Israel’s government has made several material amendments to working hours laws.

42-Hour Workweek

The Israeli Minister of Labor signed an extension order that effectively shortens the workweek from 43 hours to 42 hours, without a corresponding reduction in pay. This has been done by extending the application of the General Collective Agreement (entered into by the Presidium of Business Organizations and the New General Workers’ Union) to the entire market of Israel.

Employers may choose on which day of the week to carry out the one-hour reduction, taking into account their employees’ requests and needs.

Should an employee be required to perform work during the extra hour on the shortened workday due to business needs, the employee is entitled to receive overtime pay for that hour.

A consequence of shortening the workweek is that the hourly salary rate is now calculated on the basis of 182 working hours per month (rather than 186 hours). This means that for employees working 42 hours a week or more, the hourly minimum wage (calculated as the monthly minimum wage of NIS 5,300 (USD 1,500: GBP 1,150: Euro 1,250) divided by 42 hours) has increased to NIS 29.12 (USD 8.05: GBP 6.25: Euro 6.95) per hour. It is uncertain whether this pay raise applies to those who work fewer than 42 hours per week. The extension order and Minimum Wage Law are inconsistent with one another on this issue.

Night Work and Overtime

Amendment No. 17 to the Hours of Work and Rest Law, 2018, has been published and makes a number of changes to the Hours of Work and Rest Law, 1951. Employers may now require employees to perform night work for one week every two weeks. Prior to this, employers were permitted to require employees to perform night work only for one week every three weeks.

The government has also increased the limit on overtime hours. An employee may now perform up to 16 hours of overtime work in a given week (rather than 15).


These changes may raise complicated issues for certain employers depending on the nature and method of employment at each workplace. Employers may need to reconsider the structure of employees’ working hours, the configuration of pay stubs and employment agreements, and the calculation of salary-based social benefits (such as annual leave and sick leave).

Written by Keren Assaf of Herzog, Fox & Neeman and Roger James of Ogletree Deakins