Senior civil servants who have left their employ in the last two years and did not receive wages during the cooling-off period will be compensated, Civil Service Commissioner Shmuel Hollander told Ha'aretz.

Under the law, civil servants are not allowed - for one year after their departure - to be employed by or receive any benefit from any business entity that was in the past affected by their decisions. This instruction is designed to prevent civil servants from making decisions that are influenced by job offers.

Former civil servants have said recently that the Civil Service Commission is not implementing a March 2000 government resolution which mandated payment during cooling-off periods.

Two weeks ago, a ministerial committee decided to set up a panel, led by Hollander, to define the standards for payments during a cooling-off period. The panel will also include Prof. Zvi Sussman (former deputy governor of the Bank of Israel), a former supervisor of wages and a former ministry director-general.

The committee found that a new panel is needed because an earlier panel was unable to formulate adequate criteria, causing delays in the implementation of its findings.

Some civil servants argue that during their cooling-off period they were forced to cash in their savings plans before they matured and even take out loans. The state's failure to help out its retiring employees and its lack of consideration for the difficulties a cooling-off period can create might deter capable candidates from joining the civil service, they charge.