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Swords of Iron War: Expansion of Employee Layoff Protection

Considering the exceptional reality prevailing in Israel, the legislature recently amended the Protection of Employees in Times of Emergency Law to expand layoff protection and apply it to a series of wartime circumstances. 


Protection of Employees



Who is entitled to layoff protection as a result of the war according to the amendment? 

According to the amendment, layoff protection will apply to employees who evacuated their residential communities according to the list of approved communities, as well as to employees who are missing or were abducted during the hostilities. This protection also applies to other categories of employees who are close relations of such employees (the spouses or parents of missing persons, captives, or abductees as a result of the war), and to employees who are other family members (adult children or siblings, as defined in the Financing of Expenses of Families of Captives, Abductees and Missing Persons Law) of a murdered, missing, captive, or abducted person.


Layoff protection will now also include parents who must stay home to care for their children as a result of their spouses’ service in the military or the rescue and security forces, or as a result of their spouses being mobilized to perform an emergency work service.


Layoff protection was also expanded to include employees who are foster parents and were forced to be absent from work in order to care for their children because educational institutions were closed during the war.


Do the standard layoff protections prescribed in the law continue to apply as usual?

Yes. Today, too, parents of children up to the age of 14 who are absent from work due to closures of educational institutions as a result of the war, and parents of children up to the age of 21 in special educational institutions who are absent from work in order to care for them, as well as employees with disabilities who are absent from work due to the war, are entitled to layoff protection. The protections already prescribed by law continue to apply.


To what period does the amendment apply?

The amendment will apply retroactively to the three-month period from October 7, 2023, through January 7, 2024. This period may be extended for a period not exceeding a total of 12 months at the discretion of the Minister of Labor, with the approval of the Knesset Labor and Welfare Committee.


Do employers have to continue transferring pension insurance contributions for missing or abducted employees?

Yes. The National Insurance Law was also amended within the framework of the amendment. It prescribes that employers must continue transferring contributions to the provident funds of missing or abducted persons in order to preserve their pension rights, under state funding and indemnification.


Therefore, employers must pay both their share and their employees’ share of the contributions to the same pension provident fund in respect of the period during which their employees are abducted or missing, in order to ensure their employees’ rights in the pension provident fund, all at the rates and according to the wages that would have been paid to the employees had they continued working during that period. According to the amendment, employers will report to the National Insurance Institute about the contributions they paid, and the National Insurance Institute will indemnify those employers for their payments (provided that no funding for these payments is provided from some other source). No indemnity will be given for compensation in respect of a delay in transferring contributions.


The deadline for transferring contributions for the period from October 7, 2023, through October 28, 2023, is December 20, 2023.


The directives regarding pension contributions remain in effect until October 6, 2025.




Barnea Jaffa Lande’s Employment Department is at your service to answer questions about these amendments and any other issues.


Adv. Netta Bromberg is a partner and heads the firm’s Employment Department.

Tags: employees | Layoff | Swords Of Iron