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Factory worker in kibbutz Evron, next to Nahariya
Factory worker in kibbutz Evron, next to Nahariya 
 
 

Wartime layoffs outlawed

Knesset OKs bill that forbids employers from firing workers during war, arranges compensation for businesses in North

Tani Goldstein
Published: 08.01.06, 12:23 / Israel Business

Job security: The Knesset approved Monday evening a bill that would see northern residents compensated for war damages and that also outlaws layoffs as long as the war in the North rages on.

 

The bill was initiated by Knesset members Ami Ayalon and Yuri Stern.

 

The new legislation includes an agreement signed on Thursday of last week between the government and the Histadrut labor union federation
that aimed to arrange compensation to businesses and employees as a result of the war.

 

Since the outbreak of hostilities, many businesses in the North have closed their doors and are suffering losses to the tune of billions of shekels, as a result of a steep decline in consumption and a high employee absenteeism rate on the order of the IDF Home Front Command.

 

More than 1,500 workers dismissed so far  

 

According to the new law, business owners in the North will be paying workers their full July salaries, even if the employees did not show up at work. The government, in turn, would compensate the businesses for the salary costs in addition to further compensation for wartime losses.

 

The bill stipulated that the agreement will be extended to August as well should the fighting continue.

 

Another clause in the new law forbids employers from firing workers because of the ongoing war. According to Histadrut data, employers in the North have already dismissed more than 1,500 workers since the war's outbreak, as a result of financial difficulties and the refusal of employees to report to work. The prospects of fired employees finding new sources of income as long as the war continues are virtually non-existent.

 

Notably, the new law is retroactive and will apply to the entire period that started at the war's outset. The legislation obligates employers who fired workers during the war to continue paying them salaries until the fighting ends.

 

The bill was approved unanimously, with all 12 present Knesset members voting in favor of the legislation.

 

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