Unpaid leave in Israel - Halate: Conditions and procedures

Unpaid leave in Israel

In the midst of the complex circumstances we are currently experiencing with the war in Gaza, it is essential to understand the conditions and procedures relating to unpaid leave in Israel.Read also: the obligations of an employer in Israel.

The following article will detail these elements for employers wishing to grant a "Halate" to their employees, as well as for workers wishing to understand this special status.

Halate: What is it? Halate" is a situation where a person's employment is frozen, and during this period the "employer-employee relationship" is suspended.

Although this does not constitute dismissal per se, it can be considered a form of unpaid leave. In Hebrew, this notion is defined as "Houfsha lelo Tashloum".

It is important to note that the information we present is current at the time of writing, but changes may occur in the coming days, particularly concerning the special status of the war in Israel.

Conditions for granting a "Halate":

  1. Employer's decision : To place an employee on unpaid leave, the decision must be made by the employer.
  2. Employee agreement : The employee must agree to be put on "Halate". An employer cannot impose unpaid leave if the employee does not agree.
  3. Written agreement : It is recommended that the employee's agreement be formalized in writing to avoid any misunderstanding. This written agreement must also be sent to the Bitouah LeumiIsrael's national social security organization.

Duration of "Halate" : The "Halate" period must be at least thirty days or more. In the agreement, it is essential to specify the date of the employee's return.

For example, if "Halate" begins on October 17, the return date must be after November 17, guaranteeing a period of at least thirty days. Please note that the return date can be changed at a later date.

Conditions for receiving unemployment benefits in Israel: During the "Halate" period, the employer no longer pays the employee a salary. However, the employee may receive unemployment benefits, provided he or she meets the eligibility criteria.

At present, these criteria are as follows:

  • 12 months of contributions to Bitouah Léoumi: To be eligible for unemployment benefits, the employee must have paid contributions to Bitouah Leoumi for twelve months in the last eighteen months. Although temporary relaxations were put in place during the period of the COVID-19 crisis, these conditions remain in force to this day.
  • Deduction of paid vacations : If the employee has any paid vacations remaining, these will be deducted from the unemployment benefit payment. This deduction will have an impact on the period during which the employee can claim unemployment benefits.

Exceptions: It is important to note that certain categories of people cannot be placed in "Halate". These include pregnant women and people who have been called up for military service (milouim) following receipt of tsav 8.

Employers must comply with specific rules regarding pregnant women. As far as people on milouim are concerned, it is imperative to remember that neither unpaid leave nor dismissal is permitted, either during their service or within thirty days of their return from service.

Conclusion: In these uncertain times, it is essential to understand the conditions and procedures relating to unpaid leave in Israel.

For both employers and employees, this means complying with strict rules, including obtaining the employee's agreement, drawing up written agreements, and meeting eligibility criteria for unemployment benefits.

Any change in these rules could have a significant impact, so it is advisable to keep abreast of future developments.



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