Reserve Duty, Training, and Salary Continuation
The calling up of employees for reserve duty in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) is quite common during times of conflict. Employers are required to keep the positions of these employees open. These employees are entitled to reserve benefits. While not universally required, some employers choose to continue paying a percentage of the salary to those called into service. Certain professions may require employees to undergo special training for up to 3 or 12 days a year. If called for such service, these employees are entitled to reserve benefits.
As Israel responds to the unexpected assault of October 2023, the mobilisation of these reservists underscores their pivotal role in safeguarding the nation during times of crisis.
Obligations Regarding Wage Payments in War Conditions
In normal circumstances, employers are not obligated to pay wages to employees who don’t show up for work. However, war conditions bring about special regulations. If an employee’s residence or workplace is within a ‘restricted area,’ employers must continue wage payments, even if the employee can’t make it to work. Similarly, parents who must stay home to care for their children (up to age 14) due to school closures are entitled to their wages. Employers also have the flexibility to allow employees to work from home to fulfil these wage entitlements.
Labour Regulations and Legal Compliance
The government may enact new labour regulations in response to conflict, covering aspects like termination rights, time-off allowances, and bereavement leaves. Employers should be vigilant about these changes and ensure compliance. Failure to do so may not only result in legal repercussions but could also harm your reputation.
Essential Services and Responsibilities
The Minister of Labor has the authority to designate workplaces as ‘essential services.’ Employees in such workplaces are legally obligated to work, even under emergency conditions, and failure to do so could result in criminal charges.
Employee Support and Workplace Safety
During times of conflict, your employees’ emotional and psychological well-being is just as important as physical safety. Employers should provide a range of support, from mental health resources to flexible working arrangements. Additionally, employers may need to implement extra safety measures, such as fortifying work premises or arranging safe transportation.
Job Security Guidelines
It’s important to know that you cannot dismiss an employee for not showing up due to emergency orders or caring for a child when schools are closed. Notable exceptions apply to roles like police and security services. Dismissing an employee violating these regulations would render the dismissal null and void.
Business Continuity and Clear Communication
Maintaining business operations during conflict is challenging but essential. Employers are expected to maintain as much service and operational continuity as possible. Clear, transparent communication is crucial during these times. Regular updates can help mitigate stress and confusion among your workforce.
Community and Ethical Responsibilities
Employers also have a role in the broader community, whether offering services to aid efforts or taking a stand against discrimination and violence. Such actions can significantly impact the community’s well-being during a crisis.
Navigating the intricacies of both routine and crisis-specific regulations is crucial for any organisation in Israel, especially during these trying times of conflict. This knowledge equips you to support your team while also meeting your organisational obligations genuinely. Remember, true success in such challenging times is a collective achievement, For more personalised guidance tailored to your unique challenges, we’re here to help.
For more information about Employer’s obligations during wartime in Israel, please visit: https://www.hashavim.co.il/newsletters/article/513
Disclaimer: This guide to employer obligations during war conditions is accurate as of 12 October 2023. It is for informational purposes only and does not replace legal advice.