The Ministerial Committee on Legislation is expected to vote Sunday on a proposal by Kulanu MK Rachel Azaria to extend paid parental leave from a maximum of 14 weeks to 15. A further extension to 16 weeks will be considered in six months. The last time the length of parental leave was changed was in 2007, when it was extended from 12 weeks to 14.
As part of the proposal, a three-week requirement for fathers to be able to take paternity leave will be shortened to a minimum of one week in order to encourage more fathers to take leave. Currently only 0.4 percent of fathers take paternity leave. The recommendations were made by a team of experts that advise Azaria, including Finance Ministry and National Insurance Institute officials, professors, and Naava Shafner, the director-general of the pro-working women's organization Ima Kadima. "Lengthening parental leave is a welcome step for every mother and father," said Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu).