The Criminal Information and Rehabilitation of Offenders Law-2019

Media Centre

The Criminal Information and Rehabilitation of Offenders Law-2019

19 July 2022

Dear Clients and Friends,

On 12th July 2022, after a number of amendments and delays, the Criminal Information and Rehabilitation of Offenders Law, 5779- 2019 (the “Criminal Information Law”) came into force.

The Criminal Information Law cancels and replaces the earlier Criminal Register and Rehabilitation of Offenders Law, 5741- 1981.  The new Law includes a number of material changes regarding the right of an employer to request information regarding the criminal past of an employee or a potential employee, and if such information reaches the employer, the right of the employer to rely on that information in reaching a decision with regard to that employee or candidate.

The most significant changes for an employer in the Criminal Information Law include a new prohibition (for anyone who is not entitled by law to receive such information from the official Criminal Register) against requesting information regarding the criminal past of an actual or potential employee, either in the form of an affidavit or a written questionnaire.

This new prohibition adds to the existing prohibition which prohibits (subject to a number of exceptions specified in the Law) having access to the official Criminal Register, or requesting information regarding the criminal past of any individual, directly or indirectly, from the official Criminal Register.

In addition, the Criminal Information Law provides that a person does not have to reveal details of his or her criminal past to someone who is not entitled to receive that information according to the Law, and he or she will not have any responsibility, criminal or otherwise, for failing to provide such information.

The Criminal Information Law makes it unlawful to take into account information regarding the criminal past of an individual (including information which an employer receives not from the Criminal Register, for example, information received from social networks or from public data bases) or to take such information into account in reaching decisions, such as the decision regarding a potential employee.

Asking for information regarding a criminal past, or taking such information into account contrary to the provisions of the Criminal Information Law, is liable to expose an employer to criminal sanctions.

That said, the Criminal Information Law leaves a number of issues unresolved.  On the eve of the Law coming into effect, a number of proposals to amend the Law were submitted to the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament), including amendments to the changes outlined above.  It is therefore possible that we have not heard the last word on these various issues.

Nevertheless, the new Law represents a significant legislative change which will require a review of existing practices regarding recruitment and review of employees in the workplace.

In view of the Criminal Information Law now coming into effect, and the fact that certain practices on the part of employers are expressly prohibited (for example, requesting details of criminal past in an affidavit or questionnaire), we recommend to our clients to  study the Law and to make preparations for implementing the Law in the workplace without delay.

As always, we will be pleased to assist on any question and to provide guidance in making arrangements for implementation of the new Law.

The Labour and Employment Department
Herzog Fox & Neeman

Search by +