Work in Progress: Laying down the law

Getting a new job is always exciting, but it's important to know what exactly you are legally entitled to here in Israel.

Office desk 370 (photo credit: Wikicommons)
Office desk 370
(photo credit: Wikicommons)
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The job search can be so exhausting for job seekers that negotiating an employment contract might seem beyond the scope of the job search. However, once a candidate is offered a position it is important to know what rights and benefits are guaranteed under the law and what benefits are commonly negotiated for.
Labor and tax laws can be difficult enough to navigate in your own country, let alone in a second language in an adopted country. Israeli employment law is comprehensive and covers residents employed via work visa as well as citizens. All employees receive a range of benefits in addition to salary, including sick days, vacation days, national health insurance, social security, severance pay, pension and transportation.
Days off
In addition to the Jewish holidays (about 10-15 days per year), all employees are entitled to ten vacation days during the first year of employment. Vacation days increase with seniority according to the law.
All employees are entitled to one and a half days of sick leave for each calendar month. The first day of any sick leave is unpaid. On any subsequent days of sick leave a percentage of the daily wage is paid. Up to a maximum of 90 sick days can be accumulated.
Social Security, National Health Insurance & Pension
Employees are obligated to make monthly payments for National Health Insurance. Payments are deducted from the salary, like a tax. Employers and employees each contribute a percentage of the employee’s monthly salary to Social Security based on the employee’s salary.
After the first six months of employment all employees are entitled to choose a pension fund of their preference, to which both employer and employee each contribute 5 percent of the employee’s monthly salary.
Employers are obligated to pay for the transportation of all employees, up to NIS  25 per day, according to the distance between the employee’s residence and the office. It is not uncommon for senior positions to negotiate within the employment contract for a company car or a monthly stipend equivalent to the value of the car lease.
Additional funds
All employees are entitled to severance pay. Employers are obligated to contribute an additional 8.33% of an employee’s salary to a fund of the employee’s choice to be paid at the time of termination.
After the first year of employment, all employees are entitled to a Recreation Payment, which is paid each July. Payments are mandated by law and increase with the number of years of employment.
Other benefits
Other benefits may include an Advance Study Fund. This savings fund is particularly attractive due to the tax benefits. Employees may also negotiate for a mobile phone or mobile phone service.
Labor laws and tax laws in Israel are complex, frequently updated and subject to change. Negotiations and agreements must be made carefully. Consulting with an expert may be necessary. For those with dual citizenship this can be further complicated by tax laws in the country of origin. In this case, it is advised to seek an expert in the field.
After a long job search the employment contract is the light at the end of the tunnel. It is important to navigate the last stretch of the job search as wisely and cautiously as the rest of the search. Relocation Jobs offers international recruitment, employment services and support for the entire relocation process.