New emergency law forbids firing employees in North

The law, submitted by Minister Eli Yishai, only applies to those who live and work north of Safed.

The government pushed through an emergency law Sunday stating that businesses were not allowed to dismiss employees who could not make it to work due to the current crisis in the North. The law, which was submitted by Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai, is an update of a 2003 ruling made during the Gulf War, reported Ynet. It only applies to those who live and work north of Safed, not to those who live further south. Several Israeli media outlets reported Sunday that there were some factories that had threatened workers with dismissal if they did not show up. There are close to 200 factories in the far north of the country and hundreds more between Haifa and Safed that have ceased operations due to the conflict. Many workers live in communities that have been directly hit by Hizbullah rockets and have been advised to stay close to bomb shelters, others have now been called up for reserve duty and many more were unable to leave their children unsupervised during a time when there is no school and all of the scheduled summer camps have been cancelled. Meanwhile, Na'amat chairwoman Talya Livni called on the Home Front Command Sunday to retract the order given Saturday night that people in the North were allowed to return to work. According to Na'amat, the organization's hotline has received hundreds of calls from worried parents being forced back to work while there is no safe framework for their children. "While summer camps and student dormitories are closed in accordance to guidelines from the Home Front Command, there is no way to demand that parents return to work," stated Livni.