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, referred to as parenting hour, was previously 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.
- According to the ruling of the local labor court, a woman that begins a new job after her maternity leave is also entitled too this benefit on condition that she is employed full-time (or at least 174 hours). Click here to read the court ruling on the Nevo website.
- Despite the shift to a 42 hour work week, the employee is also eligible for a parenting hour on her shorter work day.
- A woman works in a place that the employees work 5 days a week and she worked 8.6 hours on Sunday-Wednesday (8 hours and 36 minutes).
- As a result of the shift to a 42 hour work week, Thursday is her shorter day and she works 7 hours and 36 minutes.
- The woman goes on maternity leave.
- When she returns from maternity leave she is entitled to miss one hour from work each day for 4 months without any deduction from her salary:
- On Sunday-Wednesday she will work 7 hours and 36 minutes.
- On Thursday she will work 6 hours and 36 minutes.
Who is Eligible?
- An employee who meets the following two conditions is eligible for Parenting Hour:
- 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).
- 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.
- A woman who starts a new job after her maternity leave is also entitled to this right provided she meets the conditions listed above.
Period of Eligibility for Nursing Hour
- The right to 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).
- 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 a 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 a 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 Parenting Hours; 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 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 Parenting Hours for 4 months beginning from the date of return to work.
- 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 Parenting Hours 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 Parenting Hours 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 Parenting Hours 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 Parenting Hours at all once she returns to work.
- 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 Parenting Hours 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 Parenting Hours 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 Parenting Hours 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 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.
- In all cases 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 entitlement can only be shared between parents on the condition that the mother gives her consent.
- Government employees are entitled to shorten their work day by an hour for the first year after the child's birth or adoption. After a year the parent can shorten the day based on the child's age. For additional information see shortened work days for parents that are government employees.
- 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.
- An employee that works during her nursing hour is not entitled to overtime pay if she did not work beyond the legally determined standard number of hours that day.
|Government Service Employees||
||Shortened work day for parents that are government employees|
- Click here for a comprehensive listing of organizations that provide assistance for issues related to employment and workers' rights.
Laws and Regulations
- The Employment of Women Law - Sections 7(c)(3) and 7b.
- English translation and maintenance by The Shira Pransky Project.