Did you ever receive a monthly pay supplement just for coming to work on time? That's just one of the strange ways that public sector employees get extra pay in Israel.
The top 5 most ridiculous payroll supplements are at the bottom.
This article is a guest post by Moshe Egel-Tal, CSPP of Israpay.com. If you’d also like to guest post here on JobMob, follow these guest post guidelines.
Only in Israel: A payroll supplement for not leaving too early
The Israeli Social Security (ISS or Bituach Leumi) went on strike in Jan 2006. Try to guess why. Multiple layoffs? Nope. Organizational restructuring? Not even close.
The ISS employees were angry because the Israeli Finance Ministry wanted to cancel a privilege they had been receiving for years- a payroll supplement for anyone who wasn't late more than 10 minutes in the morning or who left less than 9 minutes early in the evening. In other words, extra pay just for putting in full days of work.
Why do these crazy supplements even exist?
The problem lies within the public sector, as all these supplements are paid from the taxpayer's pockets. The rationale is shaky because employees are already doing what they were hired to do and nothing more. But since their base pay is so low, the Israeli government and the Histadrut Labor Union sign work agreements with these “creative” ways to achieve pay raises without calling them that.
Strangest payroll supplements anywhere?
Not only in the ISS do employees enjoy such unusual pay supplements. The public sector has invoked many weird supplements over the years and most are still paid today. Here are some of the most bizarre and yes, these are all real supplements:
25) Health supplement
The Bank of Israel pays out accrued and unused sick day balances when an employee leaves its employ. In other words, if you didn't use your right to be sick, you get a health supplement. In many cases, this is a huge amount of tens of thousands of shekels.
24) Cold Supplement
This is paid to employees who need to constantly access freezers at extreme temperatures.
23) Hot Supplement
Paid to those who need to constantly access ovens and high temperatures.
22) Rig supplement
Paid to employees who use heavy engineering equipment such as steamrollers, dump trucks over 3 tons, bulldozers, etc.
21) High Altitude supplement
Paid to employees who work in places high above the ground, like bridges, traffic lights, etc.
20) Dust supplement
Earned by employees who have dusty work environments.
19) Hard Cut supplement
Paid in the diamond industry for rocks that are harder to process.
18) Territories supplement
Paid to employees who work over the Green Line (i.e. in Judea & Samaria), it has nothing to do with danger.
17) Arava and Negev supplements
Paid to employees who work in these remote areas in the south of Israel.
16) Sodom supplement
Despite the connotations, this is paid to employees who work in the Sodom region near the Dead Sea.
15) Shifting supplement
When the Israeli Ports Authority was privatized, making each port a separate entity, all employees received this one-time 50,000 shekel payout for the “shift” out of the public sector.
14) Clothing supplement
Paid once a year in the public sector to all employees whether they need special uniforms or not.
13) Appearances supplement
Attorneys in the attorney general's office receive a 20% supplement of their base salary supplement just for coming to court.
12) Split time supplement
Bank employees receive a supplement for working split hours. You wonder why they don't just work a whole day of open hours to the public instead, like normal employees.
11) Garbage supplement
Paid to employees who work with garbage.
10) Nook and Cranny supplement
Paid to employees who need to access nooks and crannies.
9) Stink supplement
Paid to employees who work in smelly locations, like sewer employees.
8) Physical supplement
Paid to employees who specialize in manual labor e.g. blue collar workers.
7) Enhancement supplement
Could also be called the “RIF supplement”, it's paid to employees who take on additional tasks following office cutbacks, resignations and retirements.
6) Parliament supplement
All Members of Knesset get this one, just for having their job, in addition to their 20,000 shekels of base pay.
Saving the best for last…
The Top 5 ridiculous ways employees get paid in Israel
5) No Absence supplement
Paid to employees who were not absent from work for any reason during the month. Isn't this what they're supposed to do anyway?
4) Parking Lot Distance supplement
If the office parking lot wasn't big enough for everyone, some employees would be forced to park their cars further away. This supplement was created as compensation for the extra effort.
3) Over-exertion supplement
For those employees who over-exert themselves. In 31 years in Israel I have yet to meet one.
2) Jubilee supplement
A one-time supplement equal to 60% of the base pay paid to employees with 25 years of service in the public sector. It sure does pay to stick around for a while.
1) Insult supplement
Paid to employees of the Tax Authority and Customs Authority who are frequently insulted by offended taxpayers or importers.
Bonus pay supplement
There are a few places, mostly in the public sector, that pay a 13th month of salary each year. It's usually broken into 2 payments with half paid before Passover and the other half before Rosh Hashana (which makes chagim easier), but the Israel Electric Company's employees, who already have the highest average pay in Israel, are paid a *14th* salary as well.
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About the author
Moshe Egel-Tal offers paid consultation services on payroll and labor issues to both employees and employers, and mini-seminars on various payroll related topics. Moshe can be reached at moshe [dot] israpay [at] gmail [dot] com and you can follow him on Twitter at @israpay. Check out the latest Q & A, articles and more at Israpay.com. Get Moshe's book “Tax Benefits for Salaried Employees in Israel“.