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Advertising What are the requirements relating to advertising positions? Any employment offers must be advertised referring to both genders and must not include any discriminatory requirements.
Background checks What can employers do with regard to background checks and inquiries in relation to the following:
(a) Criminal records? Criminal record checks are forbidden, expect for government security bodies specified by law. Employers providing services to children and disabled or mentally ill people must require that all male candidates provide a police confirmation that they have not been convicted of a sex crime.
(b) Medical history? This is a legal requirement in some industries and occupations. It may be allowed in other occupations, if relevant to the position and subject to the employee’s consent.
(c) Drug screening? Drug screening may be allowed in some cases, if relevant to the position and subject to the employee’s consent.
(d) Credit checks? Credit checks are uncommon in Israel and were introduced very recently. No case law is available.
(e) Immigration status? Immigration status can be checked, as the employer must issue a work permit for the employee and it will affect some tax and national security payments.
(f) Social media? Almost no case law is available regarding social media. In general, any background check is subject to the general principles and provisions of the law (eg, the candidate’s basic right to dignity and privacy, non-discrimination provisions and general good-faith obligations).
Employers cannot ask employees for their military medical classifications, indicating their medical condition.
Wages and working time
Pay Is there a national minimum wage and, if so, what is it? Under the Minimum Wage Law, the statutory minimum wage is IS4,825 per month for a full-time position. This is accurate as of July 1 2016 and will be adjusted again on January 1 2017 to IS5,000. Further adjustments will be published.
Are there restrictions on working hours? A typical working week in Israel runs from Sunday to Thursday and is 43 hours long. Accordingly, the regular working day of an employee employed for a five-day week (Sunday to Thursday) is 8.6 hours. Employees employed for a six-day week will work eight hours a day from Sunday to Thursday, with an additional three working hours on Friday.
Any working hours in excess of the regular daily hours (ie, more than eight or 8.6 hours per day) and/or in excess of the regular weekly hours (ie, more than 43 hours) are considered overtime.
Generally, the Hours of Work and Rest Law forbids overtime. However, a general permit issued by the Labour Ministry permits overtime, subject to the following restrictions:
- Employees working a six-day week cannot be employed for more than four hours of overtime per day and 12 hours of overtime per week.
- Employees working a five-day week cannot be employed for more than four hours of overtime per day and 15 hours of overtime per week.
Under the law, a break of no less than eight hours must divide one working day from the next; otherwise, the two days will be considered one working day and the employee will be entitled to overtime pay for the second day.
Every employee is entitled to weekly rest of no less than 36 consecutive hours. 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 Labour Ministry is authorised to issue regulations deviating from the general provisions regarding weekly rest, reducing it to a minimum of 25 weekly hours. Employment is forbidden during weekly rest unless permitted by a general or specific permit issued by the Labour Ministry. An employee is entitled to special weekly rest work compensation of no less than 150% of his or her regular salary for every hour of work during weekly rest hours.
Hours and overtime What are the requirements for meal and rest breaks? Section 20 of the Hours of Work and Rest Law provides that in any working day of six hours or more, the employee is entitled to rest and refreshment for not less than 45 minutes, including one continuous break of not less than 30 minutes.
However, a permit from the Labour Ministry allows for employment of eight to nine hours without a break for employees carrying out non-manual work.
Another permit allows for 30 minutes’ continuous break when the work is conducted in a three-shift pattern.
The law also states that an employee is entitled to pray during the working day according to his or her religious beliefs. Prayer time will be established in the workplace in accordance with work requirements and taking into consideration the employee’s religion.
How should overtime be calculated? Any working hours in excess of the regular daily hours (ie, more than eight or 8.6 hours per day) and/or in excess of the regular weekly hours (ie, more than 43 hours) are considered overtime. The calculation is made on both a daily and weekly basis. The employee is entitled to overtime compensation of 125% of his or regular salary for the first two hours of overtime per day and 150% for every additional hour of overtime.
What exemptions are there from overtime? The Hours of Work and Rest Law does not apply to certain categories of employee, including those in management positions, employees whose duties require a special fiduciary relationship and employees whose working hours cannot be supervised by the employer. Labour courts can reclassify as non-exempt an employee who is defined as exempt in his or her employment contract; case law provides for a very small group of employees being classified as exempt.
Is there a minimum paid holiday entitlement? The Annual Leave Law provides that an employee is entitled to 11 to 13 days’ paid annual leave on commencement of employment, increasing yearly according to the employee’s seniority to a maximum of 28 days. As of 2017, the annual quota of annual leave during the first five years of employment will be adjusted to 12 to 14 days. In addition, according to the generally applicable expansion order, all employees are entitled to nine paid public and national holidays.
What are the rules applicable to final pay and deductions from wages? Deductions from wages are limited to specific cases listed in the Wage Protection Law, including:
- deductions required by law;
- employee donations instructed in writing;
- union membership fees;
- disciplinary fines imposed under a collective bargaining agreement;
- contributions to pension and similar funds; and
- fixed and agreed debts to the employer.
Deductions from monthly salary are limited to 25% of the employee’s pay.
Deductions from final pay are not limited.
Record keeping What payroll and payment records must be maintained? The employer must keep records of working hours, annual leave, sick leave and pay slips.
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