In a nutshell:
Explanation of the notice period in Israel
- Employers wishing to dismiss a member of their staff, and employees wishing to resign, are required to give written notice of resignation.
- The employer cannot go back on his decision to dismiss his employee, nor can the employee go back on his decision to resign, unless both parties agree to go back on their decision, or unless the decisions were taken in anger.
- The employer may relinquish his employee's work during the notice period and sever the employer/employee relationship immediately, provided he pays the employee the equivalent of the salary he would have received during the notice period.
- Employers are prohibited from forcing employees to use their paid vacation days during the notice period in Israel.
- An employer or employee who fails to give notice in Israel will be obliged to pay the other party the equivalent of the wages for the notice period.
Reason for resignation or dismissal
- Employers are not required to provide a reason for termination when they wish to dismiss an employee.
- Similarly, when an employee resigns, he or she is not obliged to give a reason for doing so, and the employer can under no circumstances force the employee to provide an explanation.
- However, when an employee resigns due to a deterioration in working conditions (a reason which gives rise to redundancy payments even if the employee resigns of his own free will), the employee must inform his employer that his working conditions are deteriorating, to enable the latter to rectify the damage.
Should the employee fail to do so, it will be very difficult for him to prove that he resigned because of a deterioration in his working conditions, and therefore to claim severance pay in accordance with the law.
The notice period in Israel
The notice period in Israel is calculated on the basis of seniority.
Days of notice are calculated on a calendar basis, not on a "working day" basis. The law differentiates between employees who are paid on a monthly basis, and those who are paid on an hourly basis:
- Monthly salary :
- For employees with more than one year's seniority, the notice period is one month.
- For employees with less than one year's seniority, the notice period will be :
- One day's notice for each month worked, for the first 6 months.
- 2 and a half days' notice for each month worked from the 6thème month, up to a maximum of 3 weeks' notice.
- Hourly wage :
- An employee with less than one year's seniority will have one day's notice for each month worked.
- An employee in his 2ème year of service will have 14 days' notice, plus one day for each additional 2 months of service. (E.g.: for 16 months' seniority, the period will therefore be 14 days for the first year, and 1 additional day for each 2 months' work, i.e. a total of 16 days' notice).
- An employee in his 3ème year of work will have 21 days' notice, plus one day for each additional 2 months of work.
- An employee with a minimum of 3 years' seniority will have one month's notice.ALSO READ: Paid vacations in Israel
First of all, it's important to point out that an employee has the right to ask for his or her unused paid vacation days to be returned to him or her when he or she leaves the workplace.
Employers are therefore prohibited from forcing their employees to use their paid vacation days during the notice period in order to avoid payment of the remaining vacation days.
Furthermore, if the notice period in Israel is less than 15 days, the employee will not be able to take leave during this period.
Milouim period - IDF Reservist
The law prohibits the dismissal of employees during the following periods:
- During their service as IDF reservists, the Milouim.
- During the 30-day period following service as an IDF reservist, provided that the duration of the service was at least 2 consecutive days.
- An employer can only dismiss an employee during this period with the agreement of the Ministry of Defense.
E.g.: if an employee has been called up for military service as a reservist from 03.01.2015 to 03.31.2015, the days of notice can only begin after a period of 30 days, i.e. from 05.01.2015.
4. If the notice of dismissal was given before the employee went out in milouim, days' notice will stop during the period in which it is forbidden to dismiss an employee serving as a reservist: for the entire period of service as well as the 30 days following the end of the milouim if the duration of service exceeds 2 consecutive days.
Ex: an employee with 5 years' seniority receives his letter of dismissal on 01.04.2015, in which case the employee is entitled to 30 days' notice. 2 weeks later, on 15.04.2015, he leaves on milouim until 15.05.2015. The count of the remaining 15 days of his notice period will only resume on 15.06.2015, and the employee will be dismissed in full as of 01.07.2015.
It is important to note that this prohibition on dismissal during the reservist period, and the consequent extension of the notice period, only applies to dismissals, not resignations.
Period of illness
According to the law of sick leave - חוק דמי מחלה , it is forbidden to dismiss an employee who is absent due to illness for the entire period during which he or she is receiving sick pay - דמי מחלה.
However, if the employer gives the employee his or her letter of dismissal before the employee falls ill, the employer will have the right to dismiss the employee at the end of the notice period, even if the notice period ends while the employee is still on sick leave.ALSO READ: Sick leave in Israel - How does it work?
Good to know!
An employer may waive the right of an employee to complete the notice period in Israel. Provided that he pays the employee the equivalent salary at the end of...
Example: if an employee with more than one year's service received his letter of dismissal on March 1, 2015, and on March 8, 2015 his employer informs him that he no longer needs to come to work. He will have to compensate the employee for an amount equivalent to 22 days' work, i.e. the end of the notice period initially provided for.