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Israeli employment laws set certain limitations on employers' right to terminate employees. For example, according to case law, the termination of employment relationships requires a hearing process, for which specific guidelines have been developed by the labour courts.
The labour courts have repeatedly asserted that employers' obligation to hear an employee before making a final decision regarding their future employment results from employees' basic right to be heard and derives from the rules of natural justice and bona fide obligations.
A hearing process must consist of several stages:
- First, the employer must send the employee a written invitation to the hearing, specifying in reasonable detail the reason why it is considering terminating their employment. The invitation must be delivered to the employee within a reasonable period prior to the hearing.
- The employee should also be made aware of their right to invite any person to represent or accompany them at the hearing.
- The hearing must be held before the employee's direct supervisor or a person authorised by the employer to reach a decision regarding the employee's termination.
- The employee must have sufficient opportunity to speak and respond to any allegations against them. The hearing must be held in a language in which the employee is fluent.
- Minutes of the hearing must be kept, detailing the main points raised in the hearing (although they need not be a full record of the proceedings).
- Following the hearing, the employer must consider the points raised and reach a final decision regarding the termination of employment. Such decision – and the reasons behind it – cannot be rendered during or immediately following the hearing (ie, should be presented to the employee no earlier than one day after the hearing).