Israel: Law passed to improve the conditions for contract workers

A law that significantly improves the employment conditions of contract workers in the public sector was approved in a second and third reading. Ofer Eini, Histadrut Chairman: “An important achievement that retrieves the honor to the weak employees in the economy.”

Two months after the Minister of Finance signed an agreement with Histadrut Chairman Ofer Eini, the Knesset approved today in a second and third reading a law that anchors the agreement and significantly improves the employment conditions of contract workers in public bodies.

About 70 thousand cleaners and security workers will benefit from the new law. Employees will receive an increase to their wages to a minimum of NIS 4,650 (equivalent to US$1,306) per month compared with NIS 4,300 (equivalent to US$1,208) today, convalescence pay according to the civil service rates that will be determined by the number of seniority years, meals subsidization, gifts for the holidays on Rosh Hashanah and Passover, and additional conditions. Among other things, the cleaners are now eligible to join an education fund and the contractor will be required to set aside for him monthly payments at a height of 7.5% of the wages.

The law, which is expected to come into effect in practice in 75 days, sets that the working and wages conditions of contract workers in public bodies will be attached to the collective wage agreements that will signed with the permanent employees in this sector. Additionally, it was determined that the service contractors that violate the law will be subject to monetary penalties at a height of up to NIS 35,000.

Ofer Eini, Histadrut Chairman: “We succeeded in the struggle and we will continue to fight for the welfare of workers. This law is a major achievement in that it retrieved the honor to the weak employees in the economy. Together, we beat the discrimination of tens of thousands of workers and set a new reality in the field.”

Avi Nissenkorn, Chairman of the Histadrut Trade Union Division: “This is a very important day for a very large population of workers that in the eyes of many, to this day, were transparent workers without conditions.”

— From the Histadrut website