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Sep 11, 2013

Israel recognizes prayer as valid excuse for tardiness to work

Remember the opposition to the DST extension due to it causing a problem with davening times and people needing to get to work? A possible solution had been presented to allow employees adversely affected by the DST change to arrive half an hour late to work.

Well, it is official now. The State of Israel is mandating that the need to daven is a valid excuse to arrive late to work, under certain conditions, and such an employee cannot be punished for it.

Minister of Commerce and Trade Naftali Bennet has sent out a notice of new instructions to employers instructing them that on days when sunrise is later than 6:30 AM, any employees whose work shifts begin between 7 and 8 AM will be allowed a davening break prior to work instead of during work hours (as is the normal law).

In order to not harm employers while looking out for the employees, the employee will have to make up that time either at the end of the day or at another time during the month (as per the employers decision).

I checked the law regarding the need to provide prayer time during work hours. the wording of the law is a bit complex, but basically it says that an employee who wishes to pray due to his religious, time must be allocated for the employee to be able to do so. However, that time is not deducted from the employees work hours. The employer can give 30 minutes or 45 minutes, or whatever, but he does not have to pay for that time - assuming the employee wants to not have this time deducted from his salary, and the employer wants a certain amount of work done, and time spent working, the employee can spend time praying, but must make up the work hours at other times. And that is being applied in this new situation as well - the employer will have to accept that the employee is late due to religious prayer, but that time will need to be made up at some point.

It is good to see Israel protecting both the employee and the employer and being considerate for the needs of the religious.

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  1. If Bennet wouldn't have followed Lapid into this dumb decision, we would not have this issue which is merely to correct his mistake (well not to him).
    This is a 'nice' gesture, but virtually worthless. People have routines, carpools, a company hasaa/lift, a certain bus or train they must be on, etc. Does an employee really want to have to ask his boss for this special benefit? Are all bosses understanding about disrupting regular factory or office work for the next month? And being allowed to work late? What if people also have a rigid schedule to follow? What if they need to pick up kids from school or somewhere else? Will those people be giving extensions as well?
    In chutz laaretz, we do not rule, we have to adjust our schedules to the goyim, but in Israel, in the Torah, Hashem gave us power to change the calender. If there is a discrepancy between the calender and the edim that come to testify for the new moon, the edim testimony has more weight!
    Bennet here, as a supposed representative of the religious people, shows that we revert back to following the goyish calender instead of our Hebrew one.

    1. the only problem with that is that Gideon Saar was responsible for the decision to extend DST, not Bennet nor Lapid. The rest I agree are problems.

  2. Certainly Gideon Saar made the final decision, but no minister acts in a vacuum for controversial issues like this. We would expect that the minister of religions would try to fight for the religious people. I'm sorry that the religious people in the Knesset are in the 'let's suck up to the non-religious'.
    Another negative outcome of this extended summer time is that we are still having late meals on erev Shabbat and chag for the first time this year in a long time. Instead of now being able to enjoy pleasant meals with children and friends, we are still returning from shul around 8pm to eat. Simchat Torah: I can already see the cranky people in my shul be even more cranky in getting the hakafot to end faster because it would seem we are all going to get to our seudot at around 10pm, and even early-Shabbat people can't do anything about this. Post-chag - hakafot shniot? Should we even bother this year? Ours usually ends after 11pm, usually we try to start the parade at 7:30, this year it's starting even later.


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