The Legislation Project of Tzohar Rabbonim has promoted a new bill put forth in the Knesset which would ensure that independent contractors are equally protected under the law in the event of lost work days following the death of a close family member.
At present, Israeli labor law only protects salaried employees whereby the employee is not penalized for work missed during the days of the shiva. Conversely, the many thousands of Israelis who work independently of employers suffer significant financial loss when forced to lose work days following a loved one’s death.
The bill, which was presented to the Knesset Ministerial Committee on Legislation by MK Yinon Magal, is similar in intent to a previous bill drafted by MK Uri Orbach who passed away before it could be completed and presented.
According to Rabbi Uriel Ganzel, Director of the Tzohar Legislation Project which works in tandem with Knesset legislators to advance causes of importance to the religious community, a significant number of independent workers choose to cut short their shiva observance over concerns of financial loss. “Without the passage of this bill, independent workers are unable to be financially compensated during the shiva period, a penalty which essentially robs them of the ability to invest themselves in the emotions that come with loss and be there for themselves and their families,” he said. “This is a bill which reflects not only the preservation of Jewish values but a basic ideal of respect for a person’s ability to grieve and recover from loss.”
Upon passage of the law, independents would receive subsidies from the National Insurance Institute to cover the financial damages directly related to these lost days of income.
The bill is expected to be presented for vote by the Knesset plenary in the coming days.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)