The Industry, Trade, and Labor Ministry plans to triple its fines and citations against employers found in violation of labor law.
On June 20, legislation aimed at increasing labor law enforcement will take effect, allowing the ministry to double its current number of inspectors overseeing workers rights.
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Yaffa Sulimani, head of the ministry's Labor Law Enforcement Department, estimates that it will issue some 2,000 fines against employers, comprising a total of NIS 20 million, and will seek indictments against some 700 businesses a year.
To compare, in 2011, the ministry issued 614 fines and indicted 283 employers.
Two major changes differentiate the new law from the existing one. The first gives the ministry the power to issue administrative fines in the case of labor law violations, meaning it will no longer be bogged down in criminal proceedings that demand greater time and proof than administrative procedures.
Students at Tel Hai demonstrate in support of contract workers (Photo: Maor Buchnik)
The law also provides for an additional 120 ministry positions for inspectors, attorneys, and administrative staff responsible for enforcing the law, as per the agreement reached between the Histadrut
Labor Federation and the Treasury last February under the auspices of the contract workers deal. In June, 60 additional workers are slated to join the current 102 ministry employees and 107 students, with another 60 enforcement positions to be added in 2013.
The new legislation also allows ministry inspectors to enforce the Compulsory Pension
Law of 2007 through administrative fines.
The second change places the onus for enforcing workers' rights on employers who hire subcontractors. This applies only to contract workers
in the security, cleaning, and restaurant fields.
Next month, the Industry, Trade, and Labor Ministry plans to launch a media campaign aimed at employers and employees seeking to lodge a complaint, as well as open a hotline for complaints.
Sulimani said: "We've gotten all the positions and the funding we need. Simplifying the fines and citation processes and doubling the number of inspectors will greatly increase enforcement."