Media Centre

War and the Workplace: Overtime and Foreign Workers

12 October 2023

Dear Clients and Friends,

We continue to update you on matters regarding the workplace during times of combat.

Overtime Employment 

As a follow-up to our previous update and as on October 9, 2023, a General Authorization (Temporary) to Employ Workers during Overtime, 5784-2023, under the Working Hours and Rest Law, was declared, we would like to update you concerning the directives of that General Authorization.

This General Authorization establishes that an employee may work up to 67 hours a week, including overtime hours, but only if no more than 90 overtime hours are worked per month. In addition, it establishes that a workday cannot be longer than 12 hours of work; however, an employee may be employed for up to 14 hours (including overtime), but only subject to his\her agreement, and subject to there being a break of at least a quarter of an hour between the 12th and 14th hours on such a workday. This is to be done without derogating from the existing right of an employee to breaks under law, and subject to the above.

Under the new Authorization, the previous general-branch permits granted under Sections 11 and 15 of the Working Hours and Rest Law as well as in Sections 1 and 2 of the previous General Authorization to employ workers in extra hours will not apply.

Employment of employees under the new General Authorization will be carried out while taking into account the unique needs of each workplace, as well as while taking into account the welfare of the workers, their safety in the workplace, and their needs arising from the declaration of a state of emergency.

The new General Authorization will not apply to employers in the public transportation or delivery and transport sectors, nor to an employer to whom an extension order in the building, infrastructure, construction equipment supply, public works, and repairs sector applies.

An employer employing more than 20 workers is authorized to employ those workers under the directives of the new General Authorization, providing that it meets one of the following two conditions:

  • As of the day that the employer begins to utilize the Authorization, a minimum of 20% of its staff (defined as that reported to the National Insurance Institute for the period from May 2023 to July 2023 ) is absent from the workplace due to circumstances not under the employer’s control; and such that the work cannot be performed, with the same output, with only those of the employer’s employees who are present and without then utilizing the overtime under this Authorization.


  • Employees in this workplace work in shifts, and at least 20% of its employees in a shift are absent from the workplace due to circumstances not under the employer’s control; and the work cannot be performed, with the same output, except by the employees of that same shift. This Section shall not apply to a workplace defined as an “Essential Organization” in accordance with the Emergency Labour Service Law, 5727-1967.


The new General Authorization will be in force for 14 days from the date of its proclamation or until the end of the state of emergency, whichever comes first.


Employment of Foreign Workers

On October 8, 2023, as a result of the security situation in Israel, the Population and Immigration Authority extended all residency authorizations for foreigners and foreign workers currently in Israel under a valid visa. These authorizations will be extended through November 9, 2023. At the end of that period, and absent any further notification, the issue of residency will have to be settled with the authorities.

Following that declaration, on October 10, 2023 the Director General of the Population and Immigration Authority decided, on a temporary and exceptional basis, to allow workforce contractors who have a permit to employ foreign workers in the construction industry (hereinafter “Corporations“) to employ those foreign workers who have a license to work in the construction industry with employers who are recognized as providing essential services and/or are recognized as Essential Organizations, as defined in the Emergency Labour Service Law, 5727-1967 (hereinafter “Recognized Organizations“) by the Emergency Workforce Division of the Ministry of Labour, in accordance with the conditions detailed below:


– Employment of these foreign workers is permitted only by employers who are Recognized Organizations, and the workers will be employed by these organizations in accordance with the normal permit conditions that apply to them under the Procedures for Employing Foreign Workers (Procedure Number 9.4.0001).


All labour laws applying in Israel, including those laws applying to employees working in emergency circumstances, will apply to the foreign workers employed in the Recognized Organizations.


– The organization must obtain the consent of the foreign worker to work at the Recognized Organization, and also provide him all the information he needs regarding work at the organization and for his own protection, in his own language.


– The corporation must provide the Population Authority, in writing, the details (i.e., names and passport numbers) of the foreign workers who have agreed to work in the Essential Organizations, as well as the names and addresses of the organizations where they are employed, within 7 days of the date of commencement of employment.



We are available to you for advice regarding any questions or issues that may arise, so that we can work to maintain employment routines in the complex situation in which we find ourselves.


With hopes for quieter days,

Labour and Employment Law Department

Herzog Fox & Neeman

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