A separate entry, Maternity Allowance (Maternity Pay), discusses the part of the maternity leave during which the employee is paid a maternity allowance by the National Insurance Institute.
Employees who have worked at least 12 consecutive months for the same employer or at the same place of employment are entitled to 26 weeks of maternity leave (the period of birth and parental leave).
- An employee who has worked less than 12 months for the same employer or at the same place of employment is entitled to 15 weeks of maternity leave (women who gave birth before January 1, 2017 are entitled to 14 weeks' leave).
- Seven weeks of the leave can be taken before the anticipated date of the birth (or less, if the woman wishes) and the rest can be taken after the birth.
- It is important to note that the National Insurance Institute pays for only part of the leave. For more information, see Maternity Allowance (Maternity Pay).
- The woman is entitled to divide the maternity leave with her spouse, as detailed below.
- The employee continues to accrue social benefits that are given based on seniority during his/her maternity leave (see details [[#Social Benefits During Maternity Leave|below).
- Any employee, regardless of seniority (ותק), is entitled to take Unpaid Leave Following Maternity Leave, during which, and for 60 days afterwards, she may not be fired.
Who is Eligible?
A salaried employee who has given birth
- An employee who has worked at least 12 months for the same employer or in the same place of employment is entitled to 26 weeks of maternity leave.
- An employee who has worked for less than 12 months for the same employer or in the same place of employment is entitled to a 15-week maternity leave. (For a birth prior to January 1, 2017, she is entitled to a 14-week maternity leave.)
- An employee is entitled to maternity leave even if the fetus/baby died after the birth.
- Article 39 of the National Insurance Law defines "birth" as the birth of a live fetus (in any of the weeks of pregnancy) or a birth after 22 weeks of pregnancy
- Accordingly, the accepted interpretation is that women who have had an abortion or termination of pregnancy after the 22nd week are considered to be women who have given birth, and they are entitled to the same rights and legal protections as women who gave birth to a live baby. For more information on rights in this situation see Rights when giving birth to a stillborn.
- For information about a miscarriage before the 22 weeks have passed, see Employment Rights for Women after a Miscarriage.
The spouse of a woman who gave birth
- The mother's spouse may take maternity leave in the following situations:
- If a mother entitled to maternity leave has chosen to cut it short, once 6 weeks after the birth have passed, her spouse may replace her and take the remaining period of the maternity leave.
- A spouse of a mother entitled to maternity leave, is entitled to take a one-week paternity leave at the same time as the woman's maternity leave, as long as the woman forfeits, in writing, her maternity pay for the last week in which she was entitled to it.
- A spouse of a mother who has the child is with him and he is its exclusive caregiver because the woman is disabled or ill, and a doctor provides written confirmation that because of her disability or illness, the woman is not able to care for the child.
- For further information, see Spouse's Paternity Leave below.
- Adoptive parents. For further information, see Parental Leave for Adoptive Parents (Adoption Leave).
- Parents who receive custody of a baby from a surrogate mother. For further information, see Parental Leave for a Parent according to to the Surrogacy Agreements Law.
- Parents who have a foster child up to the age of 10 for a period exceeding 6 months. For further information, see Parental Leave for Parents in a Foster Family (Fostering Leave).
Payment of maternity allowance during maternity leave
- While an employee is on maternity leave she is not entitled to be paid a salary, but for some of the period, she is entitled to be paid a Maternity Allowance (Maternity Pay) by the National Insurance Institute, based on the period for which national insurance taxes were paid for her.
- An employee who paid national insurance taxes for 10 out of the 14 months preceding her maternity leave, or 15 out of the 22 months preceding her maternity leave is entitled to a maternity allowance for 15 weeks of the maternity leave. (For births before January 1, 2017, she is entitled to a maternity allowance for 14 weeks.)
- An employee who paid national insurance taxes for 6 out of the 14 months preceding her maternity leave is entitled to a maternity allowance for 8 weeks of the maternity leave. (For births before January 1, 2017, she is entitled to a maternity allowance for 7 weeks.)
- The employee is not entitled to any payment or maternity allowance for the remaining weeks of the maternity leave, but she continues to accrue benefits based on her seniority (ותק) in her place of employment during those weeks.
- A worker who worked one year and 3 months in her place of work is entitled to a maternity leave of 26 weeks.
- The worker paid national insurance for at least 15 of the 22 months preceding the time she went on maternity leave.
- She will be paid a Maternity Allowance (Maternity Pay) for 15 out of the 26 weeks of her maternity leave. The remaining 11 weeks are unpaid.
- A woman who worked 6 months in her place of work is entitled to a maternity leave of 15 weeks.
- The worker paid national insurance for at least 6 of the 14 months preceding the time she went on maternity leave.
- She will be paid a Maternity Allowance (Maternity Pay) for 8 out of the 15 weeks of her maternity leave. The remaining 7 weeks are unpaid.
- A woman who worked 10 months in her place of work is entitled to a maternity leave of 15 weeks.
- The worker paid national insurance for at least 10 of the 14 months preceding the time she went on maternity leave.
- She will be paid a Maternity Allowance (Maternity Pay) for all 15 weeks of her maternity leave.
Shortening Maternity Leave
- An employee who worked at least 12 months, is entitled to shorten her maternity leave provided that the maternity leave is not less than 15 weeks.
- If an employee informs her employer that she would like to return to work early from maternity leave, the employer may not delay her return more than 3 weeks.
- Despite this, a woman can choose to shorten her maternity once 6 weeks have passed (or any time after that) if her spouse takes the remaining maternity leave instead of her.
- An employee whose spouse took maternity leave during the last week in which the woman is entitled to a maternity allowance is entitled to return to her work during that week provided that she waived the maternity allowance for that week.
- In a case that women shortens her maternity leave he husband can split it with her beginning in the 7th week after birth. He must take at least 7 days of leave in order to be eligible to receive the maternity pay. (For more information see Maternity Pay for a Mother's Spouse.
- This right is given to every employee that gives birth independent of her seniority at work and her eligibility for maternity pay. (This includes people who are entitled to 26 weeks of maternity leave, 15 weeks of leave, and 8 weeks of leave.)
- For more information see Maternity Leave for a Spouse.
- Likewise, a woman entitled to Maternity Allowance (Maternity Pay) for 15 weeks who has a spouse that takes leave the last week, may return to work that week (i.e. after 14 weeks) on condition that she forfeits her maternity pay for that week.
- The mother can remain on maternity leave week while her spouse also takes leave (without being entitled to maternity pay for that week).
- If the mother is entitled to maternity pay for 8 weeks, she is not permitted to shorten her leave and she may not return to work until the 15 week maternity leave period is over.
- For more information see Maternity Leave for a Spouse.
- Additionally, maternity leave may be shortened in the following cases, provided that there is the consent of the employee and written approval from a physician, and provided that the period of leave will be for at least three weeks after birth:
- In the case that the child is not alive (for example the baby passed away after birth or was Stillborn).
- A woman who gave birth and put her baby up for adoption, or is a surrogate mother provided that within 14 days from birth the employee gives the employer a written notice regarding their agreement to shorten maternity leave, and notes the date on which they intend to conclude their maternity leave.
Extending Paid Maternity Leave
- A woman who gave birth to more than one baby in the same labor is entitled to extend the maternity leave by 3 weeks (beyond the 26 weeks given by law) for each additional child born and receive a maternity allowance for this period:
- A mother entitled to a maternity allowance for a 15 weeks is entitled to extend it by 3 weeks for each additional child born and receive maternity allowance for this period (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, etc.).
- A mother entitled to a maternity allowance for a 8 weeks, is entitled to extend it by 3 weeks for each additional child born and receive maternity allowance pay for 2 of the 3 week extension (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, etc.).
Hospitalization of the mother or the newborn
- A mother or newborn who must remain in the hospital after childbirth, or be re-hospitalized during regular maternity leave for at least 15 days, is entitled to extend maternity leave for the period of hospitalization and receive additional maternity pay for the period of extension. For more information see: Extending Maternity Leave Due to Hospitalization of the Mother or Newborn.
- In this case you can also Temporarily Discontinue Maternity Leave (stop it temporarily due to hospitalization and renew it when the hospitalization is over.)
How to Claim It?
- The right to maternity pay should be provided automatically by the employer.
- An employer is not allowed to prevent an employee from taking maternity leave, and an employee may take maternity leave without the consent of the employer. If an employer fires or harm an employee's job, the employee may file a compensation claim against them. For more information see:
Social Benefits During Maternity Leave
- Maternity leave does not negatively impact employees' seniority (ותק) at their place of employment.
- During maternity leave, employees continue to accrue seniority with regard to social benefits, such as convalescence pay (דמי הבראה), annual vacation time, sick days, and severance pay (פיצויי פיטורים). An employees accumulation of seniority does not stop due to maternity leave, and the legal relationship between an employer and an employee does not stop (you can find reference to the laws and extension orders relevant to the specific rights.)
- However, the number of annual vacation days that the employee is entitled to during the year of the maternity leave is determined by the number of days that he/she actually worked during that year. For information regarding the calculation of the number of vacation days see here.
- A woman who works full-time, 5 days a week and began working on 01.01.2015.
- In 2017 (her third year of work) she went on maternity leave and worked only 100 days total that year.
- Her legal relationship with her employer did not stop and she continues to accrue seniority. She is entitled to a gross number of 16 vacation days as if she worked that entire year.
- Because she worked less than 200 days that year she is entitled to a relative number of the gross number of vacation days she is entitled to vacation days based on the number of days she actually worked relative to 200.
- The employee is entitled to 8 days gross (6 days in practice) in 2017 according to the following calculation: 100 divide buy 200 multiplied by 16 (gross number of days) - this is 8 days (gross, including Friday and Saturday), so she is entitled to 6 days net of vacation.
- The employer must continue making contributions to the employee's monthly pension plan, during his/her maternity leave but only for the time which the employee receives a maternity allowance. An employer who has contributed to the employee's provident fund or Advanced Study Fund is obligated to continue contributing during the employees maternity leave. For more information, see: Provident Fund, Pension, and Advanced Study Fund Contributions During Maternity Leave.
- According to the law, if an employer provides its employees with a holiday gift, the gift must also be provided to employees who are on maternity leave. To read the verdict on this topic, see no discrimination against a worker on maternity in holiday gift giving.
Tax Benefits for an Employee on Maternity Leave
- An employee on maternity leave is entitled to income tax benefits in the tax year in which the baby is born.
- When a child is born, both parents are entitled to income tax credit points (retroactive from the beginning of that year) even if they did not take maternity leave.
- If the employee returned to work before the end of the tax year (that the child was born in) he/she should updated form 101 right away, before the end of the tax year. Updating before the end of the year enables the employer to grant the employee the benefit on his/her pay slip retroactively for the entire year.
- If the employee returns to work after the end of the tax year (ie the maternity leave started in one year but the employee went back to work in the following year), a request for a tax refund for the year that the child was born should be submitted.
- As a result of the birth, the woman is entitled to tax exemption points for all of 2017.
- Because 2017 has ended she can not get the benefit through her salary and instead she has to submit a tax refund request for 2017.
- Please note: Filling out form 101 at the beginning of 2018 does not cause a retroactive credit for 2017. If the employee did not receive the credit in 2017, he/she can submit a tax refund request to the tax assessor in 2018.
For information on tax credit points granted to employees that become parents see:
- Income Tax Credit Points for Parents of Toddlers (under age 6)
- Income Tax Credit Points for Parents of Children Under Age 5
- Income Tax Credit Points for Parents of Children Under Age 18
- For more information on tax credit points see the Income Tax Credit Points portal.
- It is prohibited to fire an employee while on maternity leave.
- Maternity Leave is for a continuous period of time, except in cases where it is split due to hospitalization of the mother or infant. Festivals or days of mourning do not stop maternity leave. The mother or her spouse is not entitled to extended vacation due to these events.
- Mothers on maternity leave are entitled to assistance in paying for childcare.
- Travel abroad during maternity leave:
- Regarding the mother- there is nothing in the law preventing overseas travel during maternity leave, and it does not impair the entitlement to Maternity Allowance (Maternity Pay).
- Regarding the mother's spouse - Travel abroad stops the period of parental leave that the spouse is eligible for maternity pay, both in situations where the spouse takes the leave simultaneously to the mother and if he takes the maternity in place of the mother. (If the spouse travels abroad before completing 7 consecutive days of leave, he also loses the right to receive maternity pay for the days of leave he took before he left the country.)
- Monthly maternity pension for those who have 3 or more children at a time:
- Someone who has become a parent to 3 or more children at the same time (a woman who gave birth to 3 or more babies in one birth, someone who adopted 3 or more children at the same time and someone who became a parent to 3 or more children through surrogacy) are eligible for a special monthly pension from the National Insurance Institute for a period of 20 months, in addition to the regular Child Allowance and Maternity Allowance (Maternity Pay).
- For more information see Childbirth Allowance.
- A bed rest benefit for a worker who returned from maternity leave will be calculated on the basis of the regular salary she would have earned if she had not been on leave
- 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".
- Click here for a comprehensive listing of government officials responsible for the issue of employment, including bodies dealing with women's employment in a specific field.
Laws and Regulations
- The Employment of Women Law - section 6.
- The National Insurance Law -sections 48-56.
- The Law Changes the Periods of Time for Birth and Parenting (Law Amendments), 5777-2017.
- The Employment of Women Regulations (Partial maternity leave for an employee whose spouse gave birth, 5759-1999
- The Employment of Women Regulations (Notification of consent to shorten maternity leave), 5774-2014.
- English translation and maintenance by The Shira Pransky Project.