Herzog floats unemployment relief plan

Welfare minister says new plan should come into effect next week; Mishmar fires 800 employees.

Herzog 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Herzog 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Welfare Minister and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog unveiled a new plan to assist residents of the periphery and low income earners, during an interview with Army Radio Thursday morning. The plan, according to the minister, will come into effect next week, in cooperation with the National Insurance Institute. Herzog's comments came in response to the 800 employees that Israeli cleaning, maintenance and security-services company, Mishmar fired on Wednesday. "The conditions for receiving unemployment benefits in Israel are extremely intransigent," he told Army Radio. "I hope that we'll be able to present a plan next week to bring about more negotiations. It won't be easy for fired employees to find new work, and the government will need to give them an answer." The initiative, made public for the first time in the Thursday morning interview, would see the period of time that a worker has to be employed in order to receive unemployment benefits if fired reduced. "We see the data," said the Welfare Minister, "we mustn't wait until the situation gets really hard." 700 security staff and 100 high-tech workers received severance letters on Wednesday, and Mismar's CEO Yossi Liav said that the company was closing down, as clients owed Mishmar more than NIS 1 million and the banks would not extend his credit. The fired employees said they had not received their October salaries.