money for my holiday days are not calculated in prior to the deductions. Is it true that vacation and sick days are not included in the salary from which the pension deductions are taken?
Your questions is whether sick days and vacation are calcuated when deducting payments for pension. Section 7 of the law regarding sick leave rules that sick days justifiably count as work days (with regards to salary). Furthermore, when a worker leaves his work due to illness or sickness and recieves sick leave, the employer must contiue to allocate social rights.
Section 17 of the law on yearly vacation rules that vacation days justifiably count as work days (with regards to salary). Furthermore, when a worker leaves his work due to a yearly vacation and receives vacation days, the employer must continue to allocate social rights. Pension insurance is deducted according to the set salary, according to the law on damages, dismissal, and its various regulations. Section 1 of the regulations regarding damages of dismissal (calculation of the damages), set that the contents included in the calcuation are: basic salary, seniority addtions, expenses, family additions, etc. The conditions for advanced funds are explicitly detailed under the regulations of the fund. You can find answers to your questions there.
Payment for “Training Days”
I am a security guard, and my firm obligates me to undergo “training days” every 3 months. My hourly wage on an average day is 33 shekels per hour. When I am doing ‘training’, my wage varies and is normally around 22.59 per hour. Is this allowed? Should I get paid as if it’s a regular work day? This is not specified in my contract and I am worried about how it affects my salary.
The collective agreement, as stated in article 18.5, about the security guard industry, is that ’employees taking part in ‘training’ will be considered as working a full day in all respects and will be paid a full salary, including travel expenses’.
Dismissal Due to Marriage or Moving Homes
After I got married I moved to live in Zichron Yaakov at my husband’s home. Prior to the wedding, I was living in Shoham and worked in Petach Tikva (the city nearby). A week ago I changed my address in my personal identification card. Am I still eligible to receive full damages for dismissal? How far in advance do I need to let my work know of my dismissal before the marriage/changing of my address?
Damages for dismissal following marriage is obligated when the following conditions are met:
A. Moving your home to a place in Israel.
B. The new home is a place your spouse lived before the marriage.
C. The distance between the two houses is 40 km or more.
D. The distance of the new home to your work place has lengthened.
If the above conditions do not apply to you, and there is a need to stay in an old home for a specific period, you must give your employer early notice on your wish to be dismissed for the purpose of moving (after being married).
The law on early notice sets a time table according to status and seniority-
Monthly worker must give notice: in the first half year- one day for each month. In the second half- 6 days and another 2.5 days each month. Following that- a month.
Hourly worker must give notice: In the first year- one day each month, the second- 14 days and another half day for each month. The third – 21 days and half day for each month. Following that- a month.
Dismissal Without a Hearing
My husband works in a private company. In April, the employers went on vacation and forced their employees to take a vacation too. My husband saw that this forced vacation would put him in debt. My husband said that by law they cannot force this vacation and asked for payment. They did this but his relationship changed with the employer, and the employer eventually told him they would not allow him to take advantage of his vacation days.
In May, my husband’s sister passed away, he had to return to work on Monday but only returned the Sunday after that. When he returned to work, he found that he had been replaced and that there was a letter of dismissal waiting for him, due to ‘downsizing’. The date on the letter was for that Friday. The employer asked that my husband sign a waiver forgoing prior notice, but he refused.
My husband knows that he lost his job because he stood up for his rights, but the employer will never admit this. Do we have a case? After all, they never gave us a hearing.
A hearing must be held prior to dismissal because the point of the hearing is to give the emloyer an opportunity to hear the worker’s stance and allow the worker an opportunity convince the employer not to dismiss him/her.
A recent ruling (415/06- Malka v. Shupersal inc)- page 9, ordered that a worker has a right to a plea. This is a right given to a worker in the framework of being employed. The worker has full access, towards a private employer, or public employer, according to the ruling by the court, to approach his/her employer with pleas that influence his future employment, This is the first right of the worker to convince the employer to change his mind.
National Insurance Payments
From 1981-1982 I worked at the “Reshet” bookstore. To my suprise, I did not see that I was being paid national insurance during that period. What do I need to do in order to recieve the additional payments for an old age stipend during that period?
You must speak with a clerk at the National Insurance, bring a personal declaration and if needed, witnesses. If they do not obey your request to see a court, the employer is obligated to pay the national insurance. You can arrive at the regional labour court in your area only after all the proceedings of the National Insurance have failed to answer your requests. That is to say, first you must do all you can do according to the standard prcoedures with the relevant bodies. It is best to find a salary stub or #106 form to prove the amount of time you worked.
Payment During Sick Leave
I have been on sick leave for about two months and have not received any substantial salary. This month I redeemed my vacation days and my employers told me that because I have not received a large salary the last few months, I will be paid only 45 shekels for each vacation day. Is this logical? I do not receive a salary due to a specific reason and I am not redeeming them for some ridiculous reason.
Section 10 A1 and B1 under the yearly vacation law:
A. The employer is obligated to pay the worker yearly vacation days in the amount equal to their regular salary.
B.The regular salary with regards to this section is- a worker who is willing to compensate his work, all or partially, is paid on the basis of a month or longer period- the salary a worker during the period he/she did not take vacation or work more, in this situation the employer must pay according to the work day prior to sick leave.
Damages for Interns
My girlfriend recently started her second year interning at an accounting office. A few months ago the company decided to merge its office with another. Since the company wanted to merge, it needed to dismantle and form a second company together with the merger. As a result of this, all of the workers in the office, including my girlfriend, were dismissed. My girlfriend recieved a dismissal letter, however unlike the other workers, she and the additional intern in the office did not recieve damages for the dismissal.
My girlfriend worked at this company for a year and two months and the second intern worked for almost two years and even started working at another company. They were told by the employers that because they are interns, their work is not considered long term and therefore they are not obligated to pay them damages. Are their employers correct?
If it was already agreed beforehand that the internship is short term, the worker is not considered dismissed because the period was agreed on by contract. Moerever, there is a specific instructional law which explicitly limits interns from receiving damages. According to section 41a and an additional clause in the laws pertaining to lawyers, damages for dismissal do not need to be paid to students interning during their law studies.
Payment for On-Call Shabbat
During September 2013 there was a change in the calculation of salary for “on-call” shabbat. According to the current calculation, a worker should receive payment for 9.5 hours according to 6/7 of the hour and 14.5 hours according to 2/3. The payment for “on call” shabbat according to the old system was very different, 22 hours were paid accoring to 6/7 the hour and two hours were paid accoridng to 2/3. Is this legal?
Payment for “on call” shabbat is not part of the laws regarding the protection of worker’s rights. This was set in the court ruling 204/06 Israel v. Alony. The court ruled: “Agreements regarding payments for “on call” shabbat are not based on law and are not part of a worker’s legal rights. These kind of agreements can be made in contracts or collective agreements, in accordance with a specfic employer or norms of a specific workplace.”