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Feb 27, 2013

Proposed Law: Leave work early and spend time with the kids

An interesting new law is being proposed that would affect the work week. No, not Sundays off, the long weekend idea that us American expats still hope will one day pass.

MK Eitan Cabel (Labor) announced that he is proposing a new law that will be called "The Law of quality family time". The law will allow the main breadwinner of the family, a family with children up until the age of 6, to leave work early one day a week, after having completed 8 hours of work for the day, in order to spend time with his/her children.

Cabel says that in recent years the average number of work hours has been dramatically increasing, and naturally that bites into the quality time a parent can spend with the kids. What generally happens, according to the statistics, is that one of the parents does the bulk of the parenting and the other parent becomes the main breadwinner and takes on the status of a "weekend parent". Obviously there is a great need for both parents to be able to spend quality time with their kids, with the benefits applying to both the kids and to the parents.

What happens in the current situation is that only after a divorce can each parent leave early from work to spend time with the kids. Changing the law to allow the main breadwinner in a married family to also leave early once a week to spend time with the kids will change the distribution of the household burden and will bring about great benefit to the children. Cabel says there is no need to wait until after a divorce in order to allow them time to spend with their kids.
(source: Forbes)

Great idea. It is not exactly a day off like a Sunday would be, but even the additional 30 minutes or even some hours could make a significant difference in the family life.

Should this be regulated by a law? I don't know. If people aren't contractually obligated to work those extra hours, perhaps they should already be doing this on their own. And if they prefer to work and advance their careers and work extra hours, why will this law change that - the parent could leave early, but he already can as well - he chooses not to. And if they are contractually obligated to work 9 or 10 hours a day, why should the law be written to hurt the employer when a contract was signed?

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