Bill Would Ban Dismissal of Workers Taking Sick Leave

The Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee approved the third and final reading of a proposed law that prohibits employers from firing a worker when either the employee, their spouse or children is home sick. The committee also dramaticly extended the allowable absence from work if the worker's spouse or child suffers from a malignant disease.

The current bill is one of the conditions of the deal reached with the Histadrut Labor Federation in negotiations over the Economic Arrangements Law. It says employers may not fire workers on sick leave to which they are entitled.

A worker employed for a year or more by the same employer is also to be entitled to up to 60 days of leave in the event that a spouse falls ill with a malignant illness, at the expense of either their own sick leave or vacation time, as the employee chooses. To date, in such a case, employees have been entitled to just six days of paid leave.

An employee whose child becomes ill with a malignant disease is to be entitled to 90 days leave in the case of a two-parent family instead of 30 days, and 110 days in the case of a single parent, instead of 60 days as was the case.

Committee member MK Haim Katz (Likud) said the bill dramatically changes the protection afforded to employees during illness, and to the ability of employees to nurse their family members during periods of grave illness.

The Histadrut welcomed the new legislation. Histadrut sources said yesterday that approval of additional legislation initiated by the federation is expected