Ensuring fairness and rights: Palestinian workers’ paychecks go digital

Itzhak Moyal
May 11, 2023

This month, a revolution has begun in the payslips of Palestinian workers employed in the construction, agriculture, and industry sectors in Israel.

For the first time, the payslips of Palestinian workers in the construction, industry, and agriculture sectors will be issued digitally to employers in Israel. Starting in May 2023, employers received an electronic file containing the structure of their employees’ payslips. These payslips will reflect the wage conditions outlined in the general collective agreement and the extension order. The files will be sent securely to the employers’ email, and automatically updated in the system. After receiving the payslips, employers are required to print them and provide them to their employees immediately. The issuance of the payslips is based on the monthly reports submitted by employers to the service department for employers. This change is part of an ongoing effort to improve employment practices in the construction industry in Israel, promoting organization, accurate record-keeping of hours worked, and protecting the rights of all workers, irrespective of their origin, religion, or gender.

This initiative is being led by the Administration of Foreign Workers at the Population and Immigration Administration as part of a series of measures aimed at establishing a transparent, simple, and efficient process for employing Palestinian workers. As of January 2023, salary payments to Palestinian employees are exclusively transferred via bank transfers to their personal accounts in the Palestinian Authority.

Inbal Mashash, the head of the Foreign Workers’ Administration, expressed the goal of enhancing services for both employers and employees. The new method ensures that payslips reach employers promptly and are promptly delivered to the employees. It also facilitates transparency for employees and guarantees their rights.

This development marks another significant step in regulating the working conditions and rights of Palestinian workers in Israel’s construction industry. This industry stands out as a sector where true equality is observed among all workers, regardless of gender, nationality, or origin. Social rights are equal for everyone, and no discrimination is tolerated. The general collective agreement, which I played a role in drafting, ensures equal minimum wages and equal opportunities for career advancement. It is a source of pride for the construction, infrastructure, and renovation industry.

The regulation of payslips may appear to be a minor adjustment, but it is part of a broader effort to enhance safety in the industry. Digital payslips help prevent illegal employment practices and deviations from working hours while also reinforcing adherence to social conditions for employees. When all information is documented and computerized, it becomes significantly more difficult to engage in unlawful activities.

Furthermore, evidence indicates that the majority of cases handled by the Grievance Committee pertain to wage non-payment and non-compliance with social conditions. For example, in 2021, approximately 1,600 cases were submitted to the committee regarding these issues. Similarly, in 2022, the committee received numerous claims related to social conditions and wages. Therefore, the introduction of digital payslips is expected to substantially reduce employees’ claims against employers.

We will remain vigilant and continue monitoring all aspects related to employee employment, wages, and more. We are committed to being active partners in these changes until all matters related to Palestinian workers’ employment in the construction, infrastructure, and renovation industry are fully addressed.

(Originally published in Walla)

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