Responsibility for employing foreign workers transferred to private companies

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked has appointed an inter-ministerial team to examine the employment of 50,000 Palestinian construction workers.

People work at a construction site in the Jewish settlement of Beit El, near Ramallah in the West Bank July 1, 2020. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
People work at a construction site in the Jewish settlement of Beit El, near Ramallah in the West Bank July 1, 2020.
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked recently appointed an inter-ministerial team to examine a better way to facilitate importing over 50,000 men to work in construction.

The personnel corporations can better control and more efficiently facilitate hiring foreign workers for the construction industry.

In Israel, there are 49 licensed corporations that employ foreigners to work in construction. They handle the employment of 20,000 foreign workers from eastern Europe and China.

How will Shaked change the employment method?

Changing the method of employing workers and transferring responsibility from the government to private corporations will reduce the number of employers and streamline supervision and control.

Licensed corporations will ensure pay slips are legally issued and that social rights are preserved. The move will also lead to fewer problems that exist in the current system, such as delays in issuing employment permits and tying Palestinians to one specific employer, which can lead to blackmail and exploitation.

 View of a costruction site in the central Israeli city of Be'er Ya'akov, February 22, 2022.  (credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90) View of a costruction site in the central Israeli city of Be'er Ya'akov, February 22, 2022. (credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90)

This new method will significantly increase supervision at the security level of their employment, including the required entry permits, while maintaining continuous contact between corporations and security agencies. 

The work permits will be allocated in a more efficient way among all the building contractors in the industry.

Eldad Nitzan, chairman of foreign labor corporations in the construction sector at the Finance Ministry, stated that the concentration of employment of all foreign and Palestinian workers under licensed corporations will help in the coming year to facilitate the construction of more than 100,000 housing units, and over time lower apartment prices between 3%-7%.