Thousands of Israeli employers are pressuring employees to take a vacation or to simply stay at home in order to decrease the number of accumulated employee vacation days, says Hashavim, a company specializing in business information that tracks information on salaries, taxes and employee benefits.

The pressure is mostly in private-sector businesses, particularly in the technology, services and traditional manufacturing sectors, said Hashavim CEO Abie Meir.

"The liability to workers for accumulated vacation days is a significant line on a company's balance sheets, and therefore employers take advantage of the summer to pressure workers to use up their vacation days, either in full or in large part," he said.

Employee absenteeism in July increased since July 2007, compared to figures for the month from 2000 to 2006. In the earlier period absenteeism peaked in July 2000, with an average of 1.78 days per worker, of which 1.44 were vacation days. Since July 2007, the rate of worker absences in July has increased and now averages 1.83. Vacations make up only 1.39 of these days.