Panel considering alternatives to Sundays off

Following Shalom's initiative, c'tee is examining other options e.g. additional vacation, making dates of national significance days off.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
December 22, 2011 16:39
1 minute read.
Vice Premier Silvan Shalom

Vice Premier Silvan Shalom_311. (photo credit: Reuters/Mike Cassese)

 
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A committee appointed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to examine the option of a five-day work week is considering several alternatives to making Sunday a day off, a source in the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed Thursday.

Netanyahu appointed the committee on July 4 following pressure from Vice Premier Silvan Shalom, the main political patron of the initiative. The committee, headed by National Economic Council head Prof. Eugene Kandel, was tasked with making recommendations to Netanyahu by March.

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Channel 10 business correspondent Maran Hodorov revealed Wednesday night that the committee sent 30 business leaders a questionnaire asking whether they preferred making Sunday part of a longer weekend or several other options.

The alternatives included giving workers an additional week of vacation time to use whenever they wanted, adopting a half-day of work on Tuesday or Thursday, making dates of national significance like Jerusalem Day and Yom Hazikaron days off, and making Hanukka or Hol Hamoed Succot days off for workers as they already are for schoolchildren.

The business leaders were asked to rank the possibilities in order of preference and send the questionnaires back to the committee, which includes representatives of the Education, Negev and Galilee Development, and Industry, Trade, and Labor ministries.

A source close to Shalom said he was convinced that the business leaders would prefer making Sunday a day off to all the other alternatives.

The source called all the other options “not serious” and only “half a solution.”

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A spokesman for the committee said he could not confirm what the committee was considering until it presented its findings to Netanyahu. But he said the committee was considering alternatives that have been used in countries around the world.

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