Introduction:

Full-time employees (as accepted in her place of work), or employees that work at least 174 hours a month are entitled to be absent from work for one hour per day for the first 4 months following maternity leave without it impacting on their salary
Employees who do not breastfeed are also entitled to this right
The absence can be split between husband and wife
Parents who adopt a child or are parents due to surrogacy, are also entitled to this hour of absence, in accordance with the terms set out below.
For more information, see section 7c(3) and 7b of the Womens' Employment Law

A woman returning from Maternity Leave that is employed full-time (as accepted in her place of work) or that works at least 174 hours a month, is entitled to be absent for one hour a day from work for 4 months after she returns to work.

  • This shortened workday, is referred to as "Nursing Hour" although it is not exclusively connected to breastfeeding (though it can be used for women to pump milk), and is also granted to employees who do not breastfeed or pump breast milk.
  • As of 28.08.2016 the right (also referred to as "Parenting Hour"), under specific circumstances, may be divided between both parents, either that each parent takes the hour on different days or that the same parent always takes it. This is on the condition, that the mother has given her consent.
  • The number of combined Parenting Hours shall not exceed the number of hours that the woman would have been entitled to, had she taken them all herself.
  • The right to the "Nursing Hour" (Parenting Hour) is in addition to the work breaks granted in accordance with The Work and Rest Hours Law, and it may not be deducted from an employee's salary. The employee will be paid his/her regular salary for the parenting hour that he/she is absent for as if he/she worked that hour.
  • There are certain places of employment where this right is granted for longer periods of time, such as government service workers.
Tip
An employee who does not take advantage of his/her parenting hour, and works a full day, is not eligible for overtime compensation (unless he/she exceeded the maximum number of hours in a work day.

Who is Eligible?

  • An employee who meets the following two conditions is eligible for Parenting Hour:
    1. The scope of the woman's work is at least 174 hours a month or is considered full-time, as accepted in her workplace (there are certain places that define "full-time" as less than the established amount of 42 hours a week or 182 hours a month. Click here for examples).
    2. The woman is returning from Maternity Leave
  • The partner of the mother take advantage of the benefit instead of the her or share the benefit with the mother, provided that both are working full time (as is the practice in each of their respective places of work) or at least 174 hours and month and that the mother has given consent (in this case the spouse can use the entire benefit or the benefit can be split between the spouses).
  • In accordance with The Surrogate Motherhood Agreements Law, Surrogate parents are entitled to choose one one the parents to receive the benefit. For more information see Nursing hour for surrogate parents.
  • In the case of Adoptive parents, if both spouses are adoptive parents, they are entitled to choose one parent to receive the full benefit., If that parent did not take use the entire allotted period, the other parent can take advantage of the remainder of the unused benefit. For more information see Nursing Hour for Adopted Parents.


Period of Eligibility for Nursing Hour

  • The right to "Nursing Hour" (Parenting Hour) applies during the first 4 months following an employee's return from maternity leave (and not simply from the end of the period during which she received maternity allowance, which may be a shorter period of time), meaning that.
  • The length of maternity leave is determined based on how long the employee has been in his/her place of work:
  • Employees with seniority of at least one year at the same place of employment (and thus their partners also, should she chose to divide the benefit) are entitled to Nursing Hour (Parenting Hour) beginning from the end of the 26th week of maternity leave. .
  • Employees with seniority of less than one year at the same place of employment (and thus their partners also, should she chose to divide the benefit) are entitled to Nursing Hour (Parenting Hour) beginning from the end of the 15th week of maternity leave.
  • An employee who is entitled to extended maternity leave according to the law (due do birth of multiples or the hospitalization of the mother or the baby) is entitled to the Nursing Hour for 4 months from her return to work.
  • If an employee takes paid or unpaid leave as an extension of her maternity leave, this period overlaps with her 4 month eligibility for "Nursing Hour"; meaning that the 4 months begin at the end of maternity leave and not at the end of any extended leave. This means that if an employee chooses to take an extended leave of more than 4 months, she will not be entitled to a "Nursing Hour" (Parenting Hour) upon returning to work. This all applies to her partner as well.
  • Employees who choose to shorten maternity leave and return to work early (after less than 26 weeks) (and likewise their partners if they choose to split the benefit) are entitled to Nursing Hour (Parenting Hour) for 4 months beginning from the date of return to work.
Example
Employee with seniority of one year or more at the same place of employment
  • The employee worked full-time for 3 years.
  • She is entitled to 26 weeks of maternity leave (during which she is entitled to receive a maternity allowance for 15 weeks).
  • If she chooses to shorten her maternity leave and returns to work after 15 weeks, (likewise her partner if she chooses to split the benefit), she will be entitled to "Nursing Hour" for 4 months from the date of her return.
  • If she returns to work at the end of the 26 weeks, she will also be entitled to "Nursing Hour" for 4 months from the date of her return.
  • If she extends maternity leave for one month beyond the 26 weeks (either through using her annual vacation days, or by taking unpaid leave), she will be entitled to "Nursing Hour" for 3 months from the date of her return.
  • If she extends her leave for more than 4 months beyond the 26 weeks she will not be entitled to "Nursing Hour" at all once she returns to work.
Example
Employee with seniority of less than one year at the same place of employment
  • The employee worked full-time for half a year.
  • She is entitled to 15 weeks of maternity leave.
  • If she returns to work after 15 weeks, she (and likewise her partner if she chooses to split the benefit) will be entitled to "Nursing Hour" for 4 months from the date of her return.
  • If she extends her leave for 3 months beyond the 15 weeks of maternity leave (either through using her annual vacation days or by taking unpaid leave), she will be entitled to "Nursing Hour" for one month from the date of her return.
  • If she extends her leave for more than 4 months beyond the 15 weeks of maternity leave, she will not be entitled to "Nursing Hour" at all.

How to Claim It?

  • The right should be granted automatically by the employer.

Division of the benefit between the spouses or use of the benefit by the mother's partner

  • When spouses want to divide the nursing hour (parenting hour) entitlement, or the entitlement is only utilized by the mother's partner, they must notify their employers.
    • Both people must notify their employers no later than 21 days before the end of the Maternity Leave, and submit a signed disclaimer form, notifying their choice to utilize the right of Parenting Hour, with a partner.
    • If the couple completes the disclaimer form at a later date, they will be allowed to divide the entitlement only 21 days after the submission of the disclaimer, in the meantime, only the woman will be able to take advantage of the benefit;
    • In the disclaimer, each partner should specify the specific days in the work week which they will exercise their right to be absent from work for one hour. Partners may deviate from the agreement from time to time, but to do so each partner must obtain consent from their employer.
    • Permanent changes can be made to the way the couple utilizes the Parenting Hour. In order to make changes, the couple must resubmit a new disclaimer form to their employers and the change will take effect after 21 days. If one spouse is working shifts the change will enter into effect one month after the new disclaimer was sent.
  • Shift Workers in the Manufacturing or in the Hotel Industries- If one of the partners works in shifts in the manufacturing or hotel industries, they are entitled to alternate the use of the parenting hour over specific periods; ( ie instead of switching off fixed days per week they switch off consecutive periods in which each partner will utilize the right and will be absent for one hour work), provided that any such period lasts at least 3 weeks. The alternating periods can be shorter if the employers agree.
Example
A couple where one spouse works in shifts in the hotel industry - for the first three weeks, the first spouse will utilize the benefit, and three weeks later they will switch and the other spouse will take the parenting hour , and then again the first spouse, etc. (each time one spouse takes advantage of the benefit for at least 3 weeks before passing it to the other, except in the case where the employee's employer agrees to shorter periods
.
  • The number of combined Parenting Hours shall not exceed the number of hours that the woman would have been entitled to, had she taken them all herself.

Please Note

  • The entitlement can only be shared between parents on the condition that the mother gives her consent.
  • The Ministry of Health encourages mothers nursing their babies and there are various benefits related to breastfeeding for nursing mothers. For more information see Rights of Nursing Mothers.

Aid Organizations

  • 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".

Government Agencies

For a list of government agencies dealing with employment and specifically with the employment of women

Laws and Regulations

Credits