Sick Leave in Israel
Are you a company or organization currently operating in Israel or planning to operate in Israel? If so, you may need to hire local employees. This article by Advocate Joshua Pex, a lawyer at Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh specializing in Israeli law and employer-employee relationships, will help explain a complicated aspect of legally-mandated employee benefits; taking sick leave, accruing sick days, and receiving sick pay or recuperation pay (dmei havraa).
Israeli Law on Sick Days
By default, an employee accrues one and a half sick days per month, unless otherwise noted in their contract. They are thus entitled to 18 sick days per year. Up to 90 sick days can be accrued in total. An employee will be considered on sick leave during weekends and holidays only if they would normally work during these days. An employee can lawfully use their sick days to tend to a sick family member. Unless otherwise specified in their contract, employees cannot receive financial compensation or be otherwise reimbursed for unused sick days.
Sick Pay in Israel
An employee on sick leave will receive sick pay starting from the second day of their sick leave. They receive 50% of their regular daily pay on the second and third day of convalescence, and 100% of their regular pay starting with the fourth day. Should the employee have no accrued sick days, the first sick day is deducted from the employee’s accrued vacation days or their pay.
Firing a Sick Employee
Unless the notice was given prior to the employee taking sick leave, Israeli law prohibits the firing of an employee during their sick leave. Fertility treatment related sick leave is provided for 150 days during which the employer is prohibited from firing the employee.
Recuperation Days and Convalescence Pay (Dmei Havra’a)
An employee is entitled to recuperation days only after having worked with the same employer for at least a year. The total number of recuperation days is increased based on seniority, from five for the first year of employment to 10 following 20 years of employment.
Workers in the private sector are paid 378 NIS per recuperation day. Workers in the public sector are paid 421 NIS per recuperation day.
For more information about sick days, sick pay, or dispute resolution between employer and employee regarding said issues, contact us at Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh law firm.