Working Through the Conflict

Our employer has ordered us to take a vacation because of the security situation. Is this legal?

Under the Annual Vacation Law, an employer can order a worker to take up to seven vacation days without prior notice, to be deducted from his annual vacation allowance. When it comes to a work hiatus of more than seven days, an employer must give two weeks' notice.

My employer said he will deduct vacation days from anyone who fails to show up for work. Is this legal?

An employer cannot decide that a worker is taking a vacation if the worker has not so stated. If you are absent from work due to orders from the Home Front Command, your absence is legal and cannot be deducted from your vacation days.

Is an employer allowed to order me to work during a war?

The orders of a Home Front Command official apply to everyone and violators may be subject to criminal prosecution. If you are instructed to remain in a bomb shelter, your employer cannot order you to come to work.

When it comes to workers at facilities that provide essential services, such as hospitals, the Israel Electric Corporation, the Mekorot water utility and bakeries, the labor minister can issue an order that requires them to show up for work, even in confrontation zones.

I work in a factory that supplies the army. Can my employer order me to work overtime or during weekly rest hours?

Under the Work and Rest Hours Law, the ministers of defense and of trade and industry can permit extra work hours if they feel the supply and service needs warrant this. This also applies to factories that supply the Israel Defense Forces. Concerning weekly rest hours ?(Sabbaths?), permission is granted by a ministerial committee.

Can an employer fire an employee who does not come to work due to orders to remain in bomb shelters?

People can go to work if their workplace is a closed building near a protected space. Workplaces that do not meet these two conditions cannot require employees to come to work. In places where these conditions exist, the employee has the right to decide whether to come to work or not.

Must an employer continue to contribute to pension and other funds, or are these on hold?

The law and regulations require employers to pay only wages for work, and do not relate to pension and other fund contributions. Nevertheless, the Histadrut labor federation's position is that employers should continue contributing to these funds as usual.

My workplace was shut down after being hit by a rocket. Is my employer or some body obliged to pay me my salary?

A workplace being shut down is equivalent to a worker being unable to go to work. If the finance minister declares that the locale of the damaged workplace is a frontline area, the state will provide compensation, including for indirect damage for acts of war. In such cases, the employer must pay your salary, and the state will reimburse him.

I am a single mother. My children's day camp was canceled and I cannot go to work. Can my employer fire me?

Home Front Command orders state unequivocally that no children's or youth activities will be held, including day camps. The problem is that the law for the protection of workers in an emergency does not mention day camps, but only school closures.

Ostensibly, this means you could be fired for not going to work due to a day camp being canceled. However, the Histadrut is working to have this law apply to summer day camps, such that you cannot be fired if a day camp is canceled due to an emergency situation.