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Terminating employment and changing employers for foreign caretakers in Israel

Michael Decker
Michael Decker

Alexander P Gutterman

EU PASSPORT ! Big news! Thanks to Michael Decker and the other good people at the law office, as well as to the virtue of my ancestors, the cruelty of the Inquisition, reparations issued in the Iberian Peninsula, and etc, I am delighted to be on track for Portuguese and European Union Citizenship! A truly incredible development and one which brings me deep joy.

Foreign caretakers come to Israel to care for specific patients for specified periods of time. However, their work often ends during this period, while their work visa is still valid. A caretaker’s employment may be terminated at their own initiative, at the employer’s initiative, or due to external circumstances. This situation raises various legal issues, particularly given the limits imposed on changing employers and places of employment by foreign caretakers. In this article we will discuss the main issues that arise regarding foreign workers’ terminating employment and moving between jobs.

Our law offices specialize in foreign caretakers and the labor laws that apply to them. We provide our clients with solutions and assistance for such issues as arranging legal status for foreign caretakers in Israel, transferring between patients, and providing legal counseling and assistance for workers and employers in this area.

Advance notification – essential condition for terminating employment

Foreign caretakers changing employersAlthough a foreign caretaker comes to care for a specific patient, they are not “bound” to working with that patient. Such workers have the option to change employment positions and work with other patients, whether by quitting voluntarily or being forced to leave, either by being fired or when their patient dies or is transferred to an institution. For more detailed information on this case, see a separate article which we published on this subject.

Foreign caretakers who want to quit their job, however, are required to give advance notice, and are not permitted to leave before the end of the notification period. The required period varies depending on the length of employment, from 7 days to at least a month. A similar rule holds for firing caretakers, and here too the length of time varies depending on how long they have been employed. If advance notice is not given, by either the worker or the employer, compensation must be paid to the other party.

Limits on changing employers by the caretakers 

The law seeks to prevent exploitation of foreign caretakers’ option to move between employers. Therefore, a regulation has been made regarding foreign workers who have left their work with at least three different patients in the span of two years. In this case, there is a concern that the worker may be exploiting the visa and work permit which allow him or her to stay in Israel. Under this regulation, such foreign caretakers can be summoned to an investigation by the Interior Ministry, and, if necessary, their visa and work permit is revoked.

It is important to note that not all cases of ending employment are necessarily considered when counting the number of workplaces that were changed. For example, leaving a job because of demonstrably bad working conditions, or abuse, is not be considered to be exploitation of the work visa. Likewise cases where the patient dies or is institutionalized.

Geographical / regional limitations on foreign caretakers’ changing employers

In addition to the above limitations, there are geographical / regional restrictions on where foreign caretakers are permitted to work. The restrictions vary depending on the region. Thus, for example, foreign caretakers in the Tel Aviv area are permitted to work anywhere in the country, while foreign caretakers in the peripheral regions are only permitted to move to another position within the periphery. Both foreign caretakers and patients must be aware of the geographical restrictions, in order to avoid cases of illegal employment.

Contact an attorney specializing in employment of foreign caretakers

If you need legal assistance regarding terminating employment or switching employers for foreign caretakers, we will be happy to help. Contact our law offices in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, to obtain legal information and assistance. We specialize in the field of foreign caretakers and the regulations pertaining to them, including representing foreign caretakers and employers in any judicial cases.

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