Bill increasing vacation days passes early Knesset vote

Bill increasing vacation days passes early vote completely unopposed.

January 12, 2016 13:12
1 minute read.
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Tel Aviv beach . (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)


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Legislation giving workers two more vacation days each year passed a first reading Monday evening.

The bill by MK Rachel Azaria (Kulanu) updates the Yearly Vacation Law for the first time since 1951, increasing the minimum annual vacation days from 10 to 12. In an employee’s sixth year at a workplace, he or she would get 14 vacation days, with the number rising to 21 days in the seventh year and increasing one day per year until the employee reaches 28 days.

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The law currently states that workers get two weeks – meaning 10 work days for those who work five days per week – of vacation per year for the first five years they work in one place, gradually rising to 28 days after 14 years of working for the same employer.

Azaria explained that the law was passed at a time when people stayed at the same workplace for much of their adult lives, but that it needed to be updated since the employment market has changed; because people are now switching employers every three to four years, they don’t qualify for the increases and end up with only 10 vacation days for a long time. Most OECD countries give workers a minimum of three to four weeks off.

The current situation is also difficult for parents who have to make arrangements for their children who have far more days off than they do, she said.

“The time has come for us to update the spirit of the law from the 1950s to the current reality,” she said.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said Azaria’s bill “takes care of young folks who work and do not gain vacation days if they do not stay in the same place for five years.

“When MK Azaria showed me this bill months ago, I could not believe that it didn’t already exist,” he added.

The bill passed with 28 in favor and none opposed, and will got to the Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee for authorization before returning to the plenum for a second and third (final) reading.

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