Friday, 23 April 2010

Employment Termination: Employee Rights and Obligations

As a new immigrant you should be aware that your rights and obligations as an employee are not always clear to both employer and employee. Therefore, I have written a brief list of subjects you should carefully go through before you quit your job or immediately after being fired from your job.

Early Termination Announcement

This announcement should be done via a written letter, but does not necessarily have to be so. As an employee, I strongly advise you to request a written letter. This will avoid future misunderstandings regarding the effective day you were informed that your job was ending. The employer has a legal obligation to inform you of your termination from between 15 and 30 days before your actual termination. As your employer has an obligation to notify you of your end of employment, you also must notify (by a written letter) your employer of your intention as well.

Severance Payment

The law stipulates that you receive one month of salary for every year you have worked. The court has ruled that it is not necessary to work a full first year in order to be entitled to severance pay. There are cases in which ten months (and few days) is enough to entitle you to severance pay. Please consult a lawyer in case of any doubts.

Even if you work as “self-employed”, i.e., you have your own file at the Israeli IRS, you can be considered an employee as the court has ruled endless times. This is a special right if the “employer” has total control of your schedule, working procedures, etc. It is imperative to consult a lawyer and check, if by definition; you can be considered an “employee” versus “self-employed”.

Checklist for Final Paycheck

If you work in a place where you receive a regular paycheck, as most jobs provide today, you can find all the information you need in the paycheck stub, without the help of an accountant or a lawyer. In this paycheck you will find the vacation days you took and how many more are left, thereby entitling you to payment for the unused vacation days.

“Dmai Avra’a” and Other Rights

This is a monetary payment for your personal leisure (this could be between four and ten days a year). Most employers pay this amount in July and August every year. Be sure you are paid for every year that you are employed.

Pension funds must be immediately released to you. Please note that by the passing of the new law of 2008, the severance payment is included in your pension fund.

The rights you have, even if it is otherwise stipulated in the contract, are: extra hours, night shifts, holiday shifts, etc. Be sure you are paid accordingly and preferably when you are actually employed.

“Dmai Chagim” (Holidays)

If you are paid an hourly wage, and you do not work on holidays, you are still entitled to receive partial payment for the holidays you did not or could not work (up to nine days a year). Most employers do not respect this right, so be aware.

Checking the Contract

When terminating your job, you are advised to reread your contract and make sure you have received every one of your benefits. Every category of employment has its own contract and benefits, although there are basic rights and benefits (stipulated by various labor laws) that cannot be waived or canceled, even by mutual agreement (such as severance payment, etc.).


  • If you believe it is suitable to you, ask for a letter of recommendation.
  • Make sure you have no employer property in your possession; if you have retained anything, return it as soon as possible, and ask for a receipt (if it is relevant).
  • Ask for the tax form 106 and 161.

Please note that this is only a very short introduction to the subject. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.


Tzvi Szajnbrum, Attorney at Law

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