Collective bargaining agreement, reserve duty, Histadrut

Barnea Jaffa Lande & Co.

At the beginning of February, the Histadrut-General Federation of Labor in Israel and the Presidium of Israeli Business Organizations signed a collective bargaining agreement. This agreement anchors a series of designated benefits and arrangements for the welfare of reservists serving during the Swords of Iron War.

The collective bargaining agreement has not yet come into effect. The collective bargaining agreement will become effective upon issuance of an extension order applying the agreement’s provisions to the entire economy. 

Highlights of the Agreement

What are the usual rules regarding the dismissal of employees serving in the reserves?

Until the issuance of the extension order and thereafter, the usual rules prohibiting the dismissal of employees serving in the reserves will continue to apply. The law prohibits the dismissal of employees because they are serving in the reserves, have been called up for reserve duty, or anticipate serving in reserve duty, including due to the frequency or duration of service. If an employer dismisses a reservist, such dismissal is invalid. In addition, employers may not dismiss employees during the period of their service in the reserves without permission from the employment committee of the Ministry of Defense. For reserve duty exceeding two consecutive days, employers must also obtain permission for dismissal during the thirty days after the employee’s return.

Does the collective bargaining agreement extend the period of reservists’ protection from dismissal?

Yes. As of the extension order’s issuance date, employees who were absent from work due to service in the reserves exceeding 60 days during the designated period from October 7, 2023, through December 31, 2024, will be protected from dismissal for 60 days after their return from reserve duty.

What if the dismissal is unrelated to service in the reserves?

In this instance, the employer must apply to a special committee for permission to dismiss an employee and must present proof to the committee justifying its request for dismissal. The committee will also consider the relevant employee’s arguments. The committee will issue its decision on whether to approve the requested dismissal within 14 days. Upon signing the collective bargaining agreement, the parties to the agreement must apply to the Minister of Labor to form an oversight committee that will operate in lieu of the aforementioned committee. However, this will not diminish the powers of the Ministry of Defense employment committee, which is normally authorized by law to examine applications for a permit to dismiss employees serving in the reserves.

What benefits will spouses of reservists receive?

The collective bargaining agreement also prescribes benefits to spouses of employees serving in the reserves. Spouses will be entitled to up to an additional eight days of paid leave from work (beyond those prescribed by the Annual Leave Law), depending upon the reservist’s actual period of service.

Sub 3: How many additional days of paid leave are granted to a spouse when considering the cumulative days of reserve duty during the designated period?

Up to 30 days – no additional days.

31-60 days – two additional days.

61-90 days – four additional days.

91-120 days – six additional days.

121 + days of reserve duty – eight additional days.

Who is considered the spouse of a reservist entitled to additional leave?

The spouse of a reservist includes, inter alia, a common-law spouse, including of the same gender, or a parent with joint custody, provided that one of the following criteria is fulfilled: the spouse has at least one child under the age of 14; the couple has a child up to the age of 18 who has a malignant disease or is undergoing dialysis; a relative (spouse, parent, parent’s parents, offspring, offspring of a spouse and the spouses of each of the above, or a sibling of the spouse) who is a person with a disability (as defined by law) that is under the sole supervision or care of the spouse; or the reservist or their spouse has a sick parent (as defined by law).

What are the intended purposes of the additional days of paid leave for spouses under the collective bargaining agreement?

Days of paid leave are intended to be fully or partially utilized during the designated period under one or more of the following circumstances: illness of a child up to the age of 14; sole care or supervision of a relative who is a person with a disability; illness of a child up to the age of 18 with a malignant disease or that is undergoing dialysis; caring for a sick parent; extension of the spouse’s maternity and parental leave; supervision of and care for a child; a reservist is on active duty and the spouse’s absence is necessary to perform essential errands for household management and maintenance that can only be performed during work hours; and other absences in coordination with the employer. This leave is to be utilized while considering the needs of the workplace, to the extent possible.

Taking leave due to illness will be permissible provided that the spouse presents appropriate medical approval.

Are there any special rules for a spouse who is already entitled to a large number of annual leave days?

Yes. In the instance of a spouse who has a particularly high annual leave quota (exceeding 35 days), the days of paid leave will be limited and may be utilized only for sick days.

What are the rules when the spouse of a reservist has already taken leave during the designated period?

Leave taken before the extension order is issued, and the full wages in respect thereof were paid, will be returned to the spouse’s quota of sick days/vacation days depending upon the nature of the absence.

Leave taken up until December 31, 2023, but the full wages in respect thereof were not paid, will not be deducted from the quota of days of absence and will not be credited to the relevant leave quota, except at the employee’s request. 

Days of absence that were utilized as of January 1, 2024, and up until the extension order is issued, but the full wages in respect thereof have not yet been paid, will also be returned to the spouse’s relevant leave quota, depending upon the nature of the absence. Moreover, the employer must pay the unpaid balance of the spouse’s wages in respect of these days by no later than the salary of the month immediately subsequent to the issue date of the extension order.

We clarify that employers must pay full wages for leave taken as of the effective date of the agreement and until the end of the designated period, in the salary of the month during which the leave was taken. These days will be deducted from the additional quota of leave pursuant to the agreement.

Leave can be utilized only while the spouse is on active reserve duty and may also be partially taken as hours of absence and not necessarily as a full workday. This leave is in addition to any other benefit from any source whatsoever, and will not come at the expense of a spouse’s sick days or vacation entitlement. For sick days, the spouse must present an appropriate medical approval.

Can the entitlement to leave be cashed out?

No. The entitlement to leave does not continue after the end of the agreed period and such days cannot be cashed out.

If a reservist’s spouse has more than one employer, how is leave calculated?

Pursuant to the Employment of Women Law, the spouse of a reservist may be absent during the period when the reservist is serving in the reserves. This entitlement will continue to apply during the designated period even if the spouse is employed full-time but split between different employers. The absence will be calculated proportionately for each employer after verification of the spouse’s scope of employment is presented to the employers.

What rules are prescribed in the collective bargaining agreement regarding the accrual of annual leave?

In instances of prolonged reserve duty and in order to compensate reservists for the burden imposed on them during this period, the agreement allows reservists to accrue the balance of their annual vacation days beyond the maximum permitted by law, even without the employer’s consent.

These accrued vacation days will be utilizable during the subsequent two years of employment, provided the employer did not give the employee vacation during the period prescribed in the agreement; the employee was absent because of an emergency call-up (Order 8) to reserve duty; the employee was absent from work or did not perform work due to an emergency situation under the circumstances defined by law; the employee received a compulsory tie-up order to report to work or is employed in a workplace defined as a vital enterprise providing essential services under the Emergency Work Service Law; or the employee worked overtime due to the state of emergency pursuant to the Hours of Work and Rest Law and/or the Employment of Youth Law.

[View source.]

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Barnea Jaffa Lande & Co. | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Barnea Jaffa Lande & Co.

Barnea Jaffa Lande & Co. on:

Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide
- hide