© All rights reserved to Barnea Jaffa Lande Law offices

2022: Legislative and Judicial Trends – Israeli Labor Law


A major characteristic of the past year was an array of interesting and innovative legislative initiatives and court rulings relating to employment in Israel. These initiatives and rulings addressed burning issues in the Israeli labor market.


The main thread shared by many of these legislative amendments and court rulings is the advancement of equality in the workplace. Employing a variety of tools to do so, these amendments and rulings significantly increased the obligations imposed on employers in general and relating to the issue of equality in particular.


Advancement of Equality


One such example is a labor court ruling contending with the phenomenon of workplace bullying. This ruling pointed to a significant increase in the compensation courts will award for deficient handling of incidents of workplace bullying. Another example is a court ruling interpreting the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Law. This ruling expanded the law’s applicability with the declared goal of combating the phenomenon of sexual harassment in the workplace.


In terms of Israeli legislation in 2022, the new and amended legislative arrangements were designed to advance the integration of diverse groups in the workplace. One such example is the amendment to the Male and Female Workers (Equal Pay) Law. The law, enacted in June 2022, obliges particular types of employers to report wage gaps in the organization. Although the legislator has not set an additional date for reporting such information, we recommend employers begin preparing for reporting and draw conclusions from their previous reports on the average wages of their male and female employees.


Labor law legislation in 2022 also focused on creating work conditions accommodating to single parents and employees with serious illnesses. By doing so, the legislature expressed its position on the importance of employment diversity in workplaces.


After a postponement, legislation came into effect prescribing a strict prohibition on employers asking employees or prospective employees to provide information about their criminal records. This legislation changed a Supreme Court ruling that allowed employers, under particular circumstances, to obtain information about a person’s criminal record by virtue of the employee’s declaration and for senior positions.


Enforcement Proceedings


Another characteristic of 2022 was the increase in the number of enforcement proceedings carried out by the Ministry of Economy and Industry’s Labor Branch – Regulation and Enforcement Administration. Many employers tangibly felt these enforcement efforts. They faced surprise visits at workplace by inspectors, control and investigation proceedings, and the filing of indictments and legal actions in this regard.


In the coming year, we can expect to see further developments regarding the issue of workplace bullying, as well as accelerated developments in relation to other issues, such as the filing of legal actions concerning the prevention of sexual harassment, anti-bullying and the promotion of diversity and equality.


Legislative Amendments


1. Obligation to report gender pay gaps

The purpose of this obligation is to increase organizations’ transparency about wage gaps between male and female employees, in order to reduce gender discrimination and advance equal employment terms between men and women in Israel. This obligation came into effect on June 1, 2022. This obligation applies to employers obliged by the regulator to file periodic reports and to employers employing more than 518 employees. At this stage, the law does not impose any sanctions on employers not implementing the legislative amendment. However, the labor court has the authority to award the payment of pay differentials to plaintiffs. In this sense, the law increases the employer’s burden of proof. To read the full update, click here.


2. Protection of Employees (Exposure of Offenses, of Unethical Conduct and Improper Administration) Law

This law aims to protect employees who expose acts of corruption in their workplaces. Up until recently, the law stated that workplace whistleblowers could file a claim against their employers for wrongful termination or adversely changing their employment conditions as retaliation within one year only. The recent legislative amendment extends the period for filing a claim from one year to three years. Moreover, the amendment prescribes that the burden of proof is on the employer to demonstrate it did not violate the law. To read the full update, click here.


3. Night shift arrangements for single parents

This legislative amendment allows single parents, fathers or mothers, to refuse to work night shifts if they fulfill several criteria. The amendment regulates the instances when employees may refuse a night shift. It also defines what is considered a night shift and prohibits employers from refusing to accept candidates who refuse to work night shifts, under particular circumstances. To read the full update, click here.


4. Payment of sick pay from day one to employees with a malignant disease

This legislative amendment stipulates that employees suffering from a malignant disease (cancer), or a disease requiring regular dialysis treatment, are to receive full sick pay (100%) from the first day of absence. To read the full update, click here.


5. Employers prohibited from requesting information about an employee’s criminal record

The Criminal Information and Rehabilitation of Offenders Law has come into effect. Employers may not demand that employees or prospective employees provide information about their criminal records. To read the full update, click here.


Court Rulings


1. Abuse of a Position of Influence and Sexual Harassment

According to the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Law, to substantiate an allegation of sexual harassment, the complainant must prove he or she showed no interest in the act at the subject of the complaint. However, there is an important exception to this rule. When a relationship of authority exists between the defendant and the complainant, the complainant does not have to show that they were not interested for the court to deem the act sexual harassment. To read the full update, click here.


2. Workplace bullying – investigation and compensation

The National Labor Court recently awarded compensation in the sum of ILS 300,000 to an employee for workplace bullying. It is important to keep in mind that the definition of workplace bullying includes several aspects, including unreasonable repetitive behavior or several separate incidents of unreasonable behavior (even if different), to differentiate from a one-time incident. When investigating an allegation of workplace bullying, the employer and the court should examine the employee’s grievances as a whole. To read the full update, click here.


3. Principles for the proper conducting of an investigation pursuant to the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Law

The National Labor Court overturned a regional labor court ruling. It ruled that there is no fixed or standard format for the proper conducting of an investigation pursuant to the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Law and that complaints should be investigated within their specific context while considering the unique issues that arise during the process. To read the full update, click here.




Adv. Netta Bromberg is a partner in Barnea Jaffa Lande and head of the firm’s Employment Department.




Tags: 2022 | Employment