Working in Israel?
Job Hunting and Working Conditions
Most expat jobs in Israel are part of an intra-company transfer or a foreign assignment. If you are interested in searching for a new job on your own, be aware that many positions in Israeli companies are found by word-of-mouth rather than advertised on the open market.
This is due to Israel’s (and thus the business world’s) small size and the fairly informal, almost familial atmosphere that prevails in many companies. However, this may act as an obstacle for foreign applicants during their job search from abroad.
Finding Work: The Best Job Search Strategies
Many vacancies are advertised, on Internet job portals, such as israemploy, Jobsin Tel Aviv, or Nefesh B’Nefesh Israel Job Board. For selected fields like IT or biotechnology, there are more specialized websites, such as BioTechJobs.
A more efficient and proactive approach may be to research some Israeli companies in your field of employment and to contact them yourself. It’s essential to make a personal impression on the people who might be interested in hiring you, and talking directly to a HR representative is a great way to do this.
If you need an alternative way to start networking in the Israeli business world, then look for work as a freelancer for an Israeli company or find a new client base in the country. For IT jobs like software developer or graphic designer, for instance, this could be a feasible route. If you are coming to the country as a Jewish migrant, you could also look for a job placement via an aliyah organization.
The Dos and Don’ts of Business in Israel
The job application process in Israel is more informal than in other countries. Sending along a cover letter and an up-to-date CV may be enough, and diplomas, certificates, and references are often not necessary. An exception includes professions that require a license (e.g. in the medical sector), and if you can’t fulfil the legal requirements to carry out your occupation in Israel, it will be almost impossible to find a job in this sector.
Although English is commonly used in the Israeli business world, acquiring Hebrew language skills can definitely make you stand out as a new expat.
The Small Print: Minimum Salary and Maximum Working Hours
As a foreign employee in Israel, you are legally required to receive a written contract in a language you can understand, meaning that even if you don’t speak Hebrew, you can make sure of your working conditions beforehand. The current monthly minimum wage is 5,000 NIS, but this salary (about 1,212 EUR or 1,427 USD in October 2017) mostly applies to legal migrant laborers rather than highly-qualified expatriates.
Working hours in Israel are set at 43 hours a week, but often rise to 45, depending on your individual position and the sector you are working in.
All Work and No Play? Annual Leave and National Insurance
According to Israeli labor laws, you are entitled to a minimum of 12 days of annual leave, and this can rise to up to 28 days, depending on the number of years you have remained with your employer. You may also be entitled on additional leave on major religious holidays, according to your chosen faith. Of course, the amount of paid annual leave is something you could address during your contract negotiations.
While temporary foreign residents are not eligible for an Israeli state pension, their National Insurance coverage does include accident insurance, compensation for work injuries, up to 90 days of paid sick leave (one and a half days can be accumulated for every month of employment), and maternity allowance.
If you have worked for your employer for less than twelve months before the delivery, you are entitled to 15 weeks of paid maternity leave, with income-based benefits of up to 1,460 NIS per day. If, however, you have worked for your employer for at least a year, you can receive up to 26 weeks of maternity leave (only part of which will be paid).
We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.