Maternity pay in Israel

Who is entitled to maternity pay in Israel?

Any woman who contributes to Bituach Leumi, whether employed or self-employed, can receive maternity pay in Israel. However, she must have contributed for a minimum period prior to giving birth:

  1. Full Pay: Contributions over a period of at least 15 months over the last 22 months, or 10 months over the last 14 months preceding childbirth, will allow you to receive maternity pay of 15 weeks income.
  2. Half pay: Contributions over a period of at least 6 months over the last 14 months preceding childbirth, will allow you to receive maternity pay of 8 weeks income.
  3. No Pay: Any period less than these will result in no maternity pay eligibility.

How much maternity pay will I get?

Bituach Leumi adds up the last 3 months of activity before childbirth, whether for an employee or for a self-employed person. They then divide that amount by 90 to find out how much a day’s work is “worth”.

Once this calculation is done, this daily amount will be multiplied by the number of days the happy mother will receive. (105 or 56 days).

Mothers who gave birth before 01/01/2017 received compensation for 14 weeks (i.e. 98 days) and not 15. This law was changed in 2017 and has not been changed since.

A small example to better understand:

Judith gave birth on 6th May 2020 and has been working for more than 2 years without interruption as an employee. She is therefore entitled to the full pay of 105 days worth of maternity pay.

To calculate how much her working day is worth, we need to take the pay slips for the months of February, March, April 2020 which are as follows:

  1. February: ₪13,000 – March: ₪12,000 – April: ₪10,400.
  2. A day’s work is therefore worth 35,400/90 = ₪393.
  3. So, Judith will receive 105*393 = ₪41,265

Once the request has been filed, the full amount (less any tax deductions) will be paid to Judith as a lump sum.

How do I claim maternity pay?

If you’re employed, your employer could prepare the forms via their payroll provider. All you’ll need to do is sign the forms and submit them to Bituach Leumi here. The claim should be submitted after giving birth.

If you’re self-employed, when you give birth, Bituach Leumi automatically triggers the maternity pay. So, you won’t need to do anything.

For self employed individuals, the maternity pay paid at the time of birth is not final, it’s just a pre-payment. This is because at the time of birth, Bituach Leumi don’t have enough information to know what your actual income is. But, they do know what your monthly Bituach Leumi contributions are and will pay you sum based on that. At the end of the year, after the submission of your tax return, they will adjust the calculations to match your actual income levels. Any difference will then be settled.

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