Moshe Gafni
Moshe Gafni Photo by Daniel Bar-On
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Tax advisers won't be required to have a high school matriculation certificate (bagrut), under a change the Knesset Finance Committee made to the Economic Arrangements Bill. The Finance Ministry relented to the amendment, which committee chairman Moshe Gafni pushed in an effort to ease requirements for ultra-Orthodox women looking to work as tax advisers. This includes graduates of the Beit Yaakov network of schools, which are aligned with Gafni's United Torah Judaism party.

The Finance Committee approved the change unanimously yesterday. Gafni said the current bagrut requirement prevents many women, including Haredi women, from working in the field of tax advice despite having undergone all the necessary training.

He said he had submitted a private member's bill that provided for the amendment, but that the government asked that it be included in the Economic Arrangements Bill. According to Gafni, no such certificate is required for comparable work in the fields of accounting and law. The women would instead be required to pass exams that demonstrate the same level of professionalism required by the matriculation certificate, he said.

Gafni added that he has been battling to change the law since 2005, despite all the talk about integrating the ultra-Orthodox population into the workplace.

"This law will enable many very professional women who do not have a matriculation certificate to join the workforce as tax advisers," Gafni said.