The Knesset on Monday night approved on its second and third reading a bill proposed by MK Betzalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) that would prevent employers from dismissing workers who have reached retirement age. Individuals who are working at a job and reached retirement age can legally be fired, under Israeli law. Workers who have lost a son in IDF combat are an exception to the rule; they cannot be fired when they reach retirement age.
Smotrich’s bill expands that to include all parents who have lost a child, with forced retirement postponed by a minimum of four years. The bill was approved unanimously for its second and third reading by committee members.
“Parents who have lost a child under tragic circumstances are greatly assisted to overcome their loss by being able to get out and go to work,” Smotrich said in comments accompanying the bill. “The alternative is sitting at home and experiencing depression, and this is a bad option. It is not uncommon for parents who get to retirement age in these circumstances to get depressed, to the point where they do not want to get out of bed. The purpose of the law is to provide four more years of productivity for these people, which will also provide benefit for society. For a family in mourning over a child, it makes no difference how they lost that child,” he said.