The government approved a structural reform in the foreign workers sector

The government approved a structural reform in the foreign workers sector

Today (Wednesday), the government unanimously approved the proposal of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Labor Minister Yoav Ben Zur to streamline the mechanism for bringing in foreign workers, while easing regulation and allocating significant resources to protect the rights of foreign workers.

Due to the existing shortage of workers in all branches of the economy, among others in the branches of construction, agriculture, nursing and more, and out of the need to strengthen stability in the economy against the background of the “Iron Swords” war, it was decided to streamline supervision and enforcement and improve the working conditions of the foreign workers in a number of ways – this decision will increase significantly the number of foreign workers who could come to work in Israel up to a ceiling of 3.3% of the total population in the country (over 300 thousand foreign workers).

In addition, the enforcement units in the Ministries of Labor, Justice and the Population and Immigration Authority will be increased by 422 standards and millions of NIS will be invested to strengthen supervision and enforcement. In addition, the Minister of Labor will amend the regulations in the Knesset so that a deposit obligation (pensions for foreign workers) will be applied to all areas of occupation in the economy. A significant reduction in the fees and permit fees that employers pay to approve the employment of foreign workers, a move that is expected to roll out to the consumer in various areas.

Another method of efficiency is that the competition between foreign personnel corporations for the building will be increased through the addition of corporations, a process led by the Population Authority. The Minister of the Interior will examine within six months the success of the competition, and if necessary will allow additional employment methods such as direct employment. It will be possible to bring foreign workers to the construction industry without practical tests in the country of origin, based on the employer's declaration that the worker is suitable for his position.

In addition, a committee of CEOs will be established headed by the CEO of the Prime Minister's Office Yossi Shelley and its members will be the CEOs of the Ministry of Labor, Finance, the Population Authority and Justice. The committee will determine the quota of workers that will be allocated to each branch, the minimum wage in different branches, the mechanisms for bringing in foreign workers, and more. Also, the committee will receive a report on the enforcement and supervision actions.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu commented and said that “We have passed a government decision that will significantly increase the quota of foreign workers, while dramatically cutting the bureaucracy of bringing in workers. This is a very important decision for business, for our economy and for our security. I would like to thank the Minister of Labor, the Minister of the Interior, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of the Economy, the Minister of Justice and the Ministry of Justice as well, and of course, my office manager, who worked for a long time on this important decision.'

Labor Minister Yoav Ben Tzur noted that “this is a historical correction that will rapidly flow more workers into the economy. At the same time, the Ministry of Labor will update workers' rights so that we can move the wheels of the economy in a safe and equitable manner. In recent months, our resources have been directed to monitoring the needs and providing answers to employers in all branches of the economy. This is an important step in the right direction, I thank the Prime Minister and the ministers, I am confident that by combining forces we will succeed in the job, maintain full employment and increase productivity in the economy.'

Attorney Veronika Rosenberg, CEO of the Organization of Cleaning Companies in Israel, praised the decision: “An important and critical decision for the economy after a persistent struggle we have waged in recent months, after entire industries are paralyzed and suffering from a lack of manpower. In the cleaning industry, after exhausting all available options including incentives, wage increases and campaigns – nothing helped. There is no escape from bringing in foreign workers, so I expect to see in the sectoral distribution of the quota – a significant allocation of foreign workers to the cleaning industry and this to ensure public health in the coming decades.'

archives. Photo: Kobi Gideon / L.A.M

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