A bill stating that workers have the right to take a toilet break passed a second and third reading at the Knesset on Monday.
The new law was initiated by Knesset Members Shelly Yacimovich (Labor), Shlomo Molla (Kadima) and Yitzhak Vaknin (Shas). The MKs explained that "the lawmaker apparently assumed that there is no need to fix such an obvious right in a law.
"Unfortunately, the number of workplaces in the commerce and services industries, which ignore the worker's basic right to go to the toilet according to his or her needs, is growing.
The MKs added that "workers are employed for many hours (eight or nine), without being given the option to visit the lavatory. This occasionally prompts the workers to take 'creative' measures, which could in fact put their life in danger, like refraining from drinking liquids during the work hours.
"The existence of such a situation in the State of Israel in 2008 is unthinkable, and workplaces must not be allowed to revoke employees' basic rights as human beings."
The law forces the employer to set up a "functional lavatory for employees' use at any workplace." In addition, the worker must be allowed to take a toilet break according to his or her needs and constraints.
According to the law, a toilet break will be considered part of the working hours and the employer will not be allowed to deduct it from the employee's salary. The law also suggests sanctions against employers who violate it, including payment of damages.