Everything you wanted to know about Financial sanctions to employers

dollar stacks

The second addition of the Increasement of regulation law empowers the Ministry of Economics, Department of regulation of labor laws to impose financial sanctions on employers who are found in violation of labor laws, such as minimum wage, sexual harassment, failure to supply an employee with notification of terms of employment, etc.
The infringements are divided into three categories of financial sanctions with a distinction made between an employer who is not a business and a business:

Level Business Non-Business
level one ₪5,110 ₪2,550
level two ₪20,420 ₪10,210
level three ₪35,740 ₪17,870

A complete list of the infractions and which level they are assigned to is on the Ministry’s website: http://www.economy.gov.il/Employment/WorkRights/WorkRightsEnforcement/Pages/FinancialSanctionSums

The Ministry of economics can file a suit against the employer in court, which if convicted, is a criminal offense! The names and details of the employers who were fined are listed on the Ministry of Economics website.
To help avoid these situations it is recommended to consult with a payroll expert like Israpay who can help employers fine-tune their payroll practices, payslips, etc according to the law. Get in touch today !

Before you apply for a job – must read !!!!

You decide to apply for a job, or better yet, you applied and were invited to an job interview. Wait a second, not so fast !!!
The Ministry of Labor and social affairs within the Ministry of Economics has a list of employers that you are not going to want to miss reading prior to applying for a job with one of them.
This list is a list of offenders of labor laws that were fined by the department of regulation, who do spot checks on employers as well as acting on tips and complaints from the general public.
The full list can be seen here:
http://www.economy.gov.il/Employment/WorkRights/WorkRightsEnforcement/FinancialSanctions/Pages/default.aspx

Announcing the release date for Employee’s Rights Handbook !!!!

Finally, the long awaited Employee’s Rights Book is to be released in Hard copy. The release date is Sunday March 15, 2015

At present, this is the only format. There may be a PDF purchase option at a later date.

The book is 107 pages of vital information for employers, employees and anyone interested in Employee’s rights, labor laws and the makeup of payroll in Israel.

Announcing the first and only English language guide in simple easy to understand language !!!

The Book also contains a dictionary of common Hebrew payroll terms and their English translation, examples of payroll forms, useful contact information, tips and more.

Get your copy today,  and know your rights !

price: 100 sh (including mailing). Optional self-pickup in Jerusalem (85 sh).
Payment via credit card or paypal, use this link:

<a href=”http://www.vcita.com/v/israpay/make_payment?pay_for=Employee’s%20Rights%20Handbook&amount=100″ target=”blank”>pay</a>

or follow the schedule an appointment on the left hand side of the home page of this site.
If you encounter a scheduling error notice, send the following details:
(Name, mailing address, email address, phone/cell number. If you wish that the invoice be made out to a different name than the one you supplied, please state)
to moshe.israpay@gmail.com and An invoice will be emailed to you. When you open the invoice you will have the ability to pay.

Check payments option:  send a check made payable to Moshe Egel-Tal along with the above info to

Israpay
P.O. Box 44429
Jerusalem 9144302

 

 

 

 

Change in Bituach Leumi law 1.1.2015

Correction 159 of the Bituach Leumi law goes into effect on January 1, 2015.

According to this correction, Bituach Leumi will no longer be able to demand payment of Bituach Leumi (social security) and Bituach Briut (health insurance) if more than 7 years have passed since their first demand of payment. After this period, the Bituach money shall not be collected, nor shall it have any effect on any rights to a stipend or benefit, if the following two conditions have been met:

1. No additional demand of payment notification was sent during the period of 7 years since the first notice.

2. Said notification in #1 above was sent, however no collection procedures or offsetting of the due amount from stipends or benefits paid were taken.

There are specifics reagrding payments due on January 1, 2015 that a period of 7 years has not elapsed yet, and with certain payments due that allows Bituach Leumi to collect up to June 30, 2016 if 16 years have not yet passed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pension plan contributions for salaried sales employees

If you are an employer of salaried employees who work on a base pay with sales commissions or if you are an employee who works in a sales commission job, this is for you:

Joe worked as a sales rep for a company for several years. He resigned his position and sued his employer for payments towards mandatory pension, that were done only from his base pay, without taking into account the sums he earned from sales commissions.

In a recent verdict in labor court (11.2013), the court recognized the fact that sales commissions are a major component of  salary, and as such, they are to be taken into account for pension purposes, as well as severance pay!
This despite the fact that sales commissions are not a set rate or fee, but rather they change monthly, based on the employee’s performance and actual sales. 

 

 

Everything you wanted to know about Garnished wages

What are garnished wages ?

Garnished wages are amounts that require  one party who owes another party money, to transfer all or part of the owed sum to a third party. The third party can be the Tax Authority, Bituach Leumi, or any entity to whom a court decision has rendered a decision to their credit. In most cases the collection and distribution of collected funds are via the Authority of Enforcement and collection’s execution chamber (Hotza’a lepoal).

How are employer’s notified of garnished wages orders?

Written notification is issued by the Autority of Enforcement and Collection and sent to the employer of the entity who owes money. This notification is binding and includes the creditor’s name and address, the total sum owed and what the reason for the debt is. It is common for such notifications to be sent to companies, garnishing sums owed to suppliers, or to employers, garnishing sums owed to salaried employees (payroll) – which is the focus of this post.

What do I need to do if I received a garnished wages order ?

The recipient of a garnished wages order  must send a written reply within 7 days of receipt, as to whether they can comply, or not (such as if the employee no longer works for them, is unknown, or no money is owed to them.
Employers who do not send a reply to notifications and/or do not comply with the instructions on the garnished wages order notification open themselves up to legal action by the creditor which can result in them absorbing the debt themselves!

Are all garnished wages orders the same ?

No! There are two basic types of garnished wages: 1) alimony and 2) everything else.

1)      Garnished wages for alimony payments.

2)      Everything else

In addition, there are garnished wages orders for set amounts per month, there are those that only state the total sum owed and there are those that specify a set % of the wages owed. It is extremely important to note the reason for debt, because if it is alimony, the table below does not apply and all the net pay needs to be garnished until the sum of debt is paid.

 

Am I required, as a recipient of a garnished wages order, to zero out all of the employee’s net wages?

The protection of salary law specifies amounts (see table below) that are exempt from garnished wages orders, based on marital status and the number of children up to age 19 in the debtor’s care. If the exempt amount is more than 80% of the monthly salary, the garnished pay will be reduced to 80% of the monthly salary.
If an employee is employed at a daily rate, the garnished wages shall not exceed 25% of the daily rate.

In general, the amounts relate to net pay after deduction of mandatory deductions (tax, social security, health tax). Any other deductions are considered wages for all purposes and intents.

This does not apply to alimony payments.

Table of amounts exempt from garnished wages orders (except alimony):

From

Single

Single + 1 child

Single + 2 children
or more

Female widow + 1 child

Female widow + 2 children or more

Couple

Couple + 1 child

Couple + 2 children or more

01.2013

2,122

3,008

3,517

3,432

4,281

3,183

3,692

4,201

01.2012

2,093

2,966

3,467

3,384

4,221

3,139

3,641

4,143

01.2011

2,040

2,892

3,381

3,298

4,114

3,059

3,549

4,038

01.2010

1,995

2,863

3,347

3,266

4,074

3,028

3,512

3,997

01.2009

1,921

2,723

3,183

3,106

3,875

2,881

3,342

3,803

01.2008

1,838

2,605

3,047

2,973

3,708

2,757

3,198

3,639

01.2007

1,788

2,534

2,963

2,892

3,607

2,682

3,111

3,540

The Authority of Enforcement and collection’s service and information hot line is: *35592  and operates:  Sun –Thurs  08:00 – 16:00

Are you a salaried employee or self-employed ?

Are you a salaried employee or self-employed ?

There is a huge difference ! Not only in the benefits you are entitled to, but in regard to your responsibilities. No, I am not talking about your social benefits or your salary. I am talking about Social Security (or Bituach Leumi as it is known in Israel). Before you say that of course you know what your status is, I suggest you read this post thru to the end. It may have some eye-opening surprises for you that can have serious impact on you, financially.

Many people own companies or are suppliers of services as self-employed. There are people who work legitimately as salaried employees, and some do a little of both.
Others have start-ups they run from home: anything from selling things, to doing work over the computer, whether it be building internet sites or translating work, or whatever.  It is this last group that this post is trageting.

First, it is important to understand that while both self-employed and salaried employees pay Social Security, the rates are different and so is the coverage for various stipends as well as the base amounts for the stipends.

If you are considered by Bituach Leumi to be self-employed, but you are reported on a company’s payroll (not a placement or manpower agency), that fact does not make you a salaried employee. What counts is your actual status. Bituach Leumi, by law, can change a person’s status one-sidedly and even retroactively ! As a result of such a change they can demand back payment at the rates that existed for self-employed persons ! If you received in the past, during the said chnaged period, a stipend from Bituach Leumi, your eligibility for that stipend may be re-evaluated and even disallowed.

Recently, a verdict was released by the labor court in a case of “stage and comunication ltd” and others vs. Bituach Leumi (case # 5062/06). Bituach Leumi one-sidedly changed the status of certain “employees” in the company. The company and the employees filed suit in labor court contesting the change.
The court, asked the simple basic question “did employee-employer relations exist between certain employees who were on the company’s payroll as salaried employees and reported as such ?”. The verdict explicitly stated that there were no such relations and these “employees” should have been reported as self-employed for all purposes.

The Judge stated in his verdict the following: “The model of employment, which all of the plaintiff companies involved in the suit, used was in actuality a front. These companies only designation was to relieve self-employed people from the burden of managing their affairs with the tax authorities and the defendant (Bituach Leumi). There is no relationship or connection between the plaintiff companies and the services the employees, who were reported as salaried workers, provided to the recipients of the services. The only reason the employees were on payroll as salaried employees was to avoid having to manage their affairs with the authorities.”

This is a precident setting, important verdict, the first of it’s kind, in a very lengthy case.

This is how you can check yourself to see if you qualify as a salaried employee or as a self-employed person

Answer the following questions truthfully. If your answer to any of these questions is negative, this very well could mean that you are self-employed:

1. Is there someone who arranges your schedule at work ?

2. Is there someone at work who assigns or re-assigns you to a project/position ?

3. Is there someone at work who has the power and authority to fire you and terminate your job ?

4, Is there someone at work that you need to request vacation leave from ? Or to notify regarding tardiness, sick days, reserve army duty, etc  ?

5. Is there anyone at work who supervises your work and you report to as a superior ?

6. Is there any type of time-sheet reporting and follow-up for your work hours and days ?

and if your answer to any of these questions is positive this very well could mean that you are self-employed:

7. Do you decide which clients/ jobs to accept and which to deny ?

8. Do you negotiate with clients the price they will pay or determine the cost for jobs ?

9. Are your wages implemented by sharp up and down changes due to the cash inflow that you recieve from third parties ? And as a result is it difficult to point out your monthly base pay ?

10. Is payment of your wages delayed until the amount is received in full from a third party ? (not paid on a set date)

 

If the answer to these questions is negative, chances are you are not eligible to be a salaried employee. You need to register as a self-employed individual at your local Bituach Leumi office in order to ensure your rights. Don’t wait for them to rescind your salaried employee’s rights retroactively. More information can be found on Bituach Leumi’s website:  www.btl.gov.il

This is not something to be taken lightly !

 

Employer who single-sidedly reduced employee’s salary was forced to pay severance pay

The employee worked for a gardening company. Upon recieving his last payslip, he discovered that his daily rate had been reduced substantially !

He contacted the employer, demanding that his daily rate be restored to what it was previously, as no-one notified him of any change and he also did not agree to any such change.

The employer refused on several request attempts by the employee, stating that it was a simple “computer mistake” but the bottom line is the same. As a result the employee resigned his position and sued the employer in labor court, demanding his daily rate be restored, as well as severance pay and social benefits from the full rate and not partial from the new, reduced rate, as the employer calculated.

The employer countered, in his response to the court, that the employee resigned his position and as such is not entitled to severance pay. In addition, the employer requested that the employee pay him for failure to give 30 days advance notice.

The court ruled that relevance of section 11a of the severance pay law, which enables an employee to resign his position and still be eligible for severance pay, is upon the employee.

Basically, the employee was able to prove that the employer single-sidedly reduced his wages, by submitting photocopies of his payslips to the court as evidence.

Reducing salary is considered a “worsening of work conditions” that an employee is not expected to continue working under.

The employer stated to the court that after amendment 24 to the “protection of salary” law in 2008, the employer was instructed by his bookkeepers and legal advisors to itemize all payments on the payslips, instead of the one line – “salary” which was used up until then. The employer “fixed” this by lowering the salary rate and adding other mandatory items seperately, such as travel expense and Havra’a. The court ruled that these other items should have been added in addition to the existing pay and not all inclusive, since the item listed was only salary.

The court awarded the employee full severance pay and the employer was instructed to pay the employee the remainder of his salary (restore the original rate) and the social benefits from the full amount, as well as back pay (from his start of employment) for travel and Havra’a.

It pays for employers to configure payslips properly, according to the law, and avoid such scenarios.

Minimum wage update – April 2013

Effective from April 2013’s payroll the minimum wages will be updated as follows:

Monthly rated employees

Apprentices 2,580.-
up to age 16 3,010.-
from age 16 to age 17 3,225.-
from age 17 to age 18 3,569.-
age 18 and up 4,300.-

Daily rated employees

  5 day work-week  6 day work-week
Apprentices

119.08

103.20

up to age 16

138.92

120.40

from age 16 to age  17

148.85

129.-

from age 17 to age 18

164.72

142.76

age 18 and up

198.46

172.-

Hourly rated employees

Apprentices 14.91
up to age 16 17.40
from age 16 to age 17 18.64
from age 17 to age 18 20.63
age 18 and up 23.12

These rates are mandatory for all employees in Israel, regardless of sector (public and private), industry, vocation or tenure.
Employers who pay less than the above minimum wages risks penalty (stiff fines and even imprisonment) and prosecution in Labor court, by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, as a criminal felony  for violation of Labor laws.

 

Working hours on Israel’s Memorial Day & Independence Day

Memorial Day of Israel’s Fallen soldiers is Monday April 15th, 2013

According to the fallen soldiers law (1963), any employee who is one of the following:
*  parent
*  grandparent
*  spouse
* child
* sibling

of a fallen soldier, is eligible to be absent from work on this day without liability of deduction from pay.

 

Independence Day (Yom Ha’atzmaut)

Israel’s 65 birthday is Tuesday April 16th, 2013

According to the Independence Day law (1959), This is a paid national holiday. This applies to all employers in Israel.

The day prior to Independence Day (Memorial Day or Erev Yom Ha’atzmaut) is a shortened work day, by law.
Employees who work an 8 hour workday, need work only 7 hours.
Employees who work a 9 hour workday, need work only 8 hours.
Places of employment that have a collective or personal agreement, or custom which is more favorable to the employee than the law, these would take precedence.
There is no deduction for missing hours for this day.

To be paid for Independence Day, you need to have at least 3 month’s tenure with your employer and you need to work the day before and the day after Independence day.

Employers that are not included in the list of places that need to operate on a holiday which is published by the Prime Minister’s Office are not allowed to force their employees to work on Independence Day as publicized by the Israeli Labor Court.

Employees who work for an employer who is included in the list, are entitled to 200% for all hours worked from 24:00 (midnight) on Memorial Day until 24:00 on Independence Day.
Payment for Independence Day needs to be itemized separately on the payslip.

 

 

Employers: Do you have issues with employees incorrectly filling out 101 forms ?

According to income tax regulation 2: “all employees are required to fill out an employee card (101 tax form) at the start of employment with a new employer and on the 1st of January of each subsequent year. The form includes: the employee’s personal information and sources of income. In addition, the employee is required by law to report any change in the information supplied on the form, within a week of the change.” Responsibility for the accuracy of the information is the employee’s only. The employee signs at the end of the 101 form a statement stating that all the information is correct. Supplying incorrect information is a criminal offense. The 101 tax form has instructions, but they are not too explicit.  Employees who do not understand what or how to fill out the form should ask the payroll accountant for help. Veteran payroll accountants attach written instructions to employees along with the form, correctly knowing that any mistakes in filling out the forms will come back to them in the end and they will need to chase after employees to “get it right” or deduct maximum tax, which just causes extra work.

Most employers have issues with employees filling out their annual 101 tax form. In some instances they leave out important mandatory information, in other cases they forget to check the boxes regarding the type of payment they are receiving from the employer or whether they have any other source of income. These things, while correctable in most cases during the tax year, can be very problematic in that until they are rectified, they may incur a maximum tax deduction from the employee’s salary. There can even be serious repercussions, by way of unnecessary fines in the case of an audit by the tax authorities.

The employer in general, and the payroll accountant specifically need to ensure that the proper form is being used (it’s updated frequently and can be found under “forms” on the Tax Authority’s website: http://taxes.gov.il/Pages/TaxesFastForms.aspx

It is important to note that each time a tax form is updated, all previous versions become obsolete and invalid from that point on. Using an outdated form can also result in fine ! However, all computerized payroll systems have the option of printing out pre-printed 101 forms with both the employer’s info as well as the employee’s info as it appears in the program. This is actually a time-saver as it allows the employee to double-check and correct only when information is incorrect or has changed, check the relevant boxes and sign the form, instead of filling out the form from scratch. This usually takes only a few moments. The responsibility for updating the 101 form in the payroll program is the Program’s responsibility.

The employer is responsible for keeping these forms on file along with any letters from the tax authority regarding their employees tax credits, exemptions or reconciliations.

Good news !

The tax Authority has launched an initiative that will not only simplify the 101 tax form process, but it will ensure zero mistakes and do away with the need to get the forms to the employees and get them back in a timely manner, as well as eliminating the need to keep them on file, thus saving space and becoming environment friendly (no more paper) !

So how does this work ?

The tax Authority issued instructions for procuring an electronic 101 tax form which is available here:
http://taxes.gov.il/IncomeTax/Pages/IncoeTaxMeidaMaasikim.aspx
look for the item dated May 20, 2012 – there are two. the top one is the one you need (9 page document) and it includes the application form for the employer (pages 8 and 9)

 

As of Jan 2013, this is voluntary, but highly recommended. Keep reading…….

The employer needs to fill out a request to be included in the criteria for filling out electronic 101 forms and use the system. The request needs to be submitted to the Tax Authority not later than 2 months prior to the end of the tax year in order to use the system for the next year.

(Employers who wish to develop their own system for electronic 101 tax forms or companies who sell payroll programs, or the use of them to employers need to submit 4 months prior to the end of the tax year)

The process

After submitting the form, the employer will receive written approval from the Tax Authority  along with access codes to a secure site and instructions. In general, employees can access the secure site via a unique and personal password ensuring privacy. the employee will update all personal and income information. Any time there is a change in an employee’s information, the employee will log onto the secure site and repeat the process, changing the necessary information. All forms after finalization by the employee become locked PDF files and each update becomes a newer version. All versions are kept on-line and accessible to both the employer and the employee. In cases where employees do not complete the process, it will automatically incur maximum tax (currently 48%) on the employee’s annual salary.

 

The above information is taken from the Israel Tax Authority’s publications and is not a translation of those publications.

Disclaimer:  Israpay has done it’s best to explain this issue in easy to understand terms, however should any discrepancy be found between the information contained in this blog post and the Tax Authority’s referendums and notifications to employers, the latter will prevail. This information is intended as a service and is not legal advise in any way or form. It reflects the author’s opinion only and is not to be taken as more than general information and a friendly recommendation that may be worth checking out. There may be restraints, in the employer’s payroll program or otherwise, that currently will not enable the employer to currently implement use of the electronic 101 tax form.

 

Youth employee ? Download new application to know your rights !

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor has launched an application that can be downloaded for free to an Iphone and will soon be available for smartphones too. If you are between the ages of 14-18 and employed or if you have children or grandchildren who are, this is for them !

What will this enable users to do ?
1. Know your rights and the employer’s lawful responsibilities towards youth
they employ.

2. Enable youth to keep track of their hours in an organized manner.

3. Salary calculator to figure out what you are owed.

4. Contact details for complaints to the Ministry’s labor law enforcement dept.
if they feel their employer is not obeying the laws.

5. Enable users to define a goal to save for, and enable them to track how many
more hours of work they need to reach their goal.

 

For now this application is available only in Hebrew.

It is downloadable from the Ministry’s website, here:

http://www.moital.gov.il/NR/exeres/46273C9D-B2FF-4DB3-A4ED-8D80E5BAC62F,frameless.htm