How to Navigate Israeli Termination Laws During Pregnancy: What Employers and Employees Need to Know

In Israel, there are laws in place that protect employees, especially women, from discrimination and unfair dismissal. The Women’s Labor Law, for instance, prohibits employers from firing an employee who is pregnant or undergoing fertility treatment, unless they have obtained permission from the Commissioner for Women’s Labor. Similarly, the Equality Law protects employees from discrimination based on pregnancy, gender, and other factors.

A recent court case involving an employee who underwent fertility treatments while working for her employer highlighted the importance of knowing and following these laws. The employee, who initially signed an agreed dismissal, later found out that she was pregnant and subsequently withdrew her agreement, however the company insisted on terminating the employment relationship at the appointed time. She claimed that she was fired because of her pregnancy, and that her employer did not obtain the required permit for her dismissal. The court ruled in favour of the employee, stating that the employer must pay compensation under the Women’s Labor Law.

This ruling serves as a reminder to employers that they must be aware of their obligations under the law, particularly when it comes to firing employees. It is crucial to obtain the necessary permits and follow the correct procedures, or risk facing legal consequences. Furthermore, this case demonstrates that even if an employee is not pregnant at the time of their dismissal, if they become pregnant before the date their employment officially ends, the employer may still be required to obtain a permit. Employers should therefore be mindful of the potential impact of such situations and ensure they are compliant with the relevant laws.

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