Authorities agree to compensate businesses in South

Businesses will be eligible for state-funded reimbursement after they compensate employees who missed work due to rocket fire.

Workers in an office 370 (photo credit: Thinkstock)
Workers in an office 370
(photo credit: Thinkstock)
Businesses in the South will be eligible for state-funded reimbursement only after they have compensated all their employees who missed work due to rocket fire during Operation Pillar of Defense.
Representatives of the Treasury, Israel Tax Authority, Histadrut Labor Federation and Federation of Israeli Economic Organizations (FIEC), which represents employers, were expecting to sign the deal after the Knesset Finance Committee approved it Tuesday.
Full compensation will be granted to: employees who reside within seven kilometers of the Gaza Strip and were absent from work in accordance with IDF Home Front Command instructions; parents of children aged 14 and under who reside within 40 km. of Gaza and were forced to stay home following the Home Front Command’s order to cancel all studies in the area.
Also Tuesday, the Treasury accepted the Finance Committee’s proposal to extend tax breaks to those residing within seven km. of Gaza by two years. A number of towns outside the seven-km. range will also be granted tax concessions.
Employers will have until March 21 – four months from the end of Operation Pillar of Defense – to submit reimbursement applications, and they can expect a Treasury response within 45 days of submission, the Finance Committee was told.
Residents of the South demonstrated exemplary behavior during the operation, Beersheba Mayor Reuven Danilovich told the committee, and requiring them to apply for compensation in such a “disrespectful” manner would cause them to feel as if they were cheating the system.
“National resilience means the state must look out for citizens and businesses that are likely to collapse,” he said. “Eight work days [missed] is a matter of survival for them. It is vital that the schedule be shortened and that people not be left hanging.”
Histadrut negotiator Avi Nissenkorn thanked his counterparts at the Treasury and FIEC in a press statement for their willingness to enter discussions at the beginning of the eight-day Operation Pillar of Defense.
“The discussion was quick and to the point, ensuring that workers and employers in the South receive compensation as quickly as possible and that they do not suffer a second time,” he said.
Businesses with production plants in the South lost about NIS 200 million during the operation, according to the Manufacturers Association of Israel. The data accounted for lost production from employees who missed work and from interruptions caused by rocket fire.