The rate of unemployment in Israel in the second half of April fell to 8%, the Central Bureau of Statistics reports, down from 8.9% in the second half of March.
By law unpaid leave and unemployment payments will be cut 10%, 30 days after the announcement by the Central Bureau of Statistics that the rate of unemployment has fallen below 10%. The announcement has already come and so the furlough payments are due to be cut 10% from May 21, one month before the final date in June, originally set by the plan.
However, Minister of Finance Israel Katz said, "I have instructed National Insurance Institute director general Meir Spiegel not to cut 10% from unpaid leave payments to the unemployed before June 12, the date that unpaid leave payments are paid for May."
Katz added that by that date he intends arranging an overall plan for continued employment ahead of the end of the payments for unpaid leave at the end of June. In addition, Katz has instructed that as part of the new plan, there will be a solution for the issue of cutting unpaid leave.
Katz's use of the word 'instructed' is problematic as he has no powers to postpone cuts as it is set in law. If he wants to extend the payments he has to enact a new law.
Katz's spokesperson said, "As the Minister of Finance has announced everything will be according to the law. The Ministry of Finance is forming a plan including in the employment sector, which will be brought to the cabinet and the Knesset according to the plan by June 12. The plan will include reference to the issue of the fall in unemployment below 10% to 7.5%."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 3, 2021
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