Israel shortens its workweek

20 April 2017 14:35

Histadrut and the Presidium of Business Organizations and President of the Manufacturers Association Shraga Brosh signed a general collective agreement to shorten the workweek in the Israel. "This is a first step. The move promotes the proper balance between work and leisure, while creating a positive effect on the labour productivity in the labour market", says Histadrut Chairman Avi Nissenkorn.

The agreement signed on 29 March 2017 will come into effect in July 2017, unless the parties reach an agreement on an alternative arrangement for instituting long weekends. It will also be carried out without a reduction in workers' wage.

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."

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.