An employee that is absent from work for at least 30 days because of bed rest is entitled to a bed rest benefit from the National Insurance Institute.
- The benefit is intended to compensate the woman for loss of income while she is on bed rest.
- During such a period, the employee is not entitled to her salary from her employer, but the time continues counting towards her seniority (vetek) for purposes of calculating her Severance Pay and Convalescence Pay and vacation days.
- An employee who is absent from work for less than 30 days is not entitled to the benefit but rather is entitled to sick pay from the employer for the period she is absent from work, at the expense of the sick days she has accrued at her place of employment. (An employee that has not accrued enough sick days may take unpaid leave, or those days will be deducted from her vacation days.)
What is Bed Rest?
- Section 58 of the National Insurance Law defines "Bed Rest" as absence from work during pregnancy required because of:
- A medical condition caused by the pregnancy that endangers the women or the fetus, in accordance with a doctor's written approval.
- A situation in which the work, workplace, or nature of the work endangers the woman or her fetus because she is pregnant in accordance with a doctor's written approval and on condition that her employer couldn't find her alternative work (for more information see Work Restrictions for Pregnant Women).
Who is Eligible?
- A woman who is a salaried employee or self-employed, who meets all of the following criteria:
- She is an Israeli resident.
- Insurance contributions have been paid for her for at least 6 of the 14 months that preceded the date she stopped working to go on bed rest.
- She has approval from an OB/GYN to be on bed rest for at least 30 consecutive days. The approval of an occupational doctor may be necessary if the bed rest is do to danger to the woman or fetus because of the type of work, workplace or nature of the work.
- She is not paid any other payment for being on bed rest from any other source.
- A woman for whom a Bed Rest Benefit of at least 30 days has concluded, who requires an additional period of bed rest during the same pregnancy, will be entitled to a benefit for one or more additional bed rest periods of at least 14 consecutive days each.
Who is Not Eligible?
- A woman on bed rest who leaves the country for is not entitled to a benefit from the moment of travel abroad (if the bed rest is because the type or place of work then she can leave the country without having her rights affected).
- A foreign worker and anyone who is not a resident of Israel, even if she fulfills all other conditions of eligibility detailed above.
How to Claim It?
- A bed rest benefit claim may be submitted immediately after the bed rest begins and must be submitted no later than one year after the start of the bed rest.
- A Bed Rest Benefit Claim Form must be submitted to the National Insurance Institute branch closest to the applicant's place of residence.
- A Pregnancy Bed Rest Medical Authorization Form signed by an OB/GYN must be attached to the claim form.
- In cases where the nature of her work or the work environment is the cause of the bed rest, a note from the employer about the nature of the work and the employers confirmation that there is no alternative work for the employee must be attached to the claim. An occupational physician's confirmation may also be needed.
- The employer of a wage employee confirms in the form details regarding the preceding 10 months of work and wages. An employee who has worked with multiple employers should attach a confirmation from each to the form.
- A woman who is self employed must note which National Insurance office branch she pays her insurance to.
- Someone who was in vocational training or vocational rehabilitation, where insurance payments were made on her behalf, should attach to the claim confirmation from the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Economy detailing the place and time of the training or rehabilitation.
- A doctor working for the National Insurance Institute may request clarifications or additional information about the medical approval.
- A decision of whether the women is eligible for the benefit will be given after 30 days of bed rest have passed.
- Eligibility for the grant will begin no more than 2 weeks from the initial medical examination that determined the need for bed rest.
- The benefit is paid on the 20th of each month for the previous month, according to the number of calendar days in the month, (including weekends and holidays).
Receiving a Benefit for an Additional Period of Bed Rest
- In order to receive a benefit for an additional period of bed rest, the woman must submit to the National Insurance branch a Pregnancy Bed Rest Medical Authorization Form signed by an OB/GYN that approves an additional period of bed rest.
- The latest this form may be submitted is 12 months from the beginning of the additional period of bed rest.
- The woman may report the end of the period of bed rest by calling the bed rest reporting call center.
- The daily benefit rate will be the lower of the following two options:
- 292.77 NIS per day, right as of 2018 (for rates from previous years see the National Insurance Institute website.
- The woman's salary (for which she is required to pay insurance) for the 3 months before she stopped working to go on bed rest, divided by 90, or for the 6 months before she stopped working, divided by 180 (whichever amount is higher, not exceeding 292.77 NIS).
- A salaried employee that didn't receive her full salary in the 6 months preceding the 1st of the month in which she stopped working (due to bed rest or any other reason such as a strike, illness, accident, family mourning or vacation) and has the necessary approvals, should check the option to complete her salary for these months or request that the benefit is calculated on the months before those that she didn't receive her full salary.
- According to the National Insurance Institute Circular, "vacation" includes a vacation that lasts up to a month, even if the employer took it by choice.
- The circular also established that it is possible to supplement the salary for the period in which the employee stayed on extended Maternity Leave that was without payment of maternity allowance (for a birth that preceded the current pregnancy).
- The benefit for a self-employed woman whose bed-rest began after 27.04.2016 is calculated as follows:
- In the first stage the benefit will be paid to the woman through advances.
- After the assessment (of her probable income) is received, the benefit will be recalculated based on the current assessment and the assessment of the previous year - whichever is higher.
- A cost of living allowance is added to this amount, and National Insurance contributions, health insurance contributions and income tax are deducted from it.
- The benefit is paid according to the number of calendar days in each month, including weekends and holidays.
- A woman who returns to her place of employment after maternity leave, and becomes pregnant again and requires bed-rest:
- For purposes of calculating the bed rest benefit , it will be based on her regular salary that she would have received had she not been on maternity leave.
- For further information see: Bed Rest Benefit pregnancy for an Employee who returns from (an immediately previous) Maternity Leave will be Calculated on the Basis of her Normal Salary had it not been for her Maternity Leave.
Payment of Bed Rest Benefit Differences
- One who received additional amounts or other additional payments from her employee after she began receiving her maternity allowance, may be eligible to receive additional payment to account for the difference in the amounts.
- For more information see Payment of Maternity Allowance Differences, Bed Rest Benefit, Adoption Allowance or Fostering Allowance.
Employment Rights While on Bed Rest
- During the time an employee is on bed rest, she continues accruing time towards her seniority (vetek) for purposes of calculating rights that are based on seniority (such as calculation of severance pay, convalescence pay and the number of yearly vacation days).
- A pregnant employee on bed rest is entitled to have her employer continue contributing to her provident funds (including her education fund) (assuming her employer contributed to provident funds prior to her being on bed rest). For more details see: Pension and Provident Fund Contributions While on Bed Rest
- The law does not relate to other social rights, like holiday gifts. (Note that the national labor court has established that an employee on maternity leave is entitled to a holiday gift if the employer distributes gifts to the rest of the employees.)
- An employee on bed rest is entitled to all the rights as pregnant employees, such protection from dismissal or reduction of position. For more information, see the Pregnancy and Birth Portal.
Eligibility for Pension Fund Disability Allowance (Disability Pension) during Bed Rest
- Certain pension funds in Israel allow a woman on bed rest to receive a Pension Fund Disability Allowance (Disability Pension) if her situation impaired her ability to work for more than 90 days (or less depending on the conditions of her fund).
- If the employee is eligible for disability pension, she and her employer do not have to pay into they pension fun (the employer and employees parts) for pension insurance during this time because the pension fund will pay these amounts into the pension savings of the employee during the period in which she receives the pension benefit from the pension fund.
- For eligibility conditions and the process of receiving a disability benefit from a pension fund see:
The right to a bed rest benefit is contingent on the woman being out of work for at least 30 days. In contrast, the right to a Pension Fund Disability Pension (Disability Pension) is given only if the inability to work lasts over 90 days (or less if the fund's rules allow otherwise).Not all pension funds give a disability pension to a woman on bed rest and therefore it is important to check ahead of time with the pension fund that insures the employee.
- An employee who is entitled to payment benefit from the National Insurance Institute, but prefers to use the paid sick days entitled to her by her employer, looses eligibility for the National Insurance Institute benefit for the days paid to her by her employer. In addition, the employer does not have to agree to let her use her sick days.
- An employee who has received a bed rest benefit until childbirth will receive Maternity Allowance (Maternity Pay) automatically without having to make a claim for maternity allowance. The payment will be transferred to the bank account according to the data recorded on the claim form for the bed rest benefit.
A Woman who is not Eligible for the Benefit
- A self-employed woman whose bed-rest benefit claim was rejected because she is behind on her National Insurance payments may be eligible to receive the benefit based on reasons of righteousness. For more information see Receiving a grant because of righteousness for those who had grant request denied.
- In cases in which a woman is not eligible for bed rest, but the doctor has recommended rest from employment, she is entitled to use her eligible sick days (her employer may not prevent this).
- If a doctor has recommended a reduced workload because of her pregnancy, the employee is not eligible for the bed rest benefit. In this case, this time will be considered like sick leave and the employee is entitled to Sick Pay from her employer for her absence on condition that she has enough accrued Sick Days.
- If an employee is not eligible for bed rest, but her doctor has confirmed in writing that the nature of her work, the place of her employment, or the way the work is performed, endangers her fetus or herself, or prevents her from doing her work, the employee can go on unpaid leave. For more information, see Unpaid Leave for a Pregnant Employee who Leaves her Employment due to the Type of Work or the Place of Employment.
- Click here for a comprehensive listing of organizations that provide assistance for issues related to employment and workers' rights, specifically those listed under "ארגוני סיוע לנשים".
For a listing of government agencies responsible for employment, including those specifically responsible for employment of women, see here
Laws and Regulations
- National Insurance Institute Law Article 5: Pregnancy Benefit.
- National Insurance Institute Regulations (Pregnancy Benefit)-1991
- National Insurance Institute Circular no. 1453 from 18.05.2016 - calculating the benefit with the salary supplement because of unpaid leave, vacation or maternity leave.
- The Bed-Rest Benefit is for a woman who just returned from maternity leave is calculated based on her regular salary, as if she hadn't been on leave.
- The National Insurance Institute's English website.
- English translation and maintenance by The Shira Pransky Project.