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For the first time in 22 years: the working week in Israel will be shortened to 42 hours

03 April 2017
An agreement that was signed on 29.3.17 between Histadrut Chairman Avi Nissenkoren and Chairman of the Presidium of Business Organizations, Shraga Brosh, determines that the shortening of the work week will be carried out without a reduction in the wage.

The move is expected to come into effect already starting from July 2017, unless the parties reach an agreement on an alternative arrangement for instituting long weekends.

Histadrut Chairman Avi Nissenkorn:

"This is a first step in shortening the work week in Israel. The move promotes the proper balance between work and leisure, while creating a positive effect on the labour productivity in the labour market "

Chairman of the Presidium of Business Organizations and President of the Manufacturers Association, Shraga Brosh:

"The business sector is ready today more than ever to adapt the labour market in Israel to the new working era and to enable a more correct and flexible division between leisure and work for all employees in the labour market."

Histadrut Chairman Avi Nissenkoren and Chairman of the Presidium of Business Organizations and President of the Manufacturers Association Shraga Brosh signed on 29.3.17 a general collective agreement to shorten the work week in the Israeli labour market.

The number of weekly work hours in Israel stands today at 43 hours, a number that is higher than what is customary in most developed countries. According to the agreement that was signed on 29.3.17, the scope of the work week in the labour market will be shortened by one hour, so the work week will stand at 42 working hours, without a reduction in the wage. The shortened day will be determined by the employers, taking into consideration the requests and the needs of the workers. In accordance with the move, and once the change comes into effect, the hour wage will be calculated on the basis of 182 hours per work month, instead of 186 as is currently the case.

The agreement that was signed includes changes also in the night work arrangements and in the overtime. Thus for example, night work will be allowed for a cumulative scope of seven days within a period of two weeks. The weekly overtime quota allowed in a regular work week will be 16 hours, while in a week in which night work is performed, the maximum quota will be updated with regard to the morning shifts.

The shortening of the work week is expected to come into effect already starting from July 2017, unless the parties agree on an alternative arrangement for instituting long weekends, i.e. extending the weekend rest so that it includes also Sunday, on dates that will be agreed upon in advance. As long as these agreements are reached by July, the parties obligated to sign an amendment to the agreement, which anchors the alternative arrangement.

Chairman of the Presidium of Business Organizations and President of the Manufacturers Association Shraga Brosh said:

"The business sector is ready today more than ever to adapt the labour market in Israel to the new working era and to allow a more correct and flexible division between leisure and work for employees in the labour market. In the framework of the agreement, we agreed on reducing the working hours and on making the ability to operate the business more flexible, for the benefit of businesses and employees alike. At the same time, the business sector and the government are jointly adopting a policy whose goal is raising the productivity and growth, and consequently raising the wage and standard of living for all the Israeli residents. Already in the last budget, hundreds of millions of shekels were allocated for actions to improve the productivity in the Israeli labour market. I am certain that only such a policy will ensure strong business activity and create a better economic and social future for Israeli citizens. I would like to thank the Economy and Industry Minister, Eli Cohen, for leading the subject of shortening the work week in the Knesset and in the government and closely accompanying the current agreement. I would also like to thank Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon for a budgetary policy that encourages growth and increasing the productivity in the Israeli labour market."

 Histadrut Chairman Avi Nissenkoren said:

"This is a first step in shortening the work week in Israel. This is an important step that contributes to the all the workers in Israel and promotes the proper balance between work and leisure, while creating a positive effect on the labour productivity in the labour market. I would like to thank Chairman of the Presidium of Business Organizations Shraga Brosh for the cooperation and for finding a joint solution to improve the productivity without placing the burden on the workers. I would like to thank the Economy and Industry Minister, Eli Cohen, for the partnership in promoting this issue. My heartfelt congradulations also to Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and to Labour, Welfare and Social Services Minister Chaim Katz for their support for the move."

 

Economy and Industry Minister, Eli Cohen:

"The shortening of the work week will change the work characteristics of the Israeli worker and hides many benefits within it, including reducing the worker's burnout, increasing the balance between family life and work life, and improving the quality of life of the individual. The step comes against the backdrop of the unusually high number of hours that the Israeli worker works compared with his colleagues worldwide, approximately 43 weekly hours, compared with the OECD countries in which the average number of hours is 40 weekly hours and even less than that."

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