Employment contracts

Contracts in Israel

You and your employer are required to sign a contract within 30 days of starting work. A concise contract should clearly define work hours, salary, overtime, sick pay, deductions for insurance, unemployment compensation and terms of work.

A poorly-written contract can have unintended consequences for an employee. The government has made laws to protect employee benefits, but the law has no force if an employee signs a contract which has modified employee benefit agreements.

Employment contracts can be complex and convoluted, especially if they are in Hebrew. If you need assistance, seek advice from an attorney.

Types of contracts

There are two common types of contracts in Israel: indeterminate duration and fixed-term contracts.

The indeterminate duration contract is the most common type of contract. It means that you will work indefinitely “at will” for a company under specified terms and conditions. Your employer will not terminate your contract after completing a given task or time period.

Fixed-term contracts mean that you will work for a specific amount of time or on a specific project. This is commonly used for freelance and seasonal work. The contract is over when the time expires or the project is completed.

Ending indeterminate contracts

If you have an indeterminate duration contract, Israeli companies are required to inform in advance of terminating your contract. They notify you in writing at least two weeks before your last day of work. For salaried employees, you receive a month's advance notification.

Companies do not have to tell you why they ended your contract. However, it is illegal to be dismissed in Israel on account of religion, gender, family status, disability or ethnicity. Employees who feel they have been dismissed for one of these reasons may apply to the company's employee arbitration courts to renew the offer of employment If this is not satisfactory, they may appeal to the Labour Court for arbitration.

In the case you wish to terminate the contract with your employer, you must notify your company in writing at least two weeks in advance.

Employers are required to give you severance pay. Severance pay is determined by the time you worked for the company.

Labour unions

The Histadrut is the largest labour organisation in Israel, and it influences much of the wage policy and labour conditions in Israel.

Generally, a member of a labour union may not be dismissed without good cause (such as misconduct or gross incompetence). Like union members in many other countries, Israeli union members enjoy much job security.

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