New fines set for failure to notify of work conditions

Employees to receive NIS 15,000 if not given written notice of work conditions; burden of proof to fall on employer.

Palestinian workers build settlement home in Kedumim 311 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS/Nir Elias)
Palestinian workers build settlement home in Kedumim 311 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS/Nir Elias)
The Knesset approved late Wednesday night a law that will impose sanctions on employers who fail to give new hires written documents spelling out work conditions.
Employers will be ordered to pay NIS 15,000 in compensation to new workers, if they fail to inform them in writing of work conditions within a month of hiring them. The measure was proposed by MKs Shelly Yacimovich (Labor), Haim Katz (Likud) and Marina Solodkin (Kadima).
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Moreover, in cases where an employee sues an employer over his position, rank, salary or social benefits, the burden of proof regarding the disputed payment will fall on the employer.
Although there is already a law that states employers must inform new hires of work conditions, it is widely ignored.
“Ever since the Law of Employee Notification was enacted, according to the Ministry of Trade and Labor, the rate of violation of the law is 92 percent among employers,” Yacimovich, Katz and Solodkin said in a statement on Thursday.
And if workers do sue their employers in disputes over employment terms, it is currently up to the workers to prove that they were not notified of conditions, not the employers.
Consequently, even though most employers violate the law and do not inform new hires of employment terms, workers are left without any civil recourse.
“Hundreds of thousands if not millions of Israeli workers do not have the right to receive written notification of the terms of their employment, and their employment is vague and uncertain,” Yacimovich said. “The new law will give them wider protection.”
Switching the burden of proof onto the employer will mean it is an employer’s responsibility to give employees written notification of the terms of employment, as required by law, the MKs added.
According to Yacimovich, Katz and Solodkin, the new law is essential for good labor relations because it will ensure that employment conditions are clear to both employee and employer.
The bill was formulated in partnership with NGOs Kav LaOved (Worker’s Hotline) and the Forum for Workers’ Rights.