Foreign workers are entitled to various rights during pregnancy, and their employers are subject to restrictions and obligations accordingly
Along with the rights given by the various labor laws, there are ruled that are determined by the Population and Immigration Authority, and relate to the status of the workers during and after pregnancy
The Population Authority's rules are subject to the provisions of the labor laws, and can not detract from the employee's rights guaranteed under these laws
This rights guide organizes the rights of foreign workers during pregnancy and after birth.
Rights During Pregnancy
- A foreign worker is entitled to medical tests connected to pregnancy as long as they are included in the health insurance policy that her provider purchased for her.
- The worker is entitled to miss work for pregnancy tests without having money deducted from her salary, up to the amount of hours established in the law. For additional information see Absence from Work for a Foreign Worker During Pregnancy.
Prohibition of employment for overtime hours, rest days and night work
- It is forbidden to employ a woman from her fifth month of pregnancy and on for overtime hours, weekly rest day. Additionally it is forbidden to employ her in night work from the fifth month of pregnancy, if she informs her employer in writing that she does not agree to work at night, similar to Israeli workers.
- A woman who is denied these rights may file a complaint against her employer with the labor laws enforcement unit.
Absence from work
- A pregnant foreign worker is entitled to be absent from work for pregnancy related tests without deduction from her salary in the same way Israeli employees are.
- A pregnant foreign worker who is on bed rest is not entitled to a Bed Rest Benefit from the National Insurance Institute, even if a doctor determined that she has to be on rest.
- The worker can use her accrued Sick Days during this period (up to maximum number of days she has accrued) and be paid her regular salary from her employer (on condition she brings a sick note from the doctor).
- Additionally she is entitled to request from her employer to use her accrued vacation days and miss days from work during this period at the expense of her annual vacation days.
- The worker can advance her maternity leave and begin it up to 7 weeks before her due date in the same way Israeli employees can.
- For additional information see Absence from Work for a Foreign Worker During Pregnancy.
Prohibition to fire a pregnant worker
- It is forbidden to fire a pregnant worker because of her pregnancy even if she has worked less than 6 months for the employer.
- If the worker has been employed by the same employer or in the same place of work for at least 6 months it is forbidden to fire her for any reason except in a case where the employer received a approval from the Women's Employment Law Ombudsman in the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (the permit will never be given if the reason is the worker's pregnancy). The obligation to request a permit in order to fire a pregnant woman who worked for at least 6 months for the same employer or in the same place of work applies even if the dismissal is not related to the pregnancy of the worker, for example if the patient died or moved to a nursing home.
- If an employer wants to fire a pregnant worker during this time he must submit a request to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs regulations department.
- The permit is given by the Women's Employment Law Ombudsman only in cases where he is convinced that the dismissal is not connected to the pregnancy. The Ombudsman has discretion not to grant the permit even if the dismissal is unrelated to pregnancy, after considering all the circumstances related to the labor relations in the workplace.
- In a case that a pregnant worker is fired without a permit, a complaint can be filed against the employer with the Labor Law Enforcement Unit, and a claim for compensation can also be filed.
- For additional information see Prohibition of Firing a Pregnant Employee.
Prohibition to reduce the scope of the job
- It is forbidden to reduce the scope of the job or the income of a pregnant woman who has worked for her employer for at least 6 months without permission from the Ministry of Labor.
- If an employer violates these rights a complaint can be submitted against him with the Labor Law Enforcement Unit.
- If an employer reduced the salary of a pregnant worker without permission, the worker can sue him for compensation for the amount she lost. In this case a claim should be submitted to the local labor court.
- For additional information see Prohibition of Changing the Position or Salary of a Pregnant Employee.
Staying in Israel
- A foreign worker who has to stop working for medical reasons connected to her pregnancy is eligible to receive a B/2 visa to remain in Israel until she gives birth even though she is not working.
- In order to stay in Israel during her maternity leave she has to request a visa to remain in the country for up to 14 weeks after giving birth.
- For additional information see Living and Working in Israel as Foreign Worker After Giving Birth.
Rights of a Foreign Worker after she Gives Birth
Coverage of hospital costs
- A foreign worker who was employed in Israel during her pregnancy and the wife of a foreign worker employed in Israel for at least 6 consecutive months before the birth (even if she herself is not working) is entitled to coverage of the hospitalization costs. The payment is transferred directly from the National Insurance Institute to the hospital.
- A worker who paid the hospital fees by mistake or under pressure may be entitled to a refund. For this purpose it is very important to keep the receipts given for the payments.
- For additional information see Coverage of Hospital Expenses for a Foreign Worker to Give Birth (Hospitalization Grant).
- A foreign worker who was employed in Israel during her pregnancy and the wife of a foreign worker employed in Israel for at least 6 consecutive months before the birth (even if she herself is not working) is entitled to a maternity grant if she gives birth in Israel.
- For additional information see Maternity Grant for a Foreign Worker.
- A foreign worker is entitled to maternity leave in the same way that an Israeli employee is. For additional information see Maternity Leave for a Foreign Worker.
- The worker is entitled to Maternity Allowance (Maternity Pay) for the first 15 weeks of her maternity leave.
- The worker is allowed to extend her maternity leave without pay in the same way that Israeli employees can. The maximum amount of time she can extend for is a quartr of the time she worked for her employer and no more than a year from the day she gives birth. For additional information see Unpaid Leave Following Maternity Leave for Foreign Workers.
- The worker must arrange in advance to stay in Israel during her maternity leave and unpaid leave (if she chooses to extend her maternity leave). This done by applying for a B/2 visa (staying in Israel without working). For additional information see Living and Working in Israel as Foreign Worker After Giving Birth.
Child Allowance and Birth Allowance
- A foreign worker living in Israel legally who has been employed in Israel for at least 6 months is entitled to receive a child allowance for each of her children under age 18 that live with her in Israel. For additional information see Child Allowance for Foreign Workers.
- If the worker gives birth to 3 or more children at once she is also entitled to receive a birth allowance for 9 months (in actuality the National Insurance Institute pays it over a period of 20 months). For additional information see Childbirth Allowance for a Foreign Worker who Gave Birth to 3 or More Children at the Same Time.
Prohibition to fire or negatively change the job scope or income of a worker after her maternity leave
- The Women's Employment Law puts limits on firing and changing the job scope of women during pregnancy, maternity leave and even after that. The law also applies to foreign workers.
- For additional information see:
Arranging to stay in Israel and working after birth
- A foreign worker who wants to continue working in Israel after she gives birth needs to arrange her living and working permits.
- A foreign worker who gave birth during her first 63 months of working in Israel is entitled to choose whether to leave the country with the child and then return to work in Israel without the child or continue to stay in Israel with the child until the end of 63 months from the day she first received a B / 1 visitor visa.
- A foreign worker who gave birth after she has worked 63 months in Israel is required to leave the country with the child after her maternity leave. Despite this, in cases of foreign nursing care workers, if the most recent employer wants to continue employing the foreign worker, she may return to Israel without the child.
- The worker must request a B/2 visa (permit to visit Israel without permission to work) that is valid during her maternity leave and in certain cases after. With this request she should also arrange her work visa (B/1) for the period after her leave as well as a visa for her child to stay in Israel.
- For additional information see Living and Working in Israel as Foreign Worker After Giving Birth.
Medical insurance for the child
- The Ministry of Health has a program that arranges medical insurance for children who are not residents of Israel. Foreign workers can insure their children and receive parallel services to those given to children that are Israeli residents. For additional information see Health Insurance for Non-Resident Children in Israel.
Submitting a Labor Rights Violation Claim
- A foreign worker or any other person who wishes to file a complaint regarding the violation of a foreign worker's rights should contact the Foreign Workers' Rights Ombudsman in the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs to file the complaint.
- For additional information see Filing a Complaint to the Ombudsman for Foreign Worker Rights.
Aid Organizations for Foreign Workers
- Worker's Hotline
- Hotline for Refugees and Migrants
- Mesila - Center for Information and Assistance for Migrant Workers and Asylum Seekers living in Tel Aviv
- Schar Mitzva - Voluntary Legal Aid for the Poor
- Physicians for Human Rights - Israel
- The Association for Civil Rights in Israel
Aid Organizations for Employers of Foreign Workers
- The Foreign Workers' Rights Ombudsman
- The Population and Immigration Authority
- The Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services
English translation and maintenance by The Shira Pransky Project.