Vacation Days: Is Your Israeli Boss Giving All of Them?

Vacation Days: Is Your Israeli Boss Giving All of Them?

Would it be nice to discover that you have more vacation days coming to you than you realized?

This article is 3rd in a 4-part series about 3 Israeli Labor Laws You Do Not Know But Should by Moshe Egel-Tal, CSPP.

The law says…

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:

Israeli Labor Laws & Scales of Justice

Years of Tenure with Employer Annual Vacation Days Allotment *
Up to 4 years 14
5 16
6 18
7 21
8 22
9 23
10 24
11 25
12 26
13 27
14 + 28

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:

  1. Vacation will be granted during the last month of the year for which it is allotted or during the following year.
  2. The employee must notify the employer of his request for vacation at least 30 days in advance.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. The above conditions do not apply for requested vacation days that are less than 7 days.
  7. Many employers have their own procedures for vacation requests.

Notes

  • 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, CSPP

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“.

For more information about Moshe, see his Jobshuk profile or LinkedIn profile. If you need help with labor issues in Israel, Moshe can help you with his consultation services.

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4 comments
Ori says

Is this earned vacation days per year or vacation days available to be taken? Is there a law regarding tenure and the number of vacation days earned per year?

Reply
Nechama says

I have been working for the same employer at 40 hrs a week for the past 4 years. According to the law, in the 5th year I will accrue 13 vacation days. However, starting in my fifth year I will be cutting down my work hours to 30 instead of 40. Will I still accrue those 13 days, since its my fifth year? If not, how many days will I accrue?

Reply
Dov Abrams says

Can somebody please tell me how many paid religious holiday days I have coming to me as a salaried worker, including a year like this year where 2 days of Passover fall out on the Sabbath and on a Friday?
Thank you.

Reply
israpay says

Dov, its really simple:
You need to have tenure of 3 months min with your current employer. You are paid only for days of the week that were they not a holiday, you would have worked.
So, if you are Jewish, shabbat is your weekly rest day and any holidays that fall on shabbat, you are not paid for. If you work a five day week (sun – thurs) then you wouldnt be paid for holidays that fall on a friday. If you work part-time payment is accordingly
The 9 mandatory holidays by law are:
First and seventh day Pesach (passover)
Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independance day)
Shavuot
Rosh Hashana – 2 days
Yom Kippur
First day of Sukkot
Simchat Torah

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