Section 3(a) of the Annual Vacation Law, 5711 – 1951 (the 'Law'), determines the length of vacation for each year of employment at the same employer or same place of work.
Today, employees working a 5 day working week are entitled to 10 work days (work days not including Friday-Saturday) as leave for each year of the first four years of their employment with the same employer or place of work. From the fifth year onwards, the employees are entitled to many more days leave.
The legislative proposal of the members of the Labor, Welfare and Health Committee of the Knesset, which was recently adopted as law by the Knesset, explains that the law is in need of change and updating. According to the explanatory notes, employment market has changed considerably from when the labor laws were enacted in Israel during the '50's. While in the past the majority of employees stayed at the same place of work for many years, today employees frequently go from one place of work to another. From the findings of a survey which was conducted on this it appears that employees up to the age of 35 change workplace on average every 4.6 years and only 58% of the 35 plus age group worked at one workplace during the last 10 years.
Amendment No. 15 to the Annual Vacation Law increases the number of annual paid leave days for employees who gain seniority between the first to fourth year and therefore, according to the explanatory notes to the new law, will decrease the gap between the minimum number of paid leave days which is customary in most of the OECD countries (20 days on average) and the minimum number of paid leave days customary in Israel. According to the legislature, the number of annual paid leave days as aforesaid, will also help to cross the gap between the holidays in the education system and the working days in the market, which currently imposes a big burden on working parents.
The amendment provides that, as from 1.7.2016 until 31.12.2016, the minimum annual paid leave entitlement of employees working a 5 day working week during the first four years of employment will be 11 days. As from 1.1.2017, the minimum annual paid leave entitlement for such employees during the first four years of employment will be 12 days. The entitlement for the remaining years will be unchanged.
Below is a table summarizing the number of paid leave days (work days not including Friday-Saturday) to which employees working a 5 day work week will be entitled under the new law:
Click here to view the Table
Reference: The Annual Vacation Law (Amendment No. 15 and Temporary Provisions), 5776-2016. Adopted by the Knesset on 8 February 2016.