COVID-19 Jobless Benefits Won’t Be Extended Past June

View of the National Insurance Institute offices in Yerushalayim. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel’s jobless benefits for those made unemployed by the COVID-19 pandemic will cease as of June 30, Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Tuesday, after the previous government held out the possibility of an extension.

With the economy recovering after a brisk vaccine rollout, some Israeli businesses have complained of staff shortfalls and blame the benefits, particularly for those on furlough, for keeping workers at home.

Israel extended benefits last year and the government of then-Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said they might again be extended past their June 30 end-date – with eligibility narrowed to those over the age of 28 or with children.

But Lieberman said benefits would end outright, as per the schedule. A “case-by-case response” would be provided for unemployed over the age of 45, his office said in a statement.