Though in the past few months the Knesset seemed to focus on replacing the “Tal
Law” and on various configurations of the coalition, social issues were on many
MKs’ minds, with several such bills becoming law in the 2012 summer session that
ended on Wednesday.
The Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee, led
by MK Haim Katz (Likud), kept its title as most productive legislative
committee, passing 64 private member bills, 49 government-proposed bills and 154
ordinances since the 18th Knesset was voted in in 2012. Of those, 16 bills and
13 ordinances were approved in the summer session.
“The social bills that
have become law show that we faithfully acted for the greater good,” Katz
Several of those social bills were approved this week.
proposed by Katz and Kadima faction chairwoman Dalia Itzik, allows women to sue
for five years’ back pay, if their salary is lower than that of a man in the
According to Itzik, the current law, under which women can only
demand two years’ back pay, prevents them from getting the compensation they
deserve. She added that without her amendment, the law led many women to claim
violations of the Equal Opportunity Law, which are harder to prove in
“This is an important step toward equality between men and women
in the workplace,” Itzik explained. “The Knesset stands in support of working
women in Israel.”
Another law approved this week determines that
ownership of a car does not automatically disqualify a person from receiving
guaranteed minimum income from the state.
Labor chairwoman Shelly
Yechimovich, along with Shas MKs Amnon Cohen and Avraham Michaeli, proposed the
bill, which says only ownership of two cars or one car worth more than an amount
determined by the Welfare and Social Services Ministry is a reason for reducing
“It took years of negotiations for such a basic matter to
pass,” Yechimovich said. “A person can own a jalopy and still live with
Other social legislation from the summer session include
regulation of assisted living institutions and the rights of their residents,
and granting IDF handicap status to soldiers injured during the first 30 days of
In addition, National Insurance benefits for Israeli citizens
involved in terrorist attacks against other Israelis were cut by 50 percent.