Bill Would Compensate Parents Over Rocket Attacks

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz plans to submit a bill requiring that parents be compensated when forced to miss work due to school closures in wake of rocket fire.

Parents of children up to age 14 in southern Israel will be compensated for missing work during March because of rocket attacks, if Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz has his way.

On Sunday Steinitz will be bringing a bill before cabinet to pay compensation to parents forced to miss work when schools closed down under orders from the army and local authorities because of rocket attacks from Gaza. The bill is in keeping with an agreement between the treasury and the Histadrut labor federation.

Grad rocket 19/11/10 Eliyahu Hershkovitz
Residents examine the spot where a Grad rocket landed. Eliyahu Hershkovitz

As clashes in the south escalated, schools were closed down from March 11 to 13 on the orders of the Home Front Command. On March 15 as well, some local authorities shut down their local schools.

Steinitz feels that, in the future, compensation should be paid only to parents who miss work because of security-related orders from the army, not from bodies that are not authorized in such matters.

In the case in question, Steinitz feels municipalities did not have the authority to close schools. However, this time he feels the parents should be compensated.

On Sunday the cabinet will also address the various powers of different bodies with respect to schools during times of military tensions. Decisions will be made by Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar with the ministers of finance, interior, industry, and home front defense.

In contrast to Steinitz, the Interior Ministry believes local authorities should be fully empowered to shut schools during escalating tensions.