Rights, obligations and working conditions for Migrant workers in Israel

A migrant worker in Israel is entitled to the same working conditions as an Israeli employee, as well as to private health insurance and proper housing provided by the employer. This section features all you need to know about labor conditions: working hours, salary, taxes, benefits, and more. These are only minimum requirements and you may be offered better terms.

Carrying a passport

Under Israeli Law, every person must carry a personal identification document. If your passport is withheld against your will by your employer or by an employment agency, contact the Immigration Administration at 03-9189444.

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Working hours and vacation

Full-time work is defined as follows:
In the construction industry - 211 monthly hours;
In other trades – 186 monthly hours.

You are entitled to a weekly rest period of at least 36 hours - on Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday, depending on your religion.

You are entitled to 14-21 calendar days of paid vacation each year, depending on the number of years you have been with the same employer. Vacation is given either at the end of the year in the course of the following year.

You are also entitled to 9 paid religious holidays a year according to your religion or the Jewish calendar, at your choice.

You are entitled to 150 percent pay and an optional vacation day if you worked during a holiday. Caregivers are entitled to payment for working during holidays from day one at their job.

List of holiday dates 2009 by country
Detailed information on Jewish hoildays
List of holiday dates 2007-2012

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Monthly minimum wage: NIS 3710.18;
Hourly minimum wage: NIS 19.95;
Payday: no later than the 9th of the following month.

Migrant Workers employed in the construction industry are entitled to a minimum wage of 211 hours (NIS 4209.45).

Overtime pay
You are entitled to after 9 hours (in a 5-day workweek) or after 8 hours (in a 6-day workweek). For the first two hours of overtime each day, payment is 125% of the regular hourly wage; for each additional hour, the rate is 150% of the regular hourly wage

Example: if you work 6 days a week and you are paid NIS 19.95 per hour, you are entitled to NIS 24.94 for the 9th and 10th work hours of each day; and to NIS 29.93 from the 11th hour onwards).

It is recommended that you keep a record of your working hours for future dealings with your employer.

Live-in caregivers
Live-in caregivers are not entitled to overtime pay; however, their minimum wage is 30% over and above the regular minimum wage (NIS 4823 monthly). A caregiver is also entitled to a weekly rest day (36 hours), paid vacation days, and paid holidays.

Travel allowance
If you need transportation in order to get to your workplace, you are entitled to travel allowance in addition to your salary. The allowance cannot exceed NIS 21.14 per day or the cost a prepaid monthly bus ticket.

Recuperation pay
Once you have completed a year of work for the same employer, you are entitled to recuperation pay (in Hebrew: demey havra’a) from your employer, at the daily rate of NIS 318 multiplied by 5-7 days (depending on the length of the employment period). Recuperation pay is paid once a year between June and September.

Grant for construction workers
If you work in construction for an employment agency (Licensed Manpower Company), your employer should deposit a monthly sum of NIS 700 for you in a special account. You will receive the money (minus 15% income tax) when you leave Israel permanently, on condition that this is before your visa expires.

For updated sums see the Foreign Workers’ Rights Handbook.

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Deductions from salary

Your employer may deduct from your salary only the following sums:

Income tax is deducted from your salary by the employer and transferred to the tax authorities. The employer may not deduct from your salary any fees imposed on him for your employment.

National Insurance (Bituach Leumi) fees are deducted from your salary and cover the following:
Work-related injuries
Sick pay and maternity allowance
Unpaid wages or severance pay in case your employer goes bankrupt (see below)

The rate of national insurance deduction is 0.04% for the first NIS 4,430 of your salary, and 0.87% of every shekel above NIS 4,430.

You can find detailed information on National Insurance benefits and deductions on the website of the National Insurance Institute, as well as in the complete guide to National Insurance in English, Russian, French, Arabic, and Amharic.

Additional deductions include housing expenses and health insurance costs. Your employer may also deduct from your salary sums that you owe them (such as loans and recruitment fees), but only if you agree to it in writing.

Note: your employer is required to pay the authorities various fees for the right to employ migrant workers. The employer cannot deduct any such fee from your salary.

The overall deduction cannot exceed 25% of your salary.

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Written contract and wage slip

Your employer must provide you with a written copy of your employment contract in a language that you understand. The contract should include the following details:
Your name and name of the employer
Job description
Beginning and length of employment period
Salary, payment dates, and deductions
Working hours and rest days
Paid vacations, holidays, and sick days
Details of health insurance and housing

Your employer must also provide you, each month, with a detailed wage slip featuring all payments and deductions from your wages.

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Ending employment and changing employers

Prior notice
You are entitled to leave your work at any time and look for another job, provided that you give your employer, as follows:
In the first six months of employment – one day for each month worked;
From the seventh month until the end of the eleventh month of employment – 6 days plus extra 2.5 days for each additional month of work;
After one year of employment - one month.

If your employer wishes to dismiss you, he or she must give you a similar prior notice.

Severance pay
If you are dismissed after working for one employer for a period of one year or more, you are entitled to severance pay (in Hebrew: pitzuyei puturim), at the rate of one month’s wage for each year of employment. You are also entitled to severance pay if your employment was stopped due to the employer’s death or bankruptcy. Detailed information on severance pay is available on the website of the National Insurance Institute.

Finding another employer
Upon leaving your work, you must report it to the Population Registry in the Ministry of Interior (Tel: 02-6294726, Fax: 02-6294767), which will usually give you a temporary visa for up to a month in order to find a new employer in your trade.

When you find a new employer with a valid employment permit, you should request the Ministry of the Interior to record the new employer’s name in your passport before beginning work.

Construction workers
If you work in construction an employment agency (Licensed Manpower Company), you can change employers regularly every 3 months: on January 1st, April 1st, July 1st and October 1st.

If your employer has dismissed you or violated your rights, please call the Ombudsman for Foreign Workers’ Rights at: 050-6240546 or 03-5125460. The Ombudsman will investigate your complaint and if justified will allow you to find a new employer.

Your employer should deposit a monthly sum of NIS 700 for you in a special account. You will receive the money (minus 15% income tax) when you leave Israel permanently, on condition that this is before your visa expires.

Caregivers can work in Israel for a maximum of 63 months. However, your visa may be extended over this period if you worked with the same employer for at least one year and your employer is dependent on your care. In such case, you can continue working for the same employer, but you will not be allowed to change employers.

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Instructions for employees in the field of caregiving

According to new government instruction - employers of workers in the field of caregiving are to register their worker in one of the privet offices authorized to do so.

The worker and the employer should contact one of these offices and sign a request form registering the worker as a caregiving employee in Israel.

Following the registration, the worker and the employer will be given a registration conferment written in Hebrew and a language the worker understands. This service is free of pay. The Office is allowed to charge up to 70 Shekel a month for other services such as home calls, insurance assistance etc. The office is allowed to charge up to 2000 Shekel for placement services.

A caregiving worker who won't be registered by 30.4.09 will not be allowed to work in Israel. An employer who won't be registered by the same date will not be allowed to employ a worker.

As of 14.1.09 prolonging the visa of a caregiving worker will be allowed only after the worker and his employer are registered in one of the authorized offices.

Posted from : http://www.gov.il/FirstGov/TopNavEng/EngSituations/ESMigrantWorkersGuide/ESMWGRights/

Rights for Migrant workers w/c we really don't enjoy nor feel that we have the rights. Once the agency cling to their fellow Israeli clients, poor migrant workers got nothing even a peny of their salary!

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