Tamar Zandberg
Tamar ZandbergNoam Revkin Fenton/Flash90

On Sunday, the government approved amendments to legislation related to business and wage levels, according to which the minimum wage will rise from its current rate of NIS 5,300 per month to NIS 6,000 per month, but only over a period of five years. During the current year, the minimum wage will rise by just 100 shekels and will only reach the target of NIS 6,000 in December, 2025.

Channel 13 reported that the government also agreed that employees who have worked up to five years in their place of employment will be granted an additional vacation day per year. Another amendment concerns the Working Hours and Rest Act, adjusting the calculation of overtime in order to create more flexible conditions for employers and a better work-vacation balance for employees.

Commenting on the amendments, Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) said, "This 'increase' of the minimum wage is actually an erosion [given that it is not adjusted to compensate for inflation]. A better offer must be made, because those who earn minimum wage need every single shekel."

Labor party leader and Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli, voiced similar sentiments. "The policies of this government, headed by Prime Minister Bennett and Finance Minister Liberman, have brought us many financial achievements. Despite the coronavirus, we have succeeded in building a mighty economy along with growth and assistance programs that no other government has ever achieved. And precisely because of this, the government cannot permit itself to harm the minimum wage of so many employees in the weaker strata of society, as this current plan would do."

Last November, Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman, together with Prof. Amir Yaron, head of the Bank of Israel, along with Histadrut head Arnon Bar-David, presented an economic plan at a press conference which included gradually raising the minimum wage to NIS 6,000.