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Workers’ rights

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Every salaried employee in the State of Israel who maintains employer-employee relations is entitled by law to basic employment conditions, which are considered fundamental rights in work that cannot be detracted from, even when the employee himself agrees to it.

These are the cognitive rights of the labor law, or in the other name, the “protective labor law.”

These rights encompas a wide range of issues and areas, including salary conditions, employment conditions, severance pay and social benefits. It should be emphasized that the rights are mandatory, and for the most part, even the worker himself is not entitled to give up. Of course, the employer must also fulfill them, and any personal contract or collective labor agreement is obligated to contain them. An employer who has violated these basic rights may be required to pay fines and heavy compensations, and criminal charges may even be filed against him.

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For example:

The right to receive minimum wage

Any employee over the age of 18 who is employed by definition full-time is entitled to receive at least the minimum wage. This amount is determined by the state according to salary per hour of work or by monthly salary, and is updated from time to time. It should be noted that even for teenagers, the law sets a minimum hourly employment rate, while the employment of people with disabilities is permitted below the minimum wage only with special authorization.

The obligation to provide written notice of working conditions

An employer must provide each employee with written notice of working conditions, up to 30 days from the date of the beginning of their employment. This notice is required to describe and detail the purpose of the employee’s role, working conditions, his salary, social conditions, working days and rest, the date of the beginning of work and, if necessary, the date of its completion.

Travel fees

Every employee is entitled to payment for travel fee to and from work, if necessary to use public transportation for a distance greater than 3 stations or living more than 500 meters from their workplace. This is even if he did not actually use public transportation to do so. These payments are defined as a maximum amount that the employer must participate in, according to the most discounted rate offered on travel with public transport. It should be noted that an employer who drives his employees to their workplace is not required to pay travel fees for them, nor will the travel fees be provided for a missed workday.

It should also be emphasized that many industries in the market have beneficial rights over those basic rights, by virtue of various collective agreements and expansion orders.

For example, these are industries such as: (partial list only)

  • Cleaning workers
  • Guard and Security Employees
  • Hotels
  • Plastics industry
  • Metal and Electronics Industry
  • Garages
  • Wood and its products
  • Personnel contractors

What is a collective bargaining agreement/expansion order

A collective agreement is an agreement signed between an employer or employee organization and an employee or organization of employees. The agreement discusses a variety of employment issues, including how and under the conditions of acceptance or termination of employment, working conditions, workplace rights and obligations, and labor relations. These agreements are signed after negotiations between the two sides until an agreement is reached. Once a collective agreement is signed, it constitutes a legal document requiring both parties to meet its conditions. In addition, with the help of an expansion order, the agreement can be extended to additional employees who were not included in it in the first place.

Enforcing workers’ rights

Enforcement of workers’ rights is the responsibility of the Ministry of Economy, which employs special supervisors for the treatment, supervision, prevention and enforcement of workers’ rights. However, the scope of supervision is insufficient to cover the entire israeli labor market. Therefore, any person whose rights have been violated is entitled to sue the employer in a labor court.

The lawsuit is recommended and it is very important to file with the accompaniment of a law firm specializing in labor law.