The Knesset plenum on Monday passed into law the National Insurance Bill, which proposes to exempt employers from paying Bituach Leumi (national insurance) and health insurance fees for workers who were on unpaid leave during the coronavirus crisis.
Currently, employers are obligated to pay the national insurance and health insurance fees of workers on unpaid leave for a period of two months. From the third month and on, these insurance fees are paid by the employee. The bill proposes to exempt employers from paying these fees for workers who were on unpaid leave for at least a month between April 2020 and April 2021, without violating the workers’ social rights. The cost of the legislation is estimated at NIS 500 million.
The explanatory notes attached to the bill say, “In the current state of affairs, most businesses were forced to place all their workers, or most of them, on unpaid leave, and obligating the employers during the corona crisis – in which they have no revenue at all or their revenue had dramatically decreased – to pay the insurance fee for workers who are not employed in the business, has placed a significant burden on the businesses.”