Law / Legal: Employees’ Rights on Election Day

As Election Day is approaching, we would like to take this opportunity to summarize some of the provisions regarding the employees’ rights and employers’ obligations on that day.

Vacation Day/Yom Shabbaton

1.       National Election Day is a paid יום שבתון (Vacation Day), for the entire workforce, with the exception of “services to the public” which operate as usual.

2.       A private sector employer is obligated to pay those of her employees who do not work on Election Day and who have worked for her for at least fourteen consecutive days (including weekends) prior to Election Day, the same salary such an employee would earn if it were not a vacation day (i.e. a regular work day).

Services for the Public

The Central Election Committee of the 19th Knesset recently issued a notice detailing the different types of public services which are to operate normally on Election Day. The providers of these public services must grant their employees the opportunity to vote during the work day.  Following is a list of the public services which are included in the notice: (a) Employees of the Central Election Commission, those who perform a function or provide a service to the Election Commission, and, for the purpose of Election Day only, party employees, who perform a function or provide a service to the party, (b) Public transportation, parking lots and gas stations, (c) Food courts and restaurants, cafes and kiosks, hotels and inns, (d) Industrial or agricultural factories in which manufacturing processes are continuous, (e) Communication services, (f) Water and electricity suppliers, (g) Supply and transport of fuel, (h) Theaters, cinemas and other places of entertainment, (i) Press, radio and television, (j) Transportation of bread, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products until 11:00 am on Election Day, (k) Grocery stores between the hours of 6:00 am and Noon (up to 6 hours), (l) Bread baking and dairy production, (m) Hospitals and other health care providers which operate on a limited basis on Saturdays and holidays are to operate in the same capacity on Election Day, (n) Security forces and rescue services of all kinds, (o) Burial services and (p) Other services which generally operate on a limited basis on Saturdays and holidays and which will operate in the same capacity on Election Day.

Employment of Workers on Election Day

An employer who is not included among the services provided to the public services as listed above, may not compel his employees to work on Election Day. However, the law does not prohibit employment on Election Day if the employee voluntarily consents to do so.

The law does not address the issue of the amount of pay to which employees who work on Election Day are entitled, however in view of the prevailing practice among the General Union and employers, as well as the payment provisions of Civil Service Regulations, legal interpretation of the former chairman of Central Election Commission and rulings of the Labor Courts, an employee who works on Election Day is entitled to 200% of his average daily salary, or alternatively, his regular salary with the addition of one bonus vacation hour for every hour of work on Election Day.

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The above is intended as general information only and is not intended to serve as a legal opinion nor as legal advice and does not address many of the nuances and requirements of the Law and Regulations. Should issues arise regarding the contents of this memorandum, we suggest that you obtain specific legal consultation.


About the Author
Senior Partner at the Jerusalem-based law firm of Livnat, Mayer & Co., specializing in Elder Care, Employment Law, Wills and Corporate. One of the lawyers certified as a Specially Trained and Authorized Israeli Lawyer by the Guardian General's Office.