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Discover everything you need to know about Israel

Hire in Israel at a glance

Here ares some key facts regarding hiring in Israel

Israeli New Shekel
GDP growth
GDP world share
Payroll frequency
Working hours
43 hours/week

Overview in Israel

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Israel is a historically rich country located in the Middle East, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea. It features a diverse geography ranging from fertile plains and rugged highlands to the vast Negev desert, and experiences a Mediterranean climate.

Historically, the area has been central to various civilizations and empires, with the modern State of Israel established in 1948 following the Zionist movement. This has led to ongoing regional conflicts, particularly the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Economically, Israel is a high-tech hub with significant contributions from technology, pharmaceuticals, and finance sectors. Despite its small size, it has a dynamic global economic presence. The workforce is growing, partly due to immigration, and is relatively young with a median age of around 30. The country also shows a high female labor force participation rate.

Culturally, Israel's workforce values direct communication, informal interactions, and places importance on building strong interpersonal relationships. Work-life balance is increasingly prioritized, especially among the younger generations.

Israel continues to innovate with significant growth in high-tech, cleantech, biotechnology, and cybersecurity. Traditional sectors like agriculture and tourism also play crucial roles in its economy. The country faces challenges such as integrating its diverse population and managing resources sustainably.

Taxes in Israel

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In Israel, employers are required to contribute to National Insurance (NI) on behalf of their employees, with rates depending on the employee's monthly income. For incomes up to ILS 7,522, the rate is 3.55%, and for amounts above this threshold, the rate increases to 7.6%. Employers may also contribute to pension and disability insurance, with total contributions for these not exceeding 7.5% of the employee's salary.

Health insurance contributions are not employer-mandated but are covered by employee contributions and government subsidies. Mandatory deductions from employee salaries include income tax, NI contributions, and health insurance, with optional deductions for pension, union dues, and employee savings plans.

Value-added tax (VAT) in Israel is set at 17%, applicable to most goods and services, with certain services like banking and education being exempt or zero-rated. Businesses exceeding a turnover of ILS 99,893 must register for VAT and are responsible for charging VAT on taxable supplies and can claim input tax credits.

Israel offers various tax incentives to encourage investment, including reduced corporate tax rates and grants under the Encouragement of Capital Investments Law, benefits for large multinational companies under the Strategic Investment Program, and tax deductions for individuals investing in R&D startups through the Angel Investors Law. Additional incentives include reduced tax rates on IP income and tax credits for donations.

Leave in Israel

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In Israel, employees are entitled to paid annual vacation leave, with the number of days increasing based on the length of service. Initially, employees working a five-day week receive a minimum of 12 working days of leave per year, which increases to 17 days after five years, and up to 23 days after nine years. Unused vacation leave can accumulate but is capped at four years' worth, and employees are compensated for unused days if their employment is terminated.

Israel also observes a variety of public holidays reflecting its Jewish heritage and the religious diversity of its population. Major Jewish holidays include Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Passover, Shavuot, Sukkot, and Simchat Torah. National holidays such as Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron, and Yom HaAtzmaut commemorate significant historical and cultural events. Minority religious holidays like Eid al-Fitr and Christmas are also recognized.

Additionally, Israeli labor law provides for various other types of leave, including sick leave, maternity and paternity leave, and military service leave. Parental leave is available but unpaid, and personal leave policies may vary by employer. These entitlements ensure that employees have support during different life situations.

Benefits in Israel

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Israel's employment law ensures a robust benefits system for workers, encompassing paid leave, social security, insurance, and additional perks aimed at enhancing financial security and work-life balance.

Paid Leave:

  • Annual Leave: Employees get a minimum of 12 days, increasing with tenure up to 28 days.
  • Public Holidays: Paid time off during national holidays.
  • Sick Leave: Accrual of approximately 1.5 days per month.
  • Maternity and Paternity Leave: Up to 26 weeks for mothers and one week for fathers.
  • Bereavement Leave: Paid leave for family deaths.

Social Security and Insurance:

  • Contributions from both employers and employees fund the National Insurance, which covers unemployment, disability, and pensions.

Additional Benefits:

  • Severance Pay: Based on salary, service length, and termination reason.
  • Health and Wellness Programs: Including supplemental health insurance and wellness activities.
  • Work-Life Balance: Flexible hours and childcare assistance.
  • Financial Benefits: Transportation allowances and meal subsidies.
  • Other Perks: Company cars, holiday gifts, and professional development opportunities.

Healthcare System:

  • Mandatory health insurance through National Health Insurance and HMOs, with optional supplemental plans provided by some employers.

Retirement Security:

  • State Pension: Mandatory contributions with benefits based on earnings and contribution history.
  • Voluntary Retirement Savings Plans: Including pension funds, provident funds, and life insurance with savings, often with employer contributions.

Employers must register employees with the National Insurance Institute and ensure proper deductions for health and social security contributions. Employees have the responsibility to contribute to the National Health Insurance and can choose their preferred HMO.

Workers Rights in Israel

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In Israel, employment termination and workplace regulations are governed by a comprehensive legal framework. The Severance Pay Law 1963 mandates severance pay for dismissed employees, calculated based on the employee's length of service and final salary, except in cases of certain disciplinary dismissals. Employers and employees must adhere to specified notice periods, which can vary based on collective agreements or individual contracts.

The Employment Equal Opportunities Law, 1988, prohibits discrimination in the workplace on various grounds including gender, race, religion, and more. Victims of discrimination can seek redress through Labor Courts, the Commissioner for Equal Employment Opportunities, or public petitions.

Work conditions are regulated under laws such as the Hours of Work and Rest Law, 1951, which sets the maximum workweek at 42 hours, mandates rest breaks, and outlines provisions for overtime pay. Employers are also required to ensure safe working conditions under the Safety at Work Law, 1970, which includes conducting risk assessments and providing personal protective equipment.

Overall, Israeli labor laws emphasize employee rights, workplace safety, and non-discrimination, with strict enforcement mechanisms to ensure compliance.

Agreements in Israel

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In Israel, employment law covers contracts for both citizens and foreign workers with valid visas, categorizing them mainly into indeterminate and fixed-term contracts. Indeterminate contracts, which are more common, do not have a set end date and can be terminated by either party with proper notice, often influenced by collective bargaining agreements. Fixed-term contracts are for a specific period and end automatically when the term expires, though they can be renewed.

Key aspects of employment contracts include mandatory written agreements within 30 days of employment commencement, detailing job roles, compensation, work hours, and benefits, all of which must comply with Israeli law. These contracts also outline termination procedures, confidentiality obligations, and may include probationary periods where terms of employment can be more flexible.

Collective agreements play a significant role, setting minimum standards for various employment conditions and can override general legal stipulations. The law also addresses confidentiality and non-compete clauses, with recent legislation imposing strict limitations on the latter to protect workers' rights while balancing the protection of trade secrets.

Remote Work in Israel

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  • Remote Work Legislation in Israel: Israel lacks specific legislation for remote work, relying instead on existing labor laws and court rulings. Employment contracts are crucial, detailing work arrangements, hours, compensation, and employer responsibilities like equipment provision and internet reimbursements.

  • Technological Infrastructure: Israel boasts a strong internet infrastructure, essential for remote work. Employers provide necessary tools like laptops and software for communication and collaboration.

  • Employer and Employee Responsibilities: Employers must assess and fulfill the needs of remote roles, while employees should maintain a suitable workspace. Developing a formal remote work policy and providing training on tools and best practices are recommended to manage legal uncertainties and ensure productivity.

  • Flexibility and Job Sharing: Flexitime and job sharing aren't specifically regulated under Israeli law but can be negotiated in employment contracts. These arrangements require clear definitions of roles and responsibilities, including equipment and internet reimbursements.

  • Data Privacy and Protection: The Protection of Privacy Act, 1981, governs personal data protection, emphasizing transparency and proportionality in data processing. Employers must safeguard data, especially in remote settings, and employees have rights to access and object to the processing of their data. Best practices include using separate devices for work, encrypting data, and strong access controls.

  • Challenges and Support: Remote work can impact work-life balance and cause isolation. Employers should support employee well-being through resources and social events. Legal and tax implications of remote work arrangements should also be considered.

Working Hours in Israel

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In Israel, the maximum legal workweek is 42 hours, translating to 182 hours per month. The daily maximum is 8.6 hours for a five-day workweek and 8 hours for a six-day workweek, with a shorter Friday. Overtime is paid at 125% of the hourly wage for the first two hours and 150% thereafter. Working on rest days or holidays incurs a compensation of 150% for all hours, with the first two hours at 175% and subsequent hours at 200%.

Employees are entitled to a 45-minute break for shifts of six hours or more, and a minimum of 36 consecutive hours of rest per week, typically Friday and Saturday. Night shifts, defined as work between 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM, should not exceed seven hours and are limited to one week out of every two, with additional compensation for the inconvenience.

Overall, Israeli labor law emphasizes fair compensation for overtime and ensures adequate rest periods, with specific provisions for night and weekend work to accommodate religious practices and worker well-being. Exceptions for extended work hours require permits from the Ministry of Labor, particularly for essential services or emergencies.

Salary in Israel

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Understanding Market Competitive Salaries in Israel

In Israel, competitive salaries are influenced by factors such as industry, experience and skills, location, company size and performance, and education. High-tech sectors generally offer higher salaries compared to traditional sectors like retail or hospitality. Salaries also vary with the cost of living, particularly higher in cities like Tel Aviv.

Resources for Determining Salaries

To gauge competitive salaries, one can refer to salary surveys, government statistics from the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, and insights from recruitment agencies. These resources help tailor salary data to specific job titles and locations.

Minimum Wage and Benefits

As of April 1, 2023, the minimum wage in Israel is ₪5,571.75 monthly, with daily and hourly equivalents adjusted based on the workweek. This wage is set at 47.5% of the average wage, allowing for automatic adjustments when the average wage increases. All employees, including migrant workers, are entitled to this minimum wage, though enforcement can be challenging.

Employee Benefits

Mandatory benefits in Israel include contributions to social security, pension, disability, and unemployment insurance, with a minimum of 10-23 paid vacation days and eight public holidays. Employers may also offer discretionary benefits such as holiday bonuses, meal allowances, and contributions to a monthly study fund.

Payroll and Compensation

The standard payroll cycle in Israel is monthly, with salaries due by the 9th of the following month. Overtime compensation requires employers to pay 125% of the regular wage for the first two hours, and 150% thereafter. Employees also receive a recreation payment annually after one year of service, which varies based on tenure.

Termination in Israel

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  • Employee Notice Period: In Israel, employees must provide a one-month written notice when resigning, with some exceptions allowed in individual contracts, but not below the legal minimum.
  • Employer Notice Period: There is no legal requirement for employers to provide a notice period when terminating an employee.
  • Severance Pay: Employees with at least one year of service are entitled to severance pay, calculated as one month's salary per year of service, including partial years. Employers must contribute to a severance pay fund.
  • Pre-termination Considerations: Employers must allow employees the right to be heard before termination, including providing reasons and allowing access to relevant documents and legal representation.
  • Post-termination Procedures: Employers are required to pay all accrued wages, vacation pay, and other dues upon termination.

Freelancing in Israel

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Israeli labor law clearly distinguishes between employees and independent contractors, impacting control, benefits, taxes, and integration into the business. Misclassification can result in penalties for employers, such as the need to provide retroactive benefits.

  • Control: Employees experience significant oversight from employers, including work hours and methods, whereas independent contractors maintain autonomy over such aspects.
  • Benefits and Taxes: Employees receive statutory benefits and have taxes withheld by their employers. Contractors handle their own taxes and social security, often negotiating higher fees to cover these.
  • Integration: Employees are deeply integrated into a business and its core operations, unlike contractors who are engaged temporarily and may serve multiple clients.
  • Contract Structures: Contractors should have clear agreements, which can be structured as fixed-price or hourly rate contracts, defining work scope, timelines, and payment terms.
  • Negotiation Practices: Effective negotiation on rates, payment terms, and project scope is crucial for contractors to ensure fair compensation and clear expectations.
  • IP Rights and Contracts: In Israel, freelancers typically retain copyright of their creations unless transferred via a contract, which should also address moral rights and licensing.
  • Legal and Tax Advice: Contractors are advised to seek legal counsel on IP rights and manage their own tax obligations, including income tax, national insurance, health insurance, and potentially VAT.

Understanding these distinctions and legal requirements is essential for both businesses and freelancers to ensure compliance and protect their rights within the Israeli legal framework.

Health & Safety in Israel

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Israel has a robust legal framework for worker safety, spearheaded by the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services (MLSS). The foundational legislation, the Work Safety Ordinance (New Version), 1970 (WSO), mandates general employer obligations to ensure a safe working environment, addressing hazards like chemical exposure, fire safety, and noise. This is supported by specific regulations for particular risks, such as the Safety at Work Regulations (1984) for harmful dust and the Work at Height Regulations (2008).

Employers are required to implement Safety Management Programs (SMPs) in workplaces with 50 or more employees, focusing on risk assessments, hazard control, and emergency procedures. They must also provide safety training and maintain equipment.

Workers have rights to a safe environment, can refuse unsafe work, and must be informed about workplace hazards and safety measures. The Israel Institute for Occupational Safety and Hygiene (IIOSH) supports these efforts by promoting safety awareness and providing training.

Inspections are conducted by the Labour Inspection Department (LID) using a risk-based approach, with criteria set by the WSO. The frequency of inspections varies with the risk level of the workplace. Actions following inspections can range from improvement notices to fines or work stoppages.

In case of workplace accidents, the Accidents and Occupational Diseases (Notification) Ordinance (1945) requires immediate reporting. Investigations depend on the accident's severity and can lead to identifying safety violations and determining employer liability. Workers suffering from work-related injuries or illnesses may seek compensation through the National Insurance Law (1953), covering medical expenses and loss of income.

Dispute Resolution in Israel

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Israel's labor dispute resolution system includes specialized labor courts and arbitration panels. The system comprises five regional labor courts and a National Labor Court, handling individual and collective labor disputes, as well as social security matters. Labor courts offer a formal process where evidence is presented and binding decisions are made, subject to appeal at the National Labor Court.

Arbitration serves as an alternative, especially for collective disputes, where arbitrators issue binding decisions enforceable by courts. Typical cases in labor courts involve issues like unfair dismissal, wage disputes, and discrimination, while arbitration frequently addresses collective agreement disputes and industrial issues.

The system is supported by various government agencies conducting audits and inspections to enforce labor and social regulations, with non-compliance resulting in fines, penalties, or criminal charges. Compliance audits are crucial for maintaining fair labor practices and safe working conditions.

Whistleblower protections are in place to safeguard employees reporting misconduct, with legal frameworks protecting against retaliation. However, whistleblowers may face challenges in proving retaliatory actions by employers.

Israel adheres to core international labor standards, evidenced by its ratification of all eight fundamental ILO conventions, which influence its domestic labor legislation. These conventions cover rights related to unionization, collective bargaining, forced labor, child labor, equal remuneration, and non-discrimination in employment. Despite this, some areas, like rights for domestic and migrant workers, remain less addressed, highlighting the need for ongoing focus on labor law enforcement and implementation.

Cultural Considerations in Israel

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Israeli workplaces are characterized by a dynamic communication style that includes directness, passion, and a situational approach to formality. Israelis are known for being upfront and honest in their communication, often using lively debates to foster idea exchange. Non-verbal cues such as hand gestures and facial expressions play a significant role in conveying messages.

In negotiations, Israelis are direct and assertive, valuing quick movement to business discussions and expecting a considerable amount of bargaining. Cultural nuances, such as the focus on short-term gains or long-term relationships, vary among different ethnic groups within Israel.

The business structure in Israel combines hierarchy with a collaborative twist, promoting a flexible and open communication environment. Decision-making processes emphasize efficiency but also value team input. Leadership styles in Israeli businesses blend directive and participative approaches, fostering a culture of innovation and mutual support.

Religious and national holidays significantly impact business operations, with observances like Shabbat and High Holy Days leading to early closures and reduced business hours. Planning around these holidays is crucial for smooth business operations, and understanding these cultural elements is key to successful interactions and negotiations in Israeli workplaces.

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