Vice Premier Silvan Shalom_311.
(photo credit: Reuters/Mike Cassese)
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
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
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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
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
A source close to Shalom said he was convinced that the
business leaders would prefer making Sunday a day off to all the other
The source called all the other options “not serious” and
only “half a solution.”
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.