From July, Israelis will work one hour less each week after an agreement was signed on Wednesday between the trade unions leader and the chief of an umbrella group of business organizations.
Currently, Israelis work 43 hours a week, more than employees in most of the developed world. The new agreement will cut that to 42 hours per week, or 182 hours per month instead of the current 186.
The deal was agreed between Histadrut Labor Federation chief Avi Nissenkorn and Shraga Brosh, the president of the Manufacturers Association of Israel. For it to apply to all workers in the country, it still needs to be approved by the Labor Minister Haim Katz.
Even with the reduction, Israel’s work week remains higher than the typical 40 hour work week of many industrialized countries, and significantly more than France’s 35-hour week or Denmark’s 37-hour week.
The agreement also limits night shifts to no more than a total of seven nights every two weeks.
Brosh said after the deal was signed that “the business sector is now more willing than ever to adapt the Israeli labor market to the new working age and to allow a more flexible balance between leisure and work,” The Marker reported.
Nissenkorn posted on Facebook that this was the first step to bring Israel down to a 40-hour work week.
He wrote that the agreement was signed with the cooperation of Katz, Economy Minister Eli Cohen, and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon.