By the Annual Leave Law (pdf), every employee is entitled to an annual vacation day allotment based on their years of tenure with their employer. The allotment is dictated by this table of minimum requirements:
Years of Tenure with Employer
Annual Vacation Days Allotment *
Up to 4 years
Keep in mind…
The values in the table are for full-time positions i.e. people working 6 days a week (as defined by the law – and as yet to be revised even though the majority work 5 day weeks). All other workers are entitled to allotments proportional to how much they work relative to a full-time position. In other words, if someone works half-time their allotment would be 50% of the value in the table.
These are minimum requirements that the employer must meet but can add to them.
Although employees must be allowed to take vacation leave, the employer may determine when as long as several conditions are met:
Vacation will be granted during the last month of the year for which it is allotted or during the following year.
The employee must notify the employer of his request for vacation at least 30 days in advance.
With both employee and employer consent, the employee can utilize 7 days of his accrued vacation days and carry the rest over to the following year, this despite vacation days not being accruable by law from one year to the next.
The vacation days must be in continuous block unless consented by both employee and employer, and under the condition that at least 7 days will be continuous.
It is accepted practice at many companies to erase any accrued vacation day balances above a certain amount at the end of each year (31st Dec). This is legal on the condition that it is clearly specified in the terms of employment document and all employees are notified. The reasoning is two-fold: companies want to reduce the amount of money they will need to pay off for unused accrued vacation days in case of termination of employment, but more importantly, they want to ensure that employees actually use their vacation days.
The above conditions do not apply for requested vacation days that are less than 7 days.
Many employers have their own procedures for vacation requests.
This Hebrew link to the exact wording of the law can be difficult to understand without proper professional certification.
In many cases there are revisions to the law and the site may not be 100% up to date.
The English link to the Annual Leave Law here above is not an official translation (disclaimer) but a general free translation outlining the general idea as a public service, and not all laws have been translated into English on this site.
The wording in my articles is of my own choosing and not a literal translation. This is in order to ensure clear understanding and is based upon the law itself, actual cases that have been brought before the labor courts, my experience in dealing with these issues and from close work with legal advisers on labor issues over the years.
About the author
Moshe Egel-Tal is a certified senior payroll professional (CSPP) with over 20 years experience in the finance field. He has vast experience in payroll instruction to end users, setup and implementation of payroll departments and fine-tuning payroll processes for companies. Moshe has lectured at university on labor laws in HR managers' courses and at payroll comptrollers' courses. Born in Chicago, Moshe made aliya in 1978 and resides with his wife and 3 sons in Jerusalem. Get Moshe's book “Tax Benefits for Salaried Employees in Israel“.