MKs pass last-minute laws on Omicron grants, protecting sex abuse victims

The Knesset passes legislation approving financial grants to small and medium businesses harmed by the Omicron wave of the coronavirus earlier this year, as part of a package of bills agreed upon by coalition and opposition lawmakers before they voted this morning to disband the parliament and hold new elections.

The long-awaited bill greenlights state compensation to businesses with total revenue of between NIS 18,000 ($5,100) and NIS 80 million ($22.85 million) per year, if they suffered a 25% decrease in that figure during the Omicron wave compared to other years.

The basic grant for businesses with total revenue of up to NIS 300,000 ($85,700) is between NIS 4,350 and NIS 9,350 ($1,240-2,670), and the sum increases the bigger the company.

The approved legislative package also includes a law strengthening the confidentiality of mental care treatments undergone by victims of sexual abuse and domestic abuse, so that those documents will become less prone to be revealed in courts during criminal cases.

Another bill passed into law extends the time in which a civil lawsuit can be filed in sex abuse cases. Such a lawsuit can now be filed until the victim reaches the age of 35, unless criminal proceedings were filed against the abuser after the victim turned 18.

The legislative package also includes laws affirming details of the upcoming elections, including their budget, election-related state employees and special preparations for the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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