Fathers will be able to receive maternity leave up to a month at the expense of the state

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by Ifi Reporter Category:Government May 11, 2022

Fathers will be able to receive maternity leave lasting between two weeks and a month at the expense of the state, without offsetting the mother's maternity leave - this is the reform announced today by Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Israel Beiteinu) and Transport Minister Merav Michaeli (Labor). The cost to the state budget will reach hundreds of millions of shekels a year.
Today, women in Israel after a normal birth are entitled to 15 weeks of unpaid work leave, and then to unpaid leave at their own expense up to one year after the birth.
At the same time, fathers can take advantage of part of the mother's maternity leave from the seventh week onwards - in the place of the mother, when she returns to work. However, the exercise rate of fathers who take advantage of the father’s vacation days is less than 1%. In addition, the father may take only one week of vacation in parallel with the mother, not at her expense, when he and the mother are not working at the same time.
The purpose of the new proposal is to increase the scope of fathers' leave, which they will be able to exercise after the end of the mother's maternity leave - so that the mother's maternity leave will not be harmed. Under the proposal, after the 15 weeks of the mother's maternity leave, the father will be able to take maternity leave of between two weeks and a month (not yet determined). The goal is for the father to be left alone with the baby and receive funding at the expense of the state, so that the mother can return to work as quickly as possible, and her harm after birth is reduced. This move is in line with the recommendations of the OECD organization.
Although the ministers have already announced the move, the model itself has not yet been determined and it is unclear what the length of maternity leave will be and whether the conditions will be different. For example, it is not clear at this time whether the father will be able to exercise his maternity leave in case the mother decides to continue on unpaid leave. Although the ministers have already announced the move, the model itself has not yet been determined. For example, it is not clear at the moment whether the father will be able to exercise his maternity leave in case the mother decides to continue on unpaid leave.
The total cost of the move is hundreds of millions of shekels a year. The move requires a legislative process in the Knesset, which should go through the 2023 budget. However, the overall budget has not yet been determined in accordance with the future model. In addition, the move depends, of course, on the approval of the 2023 budget - which is currently unclear.
The move is based, among other things, on a study by the recently published Chief Economist Division of the Ministry of Finance that dealt with the "mothers' fine." According to the study, a mother's salary after the first birth falls by about 30%, mainly due to a reduction in the number of hours, but also due to an overall decrease in salary.
At a press conference today (Wednesday) in Jerusalem, Lieberman said that "as part of the goals of the 2023 budget, we will try to reduce gaps in Israeli society. Minister Michaeli talked to me about it before the 2022-2021 budget, and I said the idea seemed interesting, but I do not know if it will be possible. "It simply came to our notice then. In no other government has this been possible."
 "Not every day a vision comes true that I work for for 20-15 years," Minister Michaeli said at the press conference. "This is a significant day for all of us in the struggle for equality on all fronts. In the first months of the baby's life, the relationship between parent and child is formed, both gender roles and stereotypes and the world of work are shaped after birth."
Michaeli said that the new move will reduce the wage gap in the world of work. "This is a demand of the Labor Party in the coalition agreements. I am proud to be part of a government that is taking such significant steps for gender and civic equality."
The law itself will be written in the Ministry of Economy and is supposed to operate through Social Security. The man will receive, like the woman, 100% of his gross wage up to a maximum of about three times the average wage in the economy.
Regarding the future state budget, Lieberman said that "the most significant thing is to deal with inflation and the cost of living. I believe we will stop it. In preparation for the budget, we will deal with issues of the cost of living, affordable housing and increasing disposable income."
Lieberman was asked if he was satisfied with the events at the Electric Company, where the chairman resigned and there is currently no CEO, amid allegations of political interference, and an external investigation into the matter has even begun. In response, Lieberman said: "I am not a director of the company. I definitely support any candidate brought by the energy minister. I did not recommend anyone. The IEC is the largest and most important company among government companies, and the situation where there is currently no chairman and CEO is wrong. "I hope this is resolved as soon as possible. I did not understand what my involvement was. I did not turn to any director and did not ask to appoint anyone."

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