Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman approved a plan to increase the salaries paid to IDF reservists who run their own businesses, the Defense Ministry said in a statement Sunday.
Soldiers will receive an additional 25% of their average salary during the course of their reserve duty, which finds some troops called away from their jobs for a full month every year.
The increase will cost an estimated NIS 30 million ($7.7 million), and will be drawn from the state’s defense budget.
The extra money aims to compensate business owners for losses incurred due to their absence, which until now were not taken into consideration under the law. These losses include routine expenses and loss of potential future income.
The move was originally proposed by MK Ofer Shelah of the Yesh Atid party, who proposed a private member’s bill on the matter. The actual increase was approved following a joint push by the IDF, the Finance Division in the Defense Ministry, the Treasury and the National Insurance Institute.
The increase will be given automatically to all self-employed reserve soldiers, provided that their salary does not surpass the wage ceiling set by law. Those who earn less than the minimal income of NIS 196 ($50) per day will receive their increase based on the minimal income, not their actual income.
“The Defense Ministry and the IDF are fully aware of the importance of the reserve soldiers to the ability of the IDF to defend the State of Israel,” said Liberman. “This is why we are taking action through various channels to benefit the reservists in general and self-employed reservists in particular.”
“When MK Ofer Shelah’s law bill was presented to me, I ordered immediate approval of the stipends to the self-employed reserve soldiers and an allocation of the budget needed,” Liberman added.