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Employment Highlights

Amendment to the Hours of Work and Rest Law regarding Night Work

 

Night work is defined as work when at least two hours are between the hours of 22:00 and 06:00 on the following morning.

 

Pursuant to section 22 of the Hours of Work and Rest Law, 5711 – 1951, workplaces that operate shiftwork were allowed to assign not more than one week of night work to their employees every three weeks (in other words, an employee could not be required to work more than 7 night shifts every 21 days).

 

The amendment to the law takes effect on March 13, 2018, and allows a higher frequency of night work, so that now an employee can be assigned one week of night work every two weeks, so that it will be permitted to assign 7 night shifts to an employee every 14 days.

 

A special permit must be obtained from the Ministry of Labor in order to deviate from the provisions of section 22.

 

Amendment to the General Permit to Engage Employees in Overtime Work

 

Employees are being assigned overtime work by virtue of general permits issued in this regard.

 

On March 19, 2018 a new general permit was promulgated regarding overtime work, which replaces and supersedes the previous permits.

 

The new permit prescribes the following provisions:

 

Permitted overtime hours per day: employees may not be required to work more than 12 hours per day (including overtime hours);

 

Permitted overtime hours per week: employees may not be assigned more than 16 hours of overtime per week – regardless of whether these employees are working a five-day work week or a six-day work week. Considering that the work week has been shortened to 42 hours, this means that employers may not require their employees to work more than 58 hours per week, including overtime hours;

 

Permitted overtime hours per week for night-work employees: the permit prescribes that the work week for night-work employees must not exceed 58 hours, including overtime. In this regard, we note that, since a night shift is only seven hours of work, the number of permitted overtime hours under night work is higher than for day shifts. For example, if an employee works five night shifts per week, then his work week is 35 regular hours and it will be possible to assign him 23 hours of overtime during the same week.

 

Extension Order Shortens Work Week

 

The Israeli Minister of Labor, Haim Katz, has signed lately an extension order shortening the work week in Israel.

 

The new extension order will apply to the entire Israeli market.

 

According to the extension order, the work week will be shortened from 43 hours to 42 hours, without any reduction of pay.

 

The work week will be shortened by reducing one hour of work from one of the weekly work days – to be called the shortened workday. Employers are required to update their employees regarding the day chosen as the shortened workday. This day will be decided according to the employer’s work needs, as well as by taking the employees’ requests into consideration, to the extent possible.

 

Since the work week is being shortened without any reduction of pay, this basically means that employees will benefit from a rise in value of their hourly rate.

 

The extension order is expected to come into effect on April 1, 2018. Therefore, we recommend that employers begin preparing for the immediate effects of the extension order. Specifically, employers should take these steps:

  • Pick the shortened workday and the work rules relating to the change and/or replacement of the shortened workday.
  • Notify employees about the way the provisions of the extension order will be implemented.
  • Adjust payroll systems:
    • Define the work hours for the purpose of calculating overtime;
    • Adjust the hourly pay rate according to the standard for a full-time job, which is 182 hours;
    • Adjust the data on accumulated vacation pay and sick pay, which are calculated according to “hours of work.”