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May 18, 2015

Proposed Law: more vacation days

The new Knesset just got started in its work, and already there have been a slew of new law proposals announced to be submitted.

One of them was announced today by MK Rachel Azaria (Kulanu Kahlon) that will make employees very happy.

Azaria is proposing to increase the number of vacation days per year for every employee, even starting from the first year of employment in a job. This proposal has MKs from both the coalition and the opposition signed on to it.

Azaria proposes that employers will have to give employees 21 vacation days per year, starting from the first year of employment, and in every subsequent year that number will increase - 23 in the 2nd year, 25 in the 3rd, and then each subsequent year would add another day per year until the maximum of 28 per year is reached.. That is a big change from the 10 vacation days granted by law as of right now, with it going up only after 5 years of employment.

Azaria points to changes in the workforce with increased turnover of the employees - it used to be people would work in just one or two jobs throughout their lifetime, but now people change jobs very frequently. The workforce is more flexible and less stable.
source: NRG

I'm not quite sure what the higher turnover rate has to do with increased vacation days, but employees will be happy about it.

This reminds me of the story of Levi Eshkol (and some relate it to David Ben Gurion).. someone proposed to him to change the Israeli work week to 5 days a week, rather than 6. Eshkol supposedly responded, first let's have everyone work 1 day a week. Then we'll advance to 2, eventually 3.. and eventually we will hopefully even get to 5 days a week.

We have so many vacation days built into the system already, with all our holidays, that I cannot imagine employers being happy about this...

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  1. I think that the Knesset should have more vacation days - less time to propose stupid populist laws.

  2. I think the logic is like this:

    Turnover is expensive for employers. It takes time and money both to find a new employee and train him. Earning just shy of one calendar month in vacation days is a great incentive to stay with your employer. In the end, the employer saves money by reducing turnover.

  3. that is assuming it is always the employees fault for leaving a very good job. It is never the employers fault - i.e. cutbacks, firing lousy employees, etc.
    also, how does making an employer pay a months wages for no work in return make him want to hire more employees? 10 days vacation? ok. bump it up to 12, 14, 15.. but to start with 3 weeks right off the bat sounds like an unfair expense on the back of the employer

    1. No, it makes no assumptions. Employees who wish to leave a bad situation will do so no matter how many vacation days they would have earned the following year. This would be an incentive not to job-hop for slightly better pay. I can only speak for the hi-tech sector, but it's somewhat common knowledge that the easiest way to get a raise is to switch jobs. A lot of people switch every couple years. That's hard on a development team. I can easily see the prospect of two more paid vacation days enticing someone to stay. Job hunting isn't really fun, and the transition isn't always easy.

      In any event, it's only a guess on my part to begin with.

  4. The logic is that since there is turnover, employees don't reach the later years when they will get more vacation days.
    Rafi, any word on the government legislating a few state holidays so that everyone can be off at the same time.

    1. sure, Josh. They are called new elections every year or so.. :-)

    2. hmmm, I would get to disconnect from news for another four months.
      Actually, that's another blog post about how no one is interested in elections now because all hte parties are in debt, and every month that goes by, the parties earn some money from having members in the Knesset (on top of the election fund).

  5. Actually there aren't that many vacation days built into the system, in fact then the US, in Israel there are on average 7-9 holidays, in the US most people get at least 10 paid holidays.

  6. This is pure populism.

    All that will happen is that employers will factor increased vacation days into the overall package, and thus reduce base salary.

    Kahlon just wants to show he's doing something. He doesn't have that many opportunities - not so things like cellular markets to open up.


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