A maternity allowance is paid to a woman who accumulated the required period of work as a self-employed salaried worker and stopped working while pregnant. It is intended to compensate the mother for the loss of income during the period she is not working.
- For information regarding the right of a salaried employee to maternity leave ("period of birth and parenting") from her workplace, see Maternity Leave.
- Men who split maternity leave with their spouse, may be entitled to maternity pay. For more details, see Maternity Allowance for the Spouse of the Mother.
- Deductions for Social Security Pay, Health Insurance and Income Tax are taken from the maternity pay, in accordance with the amount determined by law.
- Cost of living adjustments that are paid during the period of maternity pay, are included in the maternity pay.
- Teaching staff who are on maternity leave during a holiday or vacation are entitled to be paid their salaries for these breaks in addition to maternity pay. (See the add-on section below).
Who is Eligible?
A Woman who Gave Birth
- A woman (including a foreign worker who fulfilled the required amount of work time (either self-employed or salaried) detailed in the table below and stopped working during her pregnancy (based on the required period, even if she stopped working at the beginning of her pregnancy she may be eligible).
- A woman who is undergoing vocational training or vocational rehabilitation at a place certified for that purpose (see details below), is eligible provided that she worked as an employee or was self-employed at least 30 consecutive days before the date on which she stopped working during her pregnancy.
- Article 39 of the National Insurance Law defines "birth" as a live birth of a fetus or as labor after 22 weeks of pregnancy. Therefore, a woman who gave birth after the 22nd week of pregnancy to a stillborn, or to a child who died after the birth, is entitled to a maternity allowance.
- The eligibility can be checked using the calculator on the website of the National Insurance Institute.
The Spouse of the Mother
- The spouse of a mother who takes maternity leave is eligible for maternity pay during the leave according to the relevant conditions.
- For more information, see maternity allowance for the spouse of a woman that gave birth
- Female couples - The mother is entitled to a maternity allowance if she went on maternity leave and is covered by National Insurance. Her spouse may share maternity leave with her in accordance with the requirements for paternity leave.
- Male couples:
- A paternity allowance is paid to the biological father who goes on paternity leave, as long as he is covered by National Insurance (and assuming the mother is not entitled to a maternity allowance). The allowance can be split between 2 men if the conditions for splitting between the spouses are met.
- When a same-sex couple has twins through surrogacy abroad, only one of them is entitled to a maternity allowance, even if each spouse is a biological parent of one of the children. The couple can choose which one of them will receive the allowance and they can split it as long as they are not both receiving it at the same time.
- For more information see Maternity Pay for Same-Sex Couples
Intended Parents in the process of Surrogacy
- Intended parents according to the Surrogate Motherhood Agreements Law - A maternity allowance will be paid to the intended mother for the period of time beginning with the day she received custody over the child or received a parenting order.
- For more information, see Maternity Allowance for an Intended Parent Under the Surrogacy Agreements Law.
- Employees who adopt a child up to age 10 and stop working for purposes of the adoption are entitled to vacation pay in the amount equivalent to maternity pay.
- For more information, see: Maternity allowance for adopting parents (Adoption Allowance).
- Employees who accept a foster child into their home, up to 10 years old, for a period of 6 months or more, and due to this fostering have taken leave, are eligible for foster pay in the amount of maternity pay.
- For further details, see Maternity Pay for Foster Parents (Foster Pay)
Maternity Allowance Payment Period
- The period of payment of the maternity allowance is determined according to the period in which the worker paid National Insurance contributions (the "qualifying period").
- If a woman worked only part of a month it is counted as if she worked the entire month.
- For details on what is included in the "period of eligibility" see below.
|Period of Payment of Maternity Allowance||Period that National Insurance Contributions Were Paid|
(14 weeks for births that occurred before 01.01.2017)
|If the mother paid National Insurance contributions for 10 of the 14 months that preceded stopping to work, or 15 of the 22 months that preceded her stopping to work.|
(7 weeks for births that occurred before 01.01.2017)
|If the mother paid National Insurance contributions for 6 of the 14 months that preceded her stopping to work.|
Periods Included in the Calculation of Maternity Allowance Entitlement
- The following periods are taken into account when determining an woman's eligibility for maternity allowance:
- The months in which a woman worked as an independent or salaried employee in Israel (even if she is not an Israeli resident.
- The months in which a woman worked as an employee abroad on the condition that both she and her employer are Israeli residents and the employment contract was signed in Israel.
- The months in which a woman worked as an Israeli citizen representing Israel abroad (send by a government office) in a temporary position according to the guidelines of the civil service commission (this does not include someone whose husband is a foreign citizen or whose husband is employed by a foreign citizen).
- The months in which the woman received vacation pay from her employer or she was taking from her annual kupat gemel fund.
- The months for which the woman received Sick Pay from her employer.
- If a woman took Unpaid Leave Following Maternity Leave the first two months of the unpaid leave during the which her employer has to pay insurance for her are counted.
- The months in which the woman received one of the following payments or benefits: injury allowance for a workplace injury, severance pay, accident pay for personal accident injuries, maternity pay (for a previous birth), Bed Rest Benefit (for a previous birth) or a disability benefit of 100% from the workplace.
- The months in which the woman was in professional training or professional rehabilitation on the condition that she worked for at least 30 consecutive days before the day that she stopped working.
- A woman who finished her army service but did not start working yet should submit a copy of her discharge letter or her reserve duty forms.
- A woman who finished her national-civil service but did not start working yet should submit a letter showing her service period.
Maternity Allowance Rate
- The maternity allowance rate is determined according to the employee's gross salary based on which she makes National Insurance payments, up to the maximum amount of NIS 1,485.83 per day, as of 2020. For the maximum amount in previous years, see the website of the National Insurance Institute.
- The maternity allowance is computed per day according to the gross salary of the employee in the three months preceding the first of the month in which the leave began, divided by 90, or according to the total income in the six months which preceded that day, divided by 180 (whichever is higher, up to the maximum established amount).
- If during the period according to which the maternity allowance is calculated there is a temporary reduction in the worker's wage for reasons not dependent on the employee (for example, for a strike, illness, accident, death in the family or vacation), the maternity allowance will be calculated on the basis of the salary that would have been paid had it not been for the reduction. According to the memo of the National Insurance Institute, "vacation" includes vacation that lasted up to one month, even if taken by the employee's choice.
- If during the period based on which the maternity allowance is calculated, the employee received any additional payment (salary in addition to the regular salary, including a bonus or grant, not including any differentials):
- An additional payment of less than NIS 1,325 (25% of the minimum wage) will be fully calculated as part of the monthly salary for the month in which it was paid.
- An additional payment of NIS 1,325 or more will be calculated and spread out over the 12 months the employee worked (that month and 11 months prior), or less, if there were full months in which the employee did not work.
- An employee that began working in a new place on 15.01.2019 with a monthly salary of 10,000 NIS (gross) went on maternity leave on 29.11.2019.
- The employee was on unpaid leave during the entire month of March.
- In August 2019 she received a bonus of 3,500 NIS.
- The bonus amount is more than 25% of minimum wage so therefore when it is calculated it is spread out over the 7 months she worked before receiving the bonus (January, February, April, May, June, July and August).
- She is considered to have an additional 500 NIS per month for those months (3,500 divided by 7).
- In this case the amount of maternity pay she will receive is calculated based on her average salary for the 6 months prior to the first of the month that she stopped working (May, June, July, August, September and October. The salary for May-August is calculated as 10,500 NIS). This amount is higher than her average salary for the 3 months preceding the first of the month that she stopped working (August, September, October).
- The maternity allowance is computed according to the income that served as the basis for calculating the insurance premiums for the three months preceding the first of the month in which the leave began, or for the three months in the same period the previous year, whichever is higher.
- The maternity allowance will initially be paid based on the woman's previous insurance payments.
- When a final assessment is received, the maternity allowance will be calculated again according based on the assessed amount and the maternity allowance will be based on the higher of the two amounts.
Those who are both salaried employees and self-employed workers
- For those who are both salaried and self-employed workers, the maternity allowance will be paid according to their two incomes, as detailed above, on the condition that they accrued the period of entitlement from their self-employed work separately.
- An employee who worked as a salaried employee in the years preceding the maternity leave and accumulated the required period of entitlement to a maternity allowance began to work as an independent 3 months prior to taking maternity leave.
- The maternity allowance will be calculated according to the employee's salary as a salaried employee only - the employee's income as an independent person will not be considered, since the insurance contributions as an independent were not paid for the minimum period required for entitlement.
An employee who was on bed rest
- Maternity pay is calculated according to the salary/income of the woman before she stopped working to go on bed rest.
- If the woman did not work for enough months to qualify for maternity pay, and the bed rest period is added to her work time for eligibility, maternity pay is calculated according to the amount she received for the Bed Rest Benefit.
Payment of Maternity Allowance 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.
How to Claim It?
- In the following cases (except in the case of a home birth) maternity allowance is paid automatically, without the mother needing to file a claim:
- A self employed worker. In the first stage, maternity pay will be paid to the mother according to her advance insurance payments. When she receives the final assessment taking into account changes in her income, the maternity pay will be recalculated according to the assessment.
- A salaried employee whose employer has an arrangement with the National Insurance Institute, and the employer has filed the claim on her behalf.
- A woman who has received a Bed Rest Benefit until she gave birth. Maternity pay will be paid automatically to her bank account, according to the information recorded on the bed rest benefit claim form.
- One who has received unemployment benefits up until a month before birth.
Claim Submission by the Mother
- Women are not in one of the above-mentioned categories must submit a claim form for maternity allowance (including a woman who gave birth at home, even if she is an independent worker, or a salaried employee who's employer has an arrangement with the National Insurance Institute, or if she received a pregnancy benefit until birth).
- One should submit a claim for maternity pay for one who has given birth to the nearest National Insurance Institute branch. One can also submit the claim by mail, fax or at the local branch.
- One can submit a claim close to the time that she stops working, but no earlier than 9 weeks before the estimated date of delivery. One who submits the form before the birth, must have the doctor to confirm the estimated due date on the form. The form can be submitted no later than 12 months from the first date of entitlement to the maternity allowance.
- After the birth only, one can fill out the online claim form and submit the documents online.
- Documents that should be attached to the claim form include:
- In cases where the birth took place abroad, the claim form must be accompanied by confirmation of birth from the hospital (in which the birth took place).
- In cases where the birth took place at home (and not in a hospital), the claim form must be accompanied by the newborn's registration at the Ministry of Interior.
- A salaried employee will ask her employer to verify the information on the form regarding the months in which she was employed and her salary for the 10 months before she stopped working.
- If she worked for several employers, she must attach a form from each one of them.
- If during the three months preceding the date of cessation of work the employee did not receive full wages (due to illness, accident, strike or for reasons beyond her control), the letter should specify such information including when and why the employee did not receive a full salary. Appropriate documentation from a doctor or employer should be attached.
- One who was in vocational training or vocational rehabilitation in the three months previous to the 1st of the month in which she ceased working (as a salaried employee or self employed), must provide the claims clerk with a permit from the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Economy regarding the place and timing of training or vocational rehabilitation.
- A soldier who has completed her service and has not yet started to work must submit her reserves book and certificate of discharge.
- A National-Civil Service volunteer who has completed her service and has not yet started to work must submit proof of their service period.
- Foreign workers and foreign passport workers who do not have Israeli identity cards should attach to the claim confirmation of their bank account information.
- The maternity allowance will be paid in a one-time payment during the period of the maternity leave, to the bank account provided at the hospital (at the woman's first birth) or to the bank account in which child allowance is paid into.
Maternity Allowance During Extended Maternity Leave
- A birth mother or adoptive mother is entitled to extend maternity leave and receive maternity pay for the period of the extension in the following cases:
Multiple birth (more than one baby)
- Those entitled to a 15 week maternity leave are entitled to extend it by 3 weeks for each additional child born. For example, someone who gives birth to twins is entitled to maternity leave and a maternity allowance for 18 weeks, while someone who gives birth to triplets is entitled to maternity leave and a maternity allowance for 21 weeks.
- Those entitled to a 8 week maternity leave are entitled to extend it by 2 weeks for each additional child born. For example, someone who gives birth to twins is entitled to maternity leave and a maternity allowance for 10 weeks, while someone who gives birth to triplets is entitled to maternity leave and a maternity allowance for 12 weeks.
Hospitalization of the mother or the newborn
- In the event that a woman is entitled to maternity leave and she or the baby remains in the hospital or returns to the hospital for at least 15 days during the maternity leave, the woman will be entitled to extend the maternity leave for the period of hospitalization and to receive maternity allowance for the additional period.
- If both the mother and the baby were hospitalized during the maternity leave for periods of less than 15 days, the two periods of hospitalization can be combined, so that the period of entitlement may be fulfilled, provided that their hospitalization periods do not coincide.
- For additional information see Extending Maternity Leave Due to Hospitalization of the Mother or Newborn.
Splitting Payment of Maternity Pay in Case of a Temporarily Discontinued Maternity Leave
- If the mother or newborn must stay in the hospital or be re-hospitalized during regular maternity leave for more than 15 days, the mother is entitled to temporarily discontinue maternity leave in the following manner:
- After a minimum of 3 weeks from the date of birth, the mother may go back to work (meaning she must take at least 3 weeks of maternity leave from the date of birth).
- After release from the hospital (of the mother or newborn), the mother may use the rest of her maternity leave.
- When the mother goes back to work (at least 3 weeks after the birth), payment of the maternity allowance will stop and resume again when she goes back on maternity leave.
- The mother must fill out a claim form for the extension or splitting of maternity leave.
- The form may only be submitted after a maternity allowance claim has been submitted.
- Documentation from the hospital including the mother's and baby's details and the duration of hospitalization must be attached to the claim form.
- Additionally, a salaried employee must also attach approval from the employer regarding the temporary discontinuation of maternity leave; someone who is self-employed must include a written declaration.
A Woman in Vocational Training
- A person who is over age 18 and is in vocational training or professional rehabilitation will be entitled to a maternity allowance if all of the following conditions are met:
- She worked as a salaried employee or self-employed for at least 30 consecutive days before the day she stopped working during pregnancy.
- The vocational training is in a recognized school for licensed nurses and practical nurses or in a place where training or rehabilitation is provided in cooperation with the Vocational Training and Professional Development Division of the Ministry of Economics.
- The curriculum is 35 hours a week and at least 6 consecutive months.
Maternity Allowance Amount for a Woman in Vocational Training
- For a worker who was in vocational training or vocational rehabilitation in the period according to which the maternity allowance is calculated for her, the maternity allowance will be calculated as follows:
- For the period that she was salaried or self-employed, the maternity allowance will be calculated per day according to her full income, as detailed above (in the section on the maternity allowance rate).
- For the period in vocational training or vocational rehabilitation, the maternity allowance will be calculated according to the income on which the insurance premiums are calculated - 50% of the average wage, i.e. 5,276 NIS, as of 2020
Additional Information for the Self Employed
- An self employed worker can carry out operations to maintain the business during the maternity leave, without losing her entitlement to maternity allowance. In order to obtain approval for this, she must contact the nearest National Insurance Institute branch. She can also contact the branch via email or fax.
- If a self employed worker has a debt on her insurance payments, the National Insurance Institute is entitled to credit the maternity allowance to the debt on the account.
- An independent worker whose claim for maternity allowance was rejected due to a delay in payment of National Insurance contributions may be entitled to a justice grant instead of the maternity allowance. For further information, see the justice grant for those whose claim for a benefit was rejected.
||For more information see Payment During Vacation Periods for Teachers who are on Maternity Leave.|
- A person who has accumulated partial insurance periods entitled her to a maternity allowance in Israel and part in a country that has signed a social security agreement with Israel may be entitled to a maternity allowance according to the combined insurance periods she has accumulated in both countries. For more information see Maintaining social security benefits when moving between countries that are signatory to the social security agreement.
- The National Insurance Institute is permitted to revoke the right to receive a maternity allowance, in all or in part, from any recipient who works outside the home during the period in which she is receiving the allowance.
- In cases where maternity allowance is paid automatically and the woman wants her spouse to replace her in the maternity leave, it is important she notifies the local National Insurance Institute branch before delivery, to avoid creating debt and offsets from the spouse's maternity allowance.
- Traveling abroad during maternity leave -
- For the mother - there is nothing legally preventing her from going abroad during maternity leave, and it does not impact her entitlement to the maternity allowance.
- With regard to the spouse of the mother - travel abroad ceases the period of parenting entitling a maternity allowance to the spouse of the mother, both in the event that the spouse goes on maternity leave concurrently with his spouse's maternity leave and in case he replaces her and takes maternity leave when she returns to work earlier. (If the spouse travels abroad before completing seven consecutive days of leave, he will be deprived of entitlement to a maternity allowance also for the days preceding his departure from Israel).
- Maternity pay is paid in addition to the Maternity Grant paid soon after birth.
- Someone who becomes a parent of 3 or more children at the same time (a mother who gives birth to triplets or more, someone who adopts 3 or more children at the same time, someone who becomes a parent to 3 or more children at a time through surrogacy) is entitled to get a special monthly grant from the National Insurance Institute for 20 months. This is in addition to maternity allowance and the child allowance. For more information see Childbirth Allowance.
- Employees are not entitled to Severance Pay during the period for which they receive maternity pay.
- 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 list of government agencies dealing with employment and specifically with the employment of women
Laws and Regulations
- National Insurance Law - Articles 56-48.
- Amendment to the National Insurance Law - No. 193
- The Employment of Women Law Article 6
- National Insurance Regulations (Motherhood), 1954
- National Insurance Institute Circular no. 7109 from 01.04.2009 - payment of motherhood grants to same-sex couples
- National Insurance Institute memorandum regarding payment of benefits for same-sex couples
- National Insurance Institute Circular no. 1453 of May 18, 2016 - Calculation of benefit with the addition of salary supplement for unpaid leave, vacation, and maternity leave
- National Insurance Institute Circular no. 1501 - The time when one volunteers for national-civil service is included in the maternity allowance calculation (based on an agreement with the National-Civil Service Authority].
- National Insurance Institute Circular no. 1456 of 09.03.2017 - Change in the method of calculating the base for the maternity benefit for the salaried employee
- [https://www.nevo.co.il/law_html/Law01/039_149.htm#Seif4 National Insurance Regulations Insurance Payments and Exemptions) - Regulation 5
- Pension Circular no. 8/2014 - change in the division of the additional payment (June 2014)
- National Insurance Circular - clarifications regarding the distribution of additional payments (January 2009)
- English translation and maintenance by The Shira Pransky Project.