Minimum number of vacation days rises to 12 in 2017
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Minimum number of vacation days rises to 12 in 2017

Despite increase, Israel still has one of the lowest number of paid leave days a year of any OECD country

Israelis enjoy the beach in Tel Aviv as a heatwave hits Israel. May 16, 2016. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)
Israelis enjoy the beach in Tel Aviv as a heatwave hits Israel. May 16, 2016. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

Israeli workers will receive a minimum of 12 vacation days a year beginning Sunday, in the first increase since 1951.

The change in law was initiated by MK Rachel Azaria (Kulanu) in August, bumping up the minimum number of vacations days from 10.

Under the new Israeli law, workers who have been employed at a company for less than four years will now receive 12 vacation days a year beginning January 1. However, during the fifth year of employment and beyond, the number of minimum vacation days rises each year, creating an incentive for workers to retain their jobs in those companies.

In a statement to mark the law going into effect, Azaria said that the move was intended to address current trends in the employment market, in which workers no longer remain at the same company for years but now “switch jobs every three to four years but remain with the same number of 10 employment days for their entire career.”

Knesset Member Rachel Azaria at the Finance Committee meeting discussing sports and gambling budgets at the Knesset, on November 30, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Knesset Member Rachel Azaria at the Finance Committee meeting discussing sports and gambling budgets at the Knesset, on November 30, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Azaria also argued the law will improve productivity, noting that Israel has one of the lowest productivity rates in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development — a grouping of mostly rich countries — yet also one of the highest numbers of work hours, emphasizing that there is a “connection between the number of additional hours and days worked and low productivity.”

Despite the additional two vacation days, Israel will still have some of the fewest vacation days of any country in the OECD, in which the vast majority of member countries have 20 vacation days or more a year, according to OECD data.

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