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Maternity Leave in Israel: A Guide for Overseas Employers

There are different types of benefits offered to employees that you hire in foreign countries, and those may be more or less generous than those in your home country.  Maternity leave is an important benefit for your employees, and the rules about the amount of leave and how much is paid need to be known by the employer to avoid compliance issues.

General Rules for Maternity Leave in Israel

Working women in Israel do have many rights when it comes to pregnancy and employment.  For example, an employee cannot be fired during their pregnancy and up to 60 days following birth.  Also, employment contracts that expire during maternity leave are automatically extended.  In Israel, the salary is paid in full during leave by social security during the 15 week paid leave period.

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Client Case Example: Maternity Leave Period and Payments in Israel

Maternity leave in Israel is fairly complex, and we had a client with several questions about how to handle the leave amounts and payments.

  • Can the employee just take two weeks for maternity leave?
  • No, the minimum leave period for maternity is seven weeks.
  • What are the employer obligated payments during maternity leave?
  • For the first 15 weeks, the employee receives maternity leave compensation from social security. During this period, the employer pays both the employee and employer share of contributions.
  • What is the maximum maternity leave period available?
  • The employee can take up to 26 weeks of maternity leave, but the employer only needs to make the contributions for the first 15 weeks (but it is customary for employers to continue those payments for the entire period).
  • If a pregnant employee terminates their contract or resigns prior to birth, does the company owe any payments?
  • There is no compensation due if the termination is voluntary by the employee during pregnancy. It is treated as a standard resignation.
  • When the employee returns to work following maternity leave, what are the payment obligations?
  • The employee will have their portion of the contributions (that were paid by the employer during leave) deducted from their salary.

Do you need more information about Israel?

These rules on maternity leave are distinct from some countries, and if you are new to hiring in Israel you may need more information such as:

Is there paternity leave for fathers and does that affect the mother’s maternity leave?

Can the maternity leave period be split up into several periods?

How do employers track the contributions made for maternity leave?

These are the types of issues that we handle for our clients, including employee benefits, payroll, tax compliance and immigration.  We make international employment simple.

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The information in this article is subject to changes in local legislation.

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