Municipal Election Day

The general elections for local authorities and regional councils in Israel will be held on October 30, 2018.

Unlike in the past, current law prescribes that the election day for local authorities and regional councils be a statutory day of rest, i.e. a day when most employees in the economy are not required to work and are entitled to receive their normal pay without the day being deducted from their accumulated vacation time. Employees are not required to prove they actually voted.

The statutory day of rest also applies to employees whose workplaces are located in a local authority or regional council where elections are not being held, as long as the employees themselves are registered in the voters’ registry and provided they worked for their employers for at least 14 days prior to the elections.

The Minister of the Interior published a list of workplaces defined as “public services” that can continue operating on election day and that can obligate their employees to work. These include transportation services, gas stations, hotels, restaurants, cinemas, security forces, and the like.

It is important to note that, unlike for weekly day of rest or public holidays, the law does not prohibit the opening of workplaces or working on election day. Therefore, there is no legal impediment to reach an agreement with an employee that he or she work on election day, provided the employer enables the employee to exercise his or her right to vote.

Furthermore, and although there is no statutory provision in this regard, the custom is to pay for work on election day at the rate of 200% of the employee’s normal wage, or, alternatively, to credit the employee with a vacation day.

Amendment to the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Regulations

Recently, an amendment to the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Regulations (Employers’ Obligations),1998 came into effect. The amendment updated the standard policy for the prevention of sexual harassment document, that most employers in Israel use to fulfill their statutory obligation to publish such policy in the workplace.

Among the material changes made in the regulation are the inclusion of the acts of publishing a photograph, film, or recording of a person that has sexual connotations as part of the definition of sexual harassment; the provision of additional examples of exploitation of authority; and additional provisions regarding the procedure to be followed when conducting an internal investigation of a complaint about sexual harassment.

We recommend that employers familiarize themselves with the new regulations, take action to adopt the updated policy document in their organizations, and make the necessary adjustments to the process of internal investigation of a complaint about sexual harassment, so that they comply with the requirements of the recent amendment of the regulations.