Daily Roundup / No Raincheck for Israelis Who Missed Work

Missed work due to bad weather? It's too bad, but you still don't get paid; group wants Mossad wages to be disclosed; Nochi Dankner allowed to travel for business.

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No work, no pay: Israeli, did you miss work because of the rain and floods? You aren't entitled to pay. Absence due to adverse weather isn't an issue addressed by the Israeli legislator at all, so unless your employer agreed to give you the day off with pay, you're out of luck. War is a different matter – absence from work because of, say, missile attacks in one's town has been addressed by collective bargaining agreements and regulation. Not so for cloudbursts. Workers can choose to ask the employer to treat a day of absence as paid vacation. Now you know.

How much does a Mossadnik make? While on pay, how much do the secret people secretly working in Israel's secret security services make? They are civil servants in a way and their pay should be public domain, the Movement for Freedom of Information argued in court this week. It had to argue the issue there because the Finance Ministry firmly refuses to disclose pay practices for workers and top talent at the Shin Bet and Mossad, on the grounds of – national security. The movement isn't buying that a pay check is a state secret, however. Stay tuned.

Plaza Centers bondholders rail at dividend: Bondholders of Holland-based Plaza Centers are peeved at parent company Elbit Imaging for forcing through a dividend payout, which the Israeli real estate company is entitled to do under Dutch law. Elbit Imaging decided that the subsidiary should fork over 30 million euros, bypassing the Plaza Centers board – which could have nixed the dividend on the grounds that it isn't in Plaza Centers' best interest. Plaza Centers shareholders could still shoot down the payout at their assembly in February. Elbit Imaging says the Plaza Centers bondholders had agreed to the dividend back in September, but Meitav – an institutional investor with a position in Plaza Centers bonds – says conditions since then have changed. Namely, Plaza Centers' condition deteriorated, and that Elbit Imaging has a hell of a nerve. Stay tuned.

Nochi Dankner allowed to travel: Tycoon Nochi Dankner, the controlling shareholder of the IDB group who is under investigation for alleged securities infractions, has been allowed to leave the country on business. He had to deposit NIS 3 million as a security. Meanwhile, his mother, Zahava Dankner, has stepped down from the board of IDB group companies including Discount Investment Corp, where she has served from 2006.

Softball at IDB board: In other news of the IDB group, a derivative lawsuit against the company led it to disclose procedures to the courts. Minutes of the board meetings reveal that the directors unanimously approved all dividend distributions between 2008 to 2010, amounting to NIS 1.8 billion. The plaintiffs – bondholders worried about their money – claim the dividend payouts were not in the company's best interest. IDB counters that the dividends were paid before doubts about its liquidity surfaced. The minutes do indicate that the board members didn't ask management tough questions even though reports of group companies did unveil difficulties they were facing.

With reporting by Yoram Gabison, Shelly Appelberg and Haim Bior

Snow near Safed, January 9, 2013.Credit: Yaron Kaminsky