BWI affiliate in Israel, Histadrut, reports that Labour and Welfare Minister Haim Katz signed the extension order that applies shortening the workweek to 42 hours to the entire Israeli economy, following agreements that were reached between Histadrut Chairman, Chairman of the Presidium of Business Organizations and Finance Minister. The extension order was signed on 18 March 2018. The change is expected to come into effect already on April 1, 2018.
On April 1st, the shortening of the workweek will be carried out without a reduction in wages and the hourly wage will now be calculated on the basis of 182 work hours per month instead of 186 as it has been until now. The meaning of the move is raising the hourly rate and increasing the hour's value for workers earning minimum wage.
It should be noted that this is the first time since 1995 that workers in Israel benefit from the shortening of the workweek. Thanks to the current change, Israelis will work 50 hours less in each calendar year, and, as stated, without a reduction in their wages. The shortened workday in the week will be determined by each employer, taking into account the requests and needs of the workers.
The move, which has ramifications for the entire Israeli economy, took shape against the backdrop of a persistent struggle conducted by the Histadrut against the reality in which salaried workers in Israel work a greater number of weekly hours than workers in most OECD countries. Together with the assumption that received a research basis that many work hours harm workers and are a central cause of negative effects on their health and efficiency at work, the agreements between the Histadrut and the employers were also formulated against the backdrop of the common desire to promote an enlightened policy that helps increase work productivity in the Israeli economy.